Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither were some of the best TV shows ever aired. Episodes that skyrocket shows to greatness aren't always the pilots. Sure, some of the best moments of TV shows are right in Episode 1 for all to see, but most series take a while to get going. Typically, the first season of any TV show is going to have an awkward period where the creators struggle to discover the tone and feel. But if you stick around, it's often rewarding to be there when a great show finally hits its stride.
Can any Star Trek fan imagine giving up on The Next Generation before Season 3? Or what if people never stayed to watch Parks and Recreation after Season 1? Check out this list of TV series that started off shakily before finding their footing. Vote up the best moments when mediocre shows became epic.
The Office is one of America's most beloved 21st-century comedy shows. Taking place in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the TV series follows the everyday lives of office workers. The first season of the show really struggled, as critics felt it lacked originality or direction. The actors felt a little awkward and the script seemed quite flat.
This all changed in Season 2, where the writers and the actors seemed to find their stride. In the episode "Halloween," Steve Carell's character has to fire someone when everyone is in costume and feeling festive. It's an interesting episode because it couples the fear of unemployment with the spookiness of Halloween, yet keeps it all in an office setting. This episode finally gets the balance of dry humor and relationships correct, with the dialogue feeling less forced. It marks the beginning of when The Office becomes a memorable show with a strong personality and amazing satirical humor.
Game of Thrones is one of the most exceptional shows on the air, but it has worked hard to build up its audience over several seasons. One of the defining moments of the series was when the main character of Season 1 was executed, setting off the entire political fiasco fueling the rest of the show's story. Every character's life revolves around the fallout of Ned Stark's death, which makes Stark's execution the moment the show truly became the sensation the world knows and loves.
The first season of Breaking Bad is very strong television, but it was Episode 6 that really introduced fans to Heisenberg. After Tuco beats up Jessie and gets in the way of Walt's moneymaking dreams, Walt realizes he needs to strike back. Under the name Heisenberg (his first use of the name), Walt goes to the meeting carrying fulminated mercury. When things don't go his way, he throws a piece on the ground and it goes off like a hand grenade. That, right there, set the stage for many more Heisenberg moments to come.
People will tell you that the show improved when Riker grew his beard. While that's true, Season 2 still really isn't all that great. In fact, most of it ranged from forgettable to unwatchable. But Season 3 saw new writers along with several other changes to the show. Chief among them were uniforms that actually looked like uniforms (complete with nifty collars), rather than skin-tight one-pieces. After that, the show became an instant classic.