Shows that lost the plot

Kate Dunkerton discusses the hit shows that lost their way.

Kate Dunkerton
9th March 2020
Credit; gettyimages; IMDb
Isn’t it great when you find a new show to obsess over? With interesting characters and compelling storylines that keep you coming back for more. Sometimes, producing original material becomes too much as fans demand more, making these once smash hits in television go downhill.

An obvious one has got to be J.J. Abrams’ Lost, which completely lost the plot (pun intended). Starting off with a diverse group of survivors of an airplane crash, we watched the group work together to survive on an island that isn’t all that it seems. Laced with complex backstories, focusing on a specific character arc in each episode, the audience can understand their choices and what brought them on that fated flight. From the first episode, the series is filled with mystery as the survivors soon realise they aren’t alone.

His inability to wrap up storylines and fix plot holes has made J.J. Abrams notorious for not being able to fulfil fan wishes.

Lost was a show that kept you guessing and on the edge of your seat…until season 4 that is. Suddenly the group were faced with bigger issues as they introduced the element of time travel. By the end of the final series, we didn’t get answers to ANY of our questions. Where did the polar bears come from? How did they start time travelling? Where did the “Others” come from? Were they dead the whole time? To this day fans still don’t understand the ending. His inability to wrap up storylines and fix plot holes has made J.J. Abrams notorious for not being able to fulfil fan wishes.

Next up is True Blood. Alan Ball's supernatural vampire show started off as a funny comedy-drama. It was campy in a good way, with the typical vampire-human romance plot which has never seemed to lose its appeal amongst audiences. Despite the annoying southern accents, True Blood had the classic whodunnit format and what set it apart was that the vampires were “out of the coffin” rather than being hidden from human knowledge, unlike many vampire-themed shows and films.

Credit; HBO; IMDb

The series lost its spark once the supernatural element when too far, specifically the faerie-human hybrid storyline and the introduction of the Vampire Authority. The storylines and the acting were increasingly laughable, as if the actors themselves knew the show was a lost cause. Even Alexander Skarsgard’s portrayal of iconic vampire Eric Northman couldn’t save this series. Despite a promising start, True Blood’s quality was tarnished after Ball stepped back as showrunner, peaking too early as the show blagged its way through seven seasons.

the disappointment that fans faced with the remaining six episodes was heart-breaking

It hurts me to include Game of Thrones on this list. Although some argue that the show had dipped in quality during its seventh season, Game of Thrones was ground-breaking television until its eighth and final season. After waiting two years since the cliff hanger that saw the white walkers destroy the wall and descend on Westeros, the disappointment that fans faced with the remaining six episodes was heart-breaking to say the least. Winter was finally here, the white walkers descended, Cersei had to be stopped and someone had to take the throne.

Although never being a show to shy away from the unexpected, the ending was REALLY unexpected. And not in a good way. Like Lost, questions remained unanswered. What was the Night King’s goal? What did he want with Bran? Why was he so interested in Jon Snow? Redemption arcs appeared to be done for nothing, such as Jaime Lannister going back to Cersei only for them both to be killed by rubble, which they could have moved a few feet over to avoid. Not to mention the season was full of mistakes which fans were quick to point out, including the infamous coffee cup, the rubble incident just mentioned, and a water bottle by an actor’s feet shows just how little effort was put into the series.

Credit; HBO, IMDb

Had there been another series, in which our questions were answered, perhaps Daenerys Targaryan’s murder at the hands of Jon Snow would have felt more powerful. Instead, I felt nothing. After watching this character struggle for 8 seasons to reclaim what she thought was hers, suffer abuse, raise three dragons and finding love with (her nephew) Jon only to have it all taken away within a matter of one episode. If we’d slowly seen her turn into a mad queen, rather than making her a mad queen for one episode, her death would have been more emotional and satisfactory.

Even worse than Daenerys’ fate was that of Jon Snow, whose entire arc was wasted. After so much mystery surrounding his true lineage, only for him not to take the throne and being exiled back to the wall felt like a slap in the face. This was made even worse having the most useless character in season 8, Bran Stark, take the throne for himself, with Tyrion falsely claiming that he has the most important story to tell of them all. Literally anybody else has a better story than Bran the Broken.

What started out as being some of the most exciting shows in TV either lost its way early on, meaning you could clock out while you were ahead, or took an unexpected turn for the worse too far in. With the disappointing progression of hits such as Lost, True Blood and Game of Thrones, they prove that no show is safe from losing the magic that made you love it in the first place.

Credit; Think Story, YouTube
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