10 TV Shows That Overstayed Their Welcome

Split image of Daenerys from Game of Thrones and Dexter


With studios and streaming services tightening up and auditing their budgets, cancelations of television shows are rampant. Nobody wants to see a beloved TV show get axed, but there are plenty that should have been wrapped up several seasons before they actually ended. Disjointed plots, unnecessary extensions, out-of-character actions, and outdated tropes have managed to ruin one too many series.


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These once-great watches went down a dark path, and fans themselves would have preferred if they had ended earlier and retained their reputations. Most of these shows began well, but the quality of the stories faltered, and some once beloved series ended up disappointing fans by staying around too long.

10 Sherlock Should Have Ended After The Second Season

2010-2017

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Few other shows achieved the fanbase and frenzy that Sherlock created in its first season, and the sarcastic main character in the drama was one of the most well-loved in the world. The series started out very strong with two fantastic seasons. Season 2 ended with Sherlock seemingly dead, and for many fans, that’s where the show should have ended.

By the fourth season, Sherlock was unexpectedly given a backstory of childhood trauma and a lost sibling, which came out of nowhere. Three seasons’ worth of character-building was lost in the sudden retcon of Sherlock’s story, and the very stability that he was known for was eroded when he “rewrote” his memories. His final arch nemesis, Eurus was poorly written and completely reversed Sherlock’s credibility.

9 Dexter Massacred An Iconic Lead

2006-2017, 2021-2022

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Dexter

Dexter set a benchmark for shows with serial killer protagonists in its first four seasons. Everyone’s favorite killer was witty, razor-sharp, and had a perfect backstory. Further, the villains in each season were more formidable than the last, and the story flowed beautifully. Sadly, Dexter’s first ending did a disservice to his character, upsetting fans.

Fans were overjoyed when the show got another chance in Dexter: New Blood, which felt like a return to its former greatness. However, it was clear that the main reason for the new series was to set up a spin-off for Dexter’s son, Harrison. Dexter’s sudden descent into madness happened in a span of minutes, and he was killed off unceremoniously. In the end, New Blood only managed to upset fans even more.

8 13 Reasons Why Should Have Stuck To Its Premise

2017-2020

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>13 Reasons Why Clay and Hannah at school

With a never-before-seen premise, 13 Reasons Why took Netflix by storm. However, the showrunners milked it too much with four seasons when it should have been a limited series. Hannah Baker’s tragic story deserved a single season and nothing more, and it was wrapped up quite fittingly by the finale.

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The premise and impact of 13 Reasons Why was greatly diluted when a teen’s story leading up to her suicide was turned into a murder mystery. It took away from the seriousness of Hannah’s tale and cheapened the whole show. If 13 Reasons Why had been a single season, it would still be talked about as one of the best shows to come from Netflix.

7 Killing Eve Strayed Too Far From The Source Material

2018-2022

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Villanelle threatens Eve in Killing Eve

In a puzzling turn of events, Killing Eve managed to mess up its final season despite having source material available to draw from for its ending. Killing Eve was one of the most inventive and sleek shows on the air, and it went up in flames because writers chose to follow the terrible trope of killing off its LGBTQ+ characters for no good reason.

Years of sizzling chemistry between Sandra Oh’s Eve and Jodie Comer’s Villanelle culminated in a few minutes of satisfaction for fans, after which the deadly Villanelle met her unceremonious end in TV’s worst final episode. The entire point of the show was lost, especially because these femme fatales actually ended up together in the books.

6 The 100 Fell Into A Bad Trope

2014-2020

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>An image from The 100.

In the seven seasons that it got to tell its story, The 100 disappointed its fans greatly. In the beginning, it was an intriguing narrative set in a post-apocalyptic world, and fans loved to see the LGBTQ+ representation when Clarke and Lexa started dating. Disappointingly, The 100 also chose to kill off Lexa, falling into the “bury your gays” trope.

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Consequently, The 100 lost a chunk of fans because of this move, and the plot had become far too outlandish to follow by that point. Seven seasons was far too long for a show that went on a downward spiral a few seasons in.

5 Riverdale Became Too Bizarre

2017-Present

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Riverdale Season 7

It is widely known that Riverdale has flailed wildly between being a murder mystery, a comic book-based drama, and a sci-fi show over the course of a few seasons. The first season of the show left audiences with high hopes for the rest of the series, but none of those hopes were fulfilled.

After the thrilling mystery that was Jason Blossom’s murder, Riverdale got lost somewhere between gangs, geeky games, multiple serial killers, teenage businesses, and aliens. The show stretched itself too thin and tried to cover everything, which is why fans breathed a sigh of relief when it was canceled. With the last season due in 2023, the absurd Archie Comics adaptation is finally coming to end, even if it is six seasons too late.

4 Game Of Thrones Flailed When It Ran Out Of Source Material

2011-2019

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Daenerys and Jorah in Game of Thrones

Touted as one of the greatest TV shows of all time, Game of Thrones suffered from controversial choices and a lack of original source material from the author. Up until Season 6, GoT ruled the screens, but Daenerys Targaryen’s sudden flip to pure villainy in the last few moments of Season 8 completely destroyed everything that the show had built.

It was clear that Game of Thrones rushed through the last few episodes, and perhaps it would have been better if it was given more breathing room. However, the nonsensical plot could not have been helped even with extra episodes, and ending the show early would have helped it a lot more.

3 Supernatural Stopped Making Sense After The Show’s Creator Left

2005-2020

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Sam and Dean hold an ID in Supernatural .

When Erik Kripke first created Supernatural, he laid out a five-season plan with a definitive ending. The series ended up going for fifteen seasons, which indicates how long the show was dragged on to keep the fandom happy. The first five seasons were power-packed and snappy, but once Kripke completed his concept and left, Supernatural‘s quality quickly deteriorated.

Supernatural‘s plot started to come apart as the Winchester brothers continued to die and be resurrected, and it could no longer grab and hold the interest of people like it did earlier. Sam and Dean’s journey also came to a very unsatisfactory end, and Castiel’s fate angered fans.

2 One Tree Hill’s Time Jump Was Unnecessary

2003-2012

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>One Tree Hill's Nathan and Haley having a conversation under a tree

No matter how much it wanted to, One Tree Hill couldn’t stay in high school forever, so the series used a time jump to further the plot. One Tree Hill then became a little tired because of how unrealistic the grown-up lives of each of the characters were.

A good marker of when a show should end is when its main characters start leaving, but OTH did not heed these signals. Before its nine seasons were up, several main characters of the show were gone, as was any coherency in the story.

1 The Vampire Diaries Couldn’t Recover From Nina Dobrev’s Exit

2009-2017

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The Vampire Diaries - Damon, Elena, and Stefan arguing in the street

Even diehard fans would agree that The Vampire Diaries suffered greatly after Nina Dobrev’s Elena Gilbert was written out of the show. She was the fulcrum around which the show revolved, and her absence was impossible to overcome.

The Vampire Diaries‘ showrunners couldn’t come up with engaging villains to keep the Salvatore brothers busy, and Elena was still the motivator for them to be better. The two extra seasons without Dobrev could have easily been skipped for a happy ending in Season 6 itself.

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