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Aged Like Fine Wine: 9 Iconic Shows Fans Claim Got Better Only After Multiple ‘Subpar’ Seasons

These iconic shows are heralded the gold standard of television. But they didn’t always start out that way. There was a time even these shows were called “subpar”.

Agents Of SHIELD Went Beyond The MCU & Matured Into Its Own Thing

Agents of SHIELD

The first two seasons of the show kept things pretty straightforward and simple. The revelation that SHIELD was compromised that we got thanks to The Winter Soldier affected the show’s premise as well. But after season 3, Agents of SHIELD managed to escape the MCU’s thumb and started introducing original plot ideas. That’s when it started to shine.

Angel Became Better Early On


The spin-off show had an incredibly strong star cast and ties to the legendary Buffy The Vampire Slayer series. That could not help it escape criticism though. It’s first season was average at best. But the show became much better after its first season finale. Season 2 and season 3 of Angel really made things watch-worthy.

The Office Took Off After They Introduced Original Comic Ideas Into the Show

The Office

The first season of the US version of The Office was a total mismatch of tone and humor. The show was the American iteration of the UK series of the same name. British humor is hard t understand and can sometimes be very dark for American audiences. Season 2 onwards saw the writers getting more comfortable with original script ideas and better character development.

Ashes To Ashes Became Unexpectedly Better Much Later On

Ashes to Ashes

Season 5 of the show, according to the fans, was when the Life On Mars spin-off really took off. Fans got what they had always wanted. There was suspense and thrill, and more and more secrets were revealed of the world D Alex Drake found herself in.

iCarly’s Subsequent Seasons Helped Overshadow Its Season 1 Mediocrity


The show became successful because of a unique story and strong characters. The talented star-cast also helped. The first season leaned too much into comedy rather than the drama the show is now known for. Later seasons of the show fleshed out the characters and created an intricate storyline that made it a Nickelodeon behemoth.

Seinfeld Seriously Struggled At First


Back in those days, Seinfeld Season 1 and 2 were considered only a moderately funny sitcom. There was nothing special about the show until the Season 2 episode – “The Chinese Restaurant”. The show adopted its legendary and iconic ‘long conversational’ format after that episode.

Sherlock Had A Hard Time Nailing The Tone Of The Show


Despite season 1 of Sherlock being critically acclaimed, the show had a very inconsistent tone early on. The focus was more on subtle humor rather than the drama and suspense, that were confined to the episode finale. Form season 2 onwards, new characters were introduced and the suspense got thicker and better.

Lucifer Outshone Its Peers Only In Season 4


This guilty pleasure of a show started out as a run of the mill supernatural police procedural. Season 2 introduced a season long storyline while season 3 took it up a notch. But only after Lucifer season 4 did fans see a decrease in censorship and more mature themes gracing the show.

Star Trek: TNG Found Its Niche In Latter Seasons

Star Trek: TNG

The first few seasons of TNG focused mainly on the crew and their relationships and outlooks. The latter seasons focused more on outer space exploration and introducing new sci-fi tropes. The Next Generation took its sweet time finding its niche.

Written by Bibhu Prasad Panda

Bibhu Prasad Panda is a Senior Content Writer at FandomWire. He has always been fascinated with the world of word balloons and text boxes since he was 5. From aspiring to be an engineer to becoming a market research specialist, life's been quite a journey for him. Bibhu now follows his passion as an entertainment journalist/blogger. He's also an Omen main in Valorant. SCATTER!!!!