Are you ready? Here is one of my best theories ever. Each TV show copies the same pattern in their story telling journey. Let’s start at the beginning.
The first installment in what will hopefully be the franchise. Everything is new and foreign not only to the audience but to everyone involved. Things need to be established. The actors are getting used to their characters. The storylines are trying to be set up and developed. It is the season you look back on later and realized how much it sucked compared to the end product but still love it because that is where it all started.
This season is probably the worst. It is the season where they try to conform. They got picked up for another season and are all wrapped around making it again. As if the first season wasn’t enough to land it a second. They change things. The couple that got together in season 1 or almost is now broken up or going through tension. There is a new dynamic- either new characters or a new setting somehow.
This is the season where everything gets good. They bring it back to it’s original core- learning from season 2 and feeling more like a 2.0 of season 1. The couple is usually back together and it feels more established as a show. They have reached their stride because they have enough of a back story to make the new events mean more. The actors know their characters better now and it just feels more organic.
Not that much different than season 3- just building off of the success it had last season. They usually grow and mature more in this season. It feels like an older and wiser season 3. Things are still dramatic and changing but it is still good and different. They are a little more jaded and aren’t as naive as they once were. There is no going back.
This is when it gets tricky because now this could be one of the last seasons or it could still be going on for another few years. Anyways, this is the season where they usually cause some big change to shift the whole dynamic of the show. They want to revamp it and make it fresh for the audience that has been watching for five years.
The events I was talking about could happen in season 6 as well. I’ll elaborate. A time jump. A new character introduced. A couple getting together- probably more permanently now aka marriage or engagement. Season 6 is usually the more happy euphoric season 5. This is most likely the last true season for the show before it starts to drift.
Remember that show that you used to love? Where is it? It has deviated so far from where they once where that you can’t even believe what is happening. Another big change but this time it is too much. Either main characters have left or they are going in a new direction for the plot. You are in too deep to stop but things feel off.
Most shows don’t make it this far- but it is weird. This means they are trying so hard to get you to watch. Repeating old plots and dialogue. Throwing in unnecessary things to get you to watch. They know it could be the last season and therefore don’t want to end on a huge cliffhanger just in case. It is usually a pretty happy and light season- at the end at least.
Congrats! Your show made it. Once it gets past season 9 you know that it was a hit. Now is when it has the choice of bowing out gracefully or trying to hold on still because maybe it is still a hit. Either way this season is usually filled with characters achieving things that you wanted them to since the beginning. It is hard to pull from so little.
Unless you are a serial show like NCIS, Grey’s Anatomy, Law & Order, SVU, and so on you should probably hang up the towel. I think Cop shows are the only really successful shows after season 10 but of course this isn’t a law. They should go out with a bang- no point to drag it on and make it even worse than it probably is.
There it is. My theory. Now go think of all the shows that you watch and see if they fit. Of course it isn’t a for sure thing for all but most TV shows fit this mold which I think is hilarious. Maybe it is an unspoken thing that they do or they just fall into it because of the industry.