Livejournal friend, rogueslayer452, asked “Has there been anything in media (book, television show, movie, etc) that you initially hated or didn’t care for but after revisiting it much later you found yourself liking? If so, what was it that changed your perspective on it?
Parks and Recreation, for sure. I remember trying to watch the first season and just giving up because I didn’t like anyone on the show and it felt like it wanted to be The Office which I was already done with. A few years later, people online were talking about it and raving about it and I think that is when it appeared on Netflix. And I was like “What is the deal? That show was terrible?” but everyone assured me I just needed to get past that first season.
Whoa nelly, were they RIGHT! The first season was just a mess, it was trying to be something it wasn’t. I found out later (I listened to Amy Poehler’s autobiography so that is the level of obsessed I became with the show afterwards) they had an extended break between Season 1 and 2 because of the writer’s strike and Poehler’s pregnancy, but it worked in their favor, giving the showrunners time to think about what they really wanted the show to be.
By season 2, the characters that everyone would grow to love appeared. Instead of being incompetent and ditzy, Leslie Knope became dedicated to her town, her job and her coworkers and the comedy came from her passion going to far sometimes, but not to the point of feeling like she was ridiculous. Leslie and Ann’s friendship became a powerful force at the center of the show. Ron, Tom, Andy and April went beyond the caricatures they started as and become fully fleshed out characters that felt like real people. And with the addition of Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) and Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott), the show just clicked.
The show managed to balance comedy and social commentary and character arcs over the next six seasons.
It is a rare comedy show that lets its characters learn and change and grow, but Parks and Recreation did just that, and by the series finale, they had all helped each other become better people.
I should have known – it seems that shows that have rough starts tend to have the strongest finishes, while series that have amazing first seasons tend to falter, or at least, not be able to reach the high bar they set from the get go every again.
And to think a show that I switched off in the middle of the first season became one of my top ten shows of all time!
Was there a show, movie, or book that you had a similar experience with?