TV Shows Bad Season 2

Sophomore Slump: True Detective and More Shows That Imploded in Season 2

Sunday’s episode of True Detective was its fifth, meaning we’ve passed the halfway point on the HBO anthology series’ second season. By this time last season, we knew Rust and Marty pretty well — though their actions continued to intrigue us. We’d experienced the brutal ballet of the six-minute, no-cuts gun battle. We’d watched them track a bad guy and cover up a crime scene. We’d been enticed with the confusing-yet-ominous name of “The Yellow King.”

This season? We have a trio of sad-sack cops whose progress on multiple mysteries is glacial, a mobster who delivers soliloquys like he’s reading a grocery list and a transportation project that’s as riveting as… a transportation project.

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With only three episodes left before the finale, it’s time to call it: This year’s True Detective is just not as good as last year’s True Detective. And that descent from “Monday morning must-discuss” to “DVR and watch while folding laundry later this week” got us thinking about other series that mightily struggled in Season 2.

The gallery below contains eight shows — including True Detective — whose initial brilliance took a significant hit once Season 2 came around. (If you want a hint about the others, here are a few key words: “Manticore,” “nanites” and “The Initiative.”)

Don’t agree with our picks? Have suggestions for some we overlooked? Click through the photos — or go directly to the gallery here — and then hit the comments with your thoughts!