TV shows can be good, they can be great but sometimes — just sometimes, they can be downright awful. The decade was filled with so many great and triumphant TV moments, but with the good, we also have to take the bad. These are the moments in good (sometimes great) shows that well and truly lost us.
The 2010s were filled with blockbusters, from the boom of the Avengers franchise to the new era of Star Wars. There were movies that frighted and delighted. Movies that moved us and films that fulfilled us. And then, there were these films. The ones that we had high hopes for, and the ones that broke our hearts. These are the most disappointing films of the decade, and why we wish they'd never been made.
Heroes Reborn - Everything About It
Heroes was an absolute phenomenon when it first released in 2006, and a triumph for nerd culture. It was grim and gritty superheroes before they were in vogue — but these heroes weren't covered in tights or capes, they were real people with real stories. Unfortunately, the success of the show was waylaid by the 2007-2008 Writer's Guild Strike in the U.S. It meant fans were treated to three follow-up seasons of trash.
In an effort to rewrite Heroes' tragic fate, NBC made the call to create a sequel series, 2015's Heroes Reborn. While many of the original heroes returned, the most popular — Peter Petrelli, Claire Bennet and Sylar — didn't, and were replaced by lacklustre new heroes and a boring, sub-par story. This was one sequel series that should never have been made, and it disappointed fans everywhere.
The Walking Dead - Carl Dies
People die in The Walking Dead. They die often. After all, it is a show about a post-apocalyptic world filled with murderous zombies. But Carl's death hurt worse than most, because he was one of the emotional lynchpins of the show. His death felt done purely for shock value, and for the turmoil it would put Rick through. More than that, Carl's death was used only as a way to redeem Negan.
Carl was one of the few survivors in The Walking Dead comics, going on to survive the entire series and eventually having a child with his loving wife. The choice to deviate from the source material in such a manner was a major disappointment, and one that The Walking Dead fans were extremely vocal about.
Gossip Girl - Gossip Girl Is Finally Revealed
While Gossip Girl is hardly a genre show, the revelation of the show's mysterious Gossip Girl and long-time burn book holder/saboteur in 2012 was so phenomenally disappointing that nearly everyone got caught up in the drama. In the show, Gossip Girl was a mysterious figure who knew secrets about Manhattan's Upper East Side that caused constant drama among the cast of the show.
While viewers knew it had to be someone close to the main characters, the eventual reveal of Dan Humphrey was so lacklustre that it ended the series on a bum note. The reveal just flat out made no sense, and meant that several times, Dan would have thrown himself under the bus via Gossip Girl's rumours. It was clear that the writers hadn't planned ahead here, making the Gossip Girl reveal one of the decade's most disappointing and non-sensical series wrap-ups.
Game of Thrones - Finale
Game of Thrones took the world by storm in 2011, and enjoyed a steady run at the top, with only minor pitfalls on its way there. And then, the final season was unleashed on the world, and it was... kinda bad. Bran inherited the Iron Throne in the end, Daenarys was murdered and swept under the rug, Cersei and Jamie got crushed under some boulders and Jon just up and returned to Castle Black like nothing had happened.
It's rare for shows to stick the landing, but Game of Thrones well and truly missed here. Storylines were cut off abruptly, decisions made little sense, characters didn't get the justice they deserved, and the whole thing felt extremely inconsequential. It was a disappointment, through and through.
Stranger Things - "The Lost Sister"
Stranger Things is an incredible series, and follows the town of Hawkins as it's overrun by the forces of darkness. Not this episode, though. "The Lost Sister" follows Eleven on her journey to Chicago, where she encounters a whole gang of punks, and a girl with similar powers to her. It's not so much a bad episode as it is a very weird one. It's so tonally dissonant from the rest of the show that it was a strange choice for inclusion.
Plus, despite picking at very interesting threads — like the fact that there's at least ten other kids with magical abilities in the world of Stranger Things, the plot was immediately dropped following the episode, and hasn't been mentioned since. This was probably for the best.
Cancelled TV Shows - Various
Every year, TV shows are taken from us — many of them far, far too soon. Cancellations can be devastating, and we lost many great shows over the last decade. Netflix's Sense8, which explored the idea of shared consciousness, was terminated in 2018. Bryan Fuller's Hannibal, following the titular cannibal, was defeated in 2015. Netflix animated series Tuca and Bertie, about the friendship between two women, flew the coop on 2019 after just one season. Community died a quiet death in 2015, without realising its dream of a follow-up movie.
Marvel's TV offerings — Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders — were all ceremoniously cancelled earlier in 2019 too, as Disney made plans for the launch of Disney+. Also taken from us too soon this decade: The OA, Santa Clarita Diet, Scream Queens, and many, many more. Long may these shows rest in peace.
Twin Peaks: The Return - "Part 18"
David Lynch was never going to end Twin Peaks by wrapping it up with a big, shiny bow. But it didn't feel like too much to ask that the finale answered at least some of the lingering questions about the show's many mysteries. How did Diane end up eyeless and disfigured? Who was Freddie Sykes? Who was Judy?
Instead, 26 years later, Lynch used the final moments of Twin Peaks to establish an alternate reality where Laura Palmer wasn't Laura Palmer at all — but to really understand the ending, Twin Peaks fans would've had to get reading. Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier by Mark Frost was the final chapter in the Twin Peaks story, and went some ways to explaining why Agent Dale Cooper discovered an alternate Laura when he travelled back into the past.
In saving Laura Palmer from death, Cooper had unwittingly created an alternate reality where she'd never existed at all — and where everybody's memories of her had also disappeared. While it's not entirely clear, the book seems to explain that the Laura that Cooper stumbled upon in the past was actually a time-and-memory displaced Laura, although even that concept raised more questions than answers. After waiting 26 years, seeing Twin Peaks end on more cliffhangers was decidedly Lynchian, but also a major disappointment for fans of the series.
The Office - Jim & Pam's Relationship Struggles
The Office struggled once comedy powerhouse Steve Carell departed the show in season seven. In seeking new ground for the office drama, the writers chose Jim and Pam to target — a couple that'd been on steady ground for three solid seasons. Rather than finding the couple their brilliant, shiny couples-goals selves in season nine, Jim and Pam were on the rocks.
Jim's desire to join his friend's sports venture overrode Pam's desire for a quiet and family-oriented life, and as the season went on, their relationship become more and more unhappy. Eventually they go to couples counselling, and Jim leaves his friend's business according to Pam's wishes (and later Pam sells their house so they can leave and fulfil Jim's dreams), but the whole thing felt so very off, especially when a plot was introduced that had Pam getting close to a male crew member. The show spent so long established Pam and Jim as right for each other that the final season's direction with their stories was a major disappointment, and one that rarely understood the importance of compromise in relationships.
The 100 - Lexa's Death
Man, television really doesn't want gay couples to be happy. This was firmly established in The CW's The 100, a post-apocalyptic drama about the first people to return to Earth following a nuclear event. Lexa was a warrior who shunned love, but eventually found it in her relationship with Clarke Griffin, the leader of the humans who returned to Earth.
But after finally realising her true feelings and sleeping with Clarke, Lexa was shot and killed just moments later. In the end, she died for nothing, and her death only served to anger a fanbase and deny Clarke the true happiness she deserved. This was an extremely poor decision, and one that should never have been made in the first place.
Here's to a new decade, and to the many more TV disappointments that we're sure to encounter in the years to come.