I have commitment issues, I’ll admit it. This is because once I am committed to something, my brain will not let me think of anything else other than seeing my commitment through. Thus, I’ve developed a love for one-season-wonders: TV shows that do not require too much commitment before beginning. If I love it, there is only one season. If I hate it, well then, I know why it only lasted one season.
I’m keen on one-season-wonders because it allows me to enjoy watching TV without it feeling like a job (maybe that’s just a personal problem), but nonetheless I know I am not alone. Pushing through nineteen seasons of Grey’s Anatomy was a mountain I did not sign up to climb. When I started watching, I was in middle school. My preteen self was unaware of my commitment issues and thought ‘why not?’.
I fell in love with McDreamy, and Meredith became my person. I flew through the eight seasons that were out at the time. However, as more seasons came out, and I grew up, I became less and less infatuated with the characters, more aware of other shows better suited my interests. Around Season 14 I realized I was not quite enjoying the show as much as I used to. However, Season 15 was announced and coming out in a few months. Some might ask, ‘why didn’t you just stop?’. I physically could not. I sat through the next four seasons, completely out of tune, barely paying attention. It became a job for me to finish, but something in me said ‘see it through’. This voice isn’t as daunting during one-season-wonders.
As such a broad and creative genre, Sci-Fi has a huge inventory of great shows that have tried and failed. Not because they are bad, but because their competition was better. Among my favorites is Star-Crossed. When an alien spacecraft lands in six-year-old Emery’s town resulting in an immediate battle, she befriends one of the young Atrians, whom she helps until authorities capture him. Ten years later, a group of Atrian teens is allowed to enroll in the high school to test the ability of the two species to mix, and Emery learns that Roman, the boy she helped, wasn’t killed — as she had thought — but kept in an internment camp with the rest of the aliens. The two rekindle their relationship, while animosity continues to grow between the two communities, putting Roman and Emery’s bond — and the chance for peace — to the test.
Though the show is geared more towards young adults, as most CW Network shows are, I did catch my 60-year-old father watching from the kitchen. Take that how you may.
Freaks and Geeks is a one-season-wonder that should have been much more. Growing up circa 1980, Sam Weir and his misfit high-school pal will probably become new media millionaires, but for now, they are stuck in high school, where the bullies are stronger, and the girls are a foot taller. Meanwhile, Sam’s older sister is navigating high school with her kid brother now in the same halls. This drama is funny and relevant with a sprinkle of nostalgia. This show was by far a favorite of mine, and of Rotten Tomatoes, who awarded it a 100% on the tomatometer. Freaks and Geeks can be found on Hulu and Prime Video.
Everybody loves a great comedy, especially ones that are not extended too long. Girlboss is the perfect example. Inspired by Sophia Amoruso’s best-selling book, this series follows the rise of Amoruso’s multi-million-dollar fashion empire, Nasty Gal. Sophia, a rebellious, broke anarchist who decides to start selling vintage clothing online. As her passion — and retail fashion empire — begins to grow, Sophia unexpectedly becomes a businesswoman, who starts realizing the value (and difficulties) of being the boss of her own life. Girlboss can be watched on Netflix.
Crime fighting and FBI shows can feel a bit overdone. As somebody who has watched them all, I can assure you this next one-season-wonder is different. Putting an insider twist on characters and pulling the plot lines in unexpected directions makes it extremely entertaining and feel new.
The Night Agent follows an FBI agent hired to do an undesirable and seemingly pointless job. While monitoring an emergency line, the FBI agent answers a call that plunges him into a deadly conspiracy involving a mole at the White House. The series can be watched on Netflix and came out within this calendar year. Though the story does not end on a cliff-hanger, I’m secretly holding onto hope there will be another season.
A show with one season does not mean it is bad, in the same way multiple seasons does not make a show good. One-season-wonders are a favorite of mine, as well as my fellow binge-watchers who can’t make it through nineteen seasons of Grey’s Anatomy.