Not too long ago, I was on a message board discussing the pilot for Lee Daniels' new TV series Star. Most of the other commenters didn't have many flattering things to say about it, myself included. It wasn’t terrible, but at the same time, Star didn’t grab me like the pilot episodes of Empire, Being Mary Jane or Grey’s Anatomy.
However, someone pointed out that many amazing, classic TV shows have had horrible pilots. Turns out, it's true! Here are some of the most entertaining shows out there, past and present, that had wack pilots:
1. Living Single
When I was 12 years old, Living Single premiered in the fall of 1993 (that just shows how old I am), and I couldn’t wait to see it. I mean, Queen Latifah was actually going to be on a TV show! For everyone who's under the age of 25 reading this article, Queen Latifah was known more for her music than her work in film and television back in the early ‘90s. I was even more psyched to see Kim Fields make a comeback. After all, I loved her as Tootie in The Facts of Life (which further shows how old I am).
However, despite my excitement, the pilot sorely disappointed me. The jokes were weak and the storyline for that particular episode was even weaker. (Regine’s dating a married man! Let’s talk her out of it!)
I figured that the show had some potential, though, so I gave it another chance. Thankfully, it got better and better, and it soon became one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, in my humble opinion. And yes, I liked it better than Friends.
I’ve loved Morris Chestnut ever since Boyz ‘N the Hood was released (that man gets finer as he gets older!), so when it was announced that Rosewood would air on Fox in 2015, I was keenly interested. However, the pilot episode was a complete snoozefest, and Rosie was a bit too cocky and annoying for my taste.
Yes, even a fine man can manage to get on my last nerve under certain circumstances. I'm happy to say that since the pilot aired, they’ve scaled down Rosie’s character just enough to make him humorous, yet interesting, and the storylines have become a lot more thrilling.
3. Hawaii Five-0
Although I’ve shown my age throughout this article, I’m too young to remember the original Hawaii Five-0 series, if you can believe it. My mother loved it, though, and I watched the pilot for the reboot with her when it aired back in 2010.
My mom enjoyed the pilot, but I was bored to tears. I honestly don’t remember much of the premiere episode, aside from Steve uttering the famous line, “Book ‘em, Danno.” Thankfully, as time has gone on, and more characters have been introduced, Hawaii Five-0 is a lot more memorable and action-packed.
- Best TV Shows Of All Time: Top TV Series You Must Watch
- 7 New TV Shows From 2016 That Made The World A Better Place
- It's Prime Time: 18 Best TV Shows On Amazon Prime
4. The Golden Girls
Anyone who knows me knows that I adore The Golden Girls. I didn’t watch the show during its original 1985-1993 run. I was a little girl then, and I had no interest in watching a show about old people…or at least, that’s what I thought about it at the time. However, my college roommate got me hooked on the show during my sophomore year, and I’ve loved it ever since.
Too bad the pilot left much to be desired. If it wasn’t for Sophia, the first episode would’ve been completely forgettable.
One of the things that really didn’t fit with the premiere episode was the cook they tried to introduce. First of all, he was a lot younger than the other ladies, and that threw off the dynamic. It was a sitcom about middle-aged women. It’d be a different matter if he was around the ladies’ age, but he wasn’t.
The other reason he wasn’t a good fit is the fact that these women were all either divorced or widowed, and they lived during a time period when it was necessary for a woman to cook for her husband. Why would they need a cook if they all already knew how to cook? Not only that, but they didn’t have large incomes, which was the reason they all lived together in the first place. How could they afford a cook?
Thankfully, the writers soon came to their senses and allowed the women to live in the house sans live-in help, and came up with extraordinary storylines and jokes, allowing the show to make its mark in TV history.
5. Game Of Thrones
Yes, you read that correctly. Game of Thrones had a wack pilot. I started watching the show because I love Jason Momoa, and I was extremely interested in seeing him portray Khal Drogo. About 20 minutes into the pilot episode, I started losing interest, and actually stopped paying attention.
By the time the show was 30 minutes in, I remember saying to myself, “I don’t think this is for me.” Then, at the very end, Jaime pushed Bran out of a tower window after the boy caught him and Cersei getting their freak on. I’ve been hooked ever since!
The series just improved more and more from there. Truth be told, whenever I watch the pilot now, I enjoy it a bit more than I did the first time I saw it, possibly due to the fact that I understand a lot more of what’s going on and I know what’s going to happen. Jon will go from the Stark family reject to the undisputed head of the clan. Tyrion will be a boss, though no one will appreciate that fact until he goes to Meereen. Dany will transform from a timid young princess to the ass-kickin’ Mother of Dragons.
Still, the pilot remains the weakest episode in the entire six-season run, proving that even one of the biggest powerhouses HBO has ever produced can have a dud.
Do you agree with the list? Which TV shows do you believe had absolutely wack pilots? Let me know in the comments section!