One of the biggest struggles for any twist-heavy drama series is sustainability. Especially on broadcast, many surprising one-hour shows run out of gas in Season 1, forced to frontload their twists in order to attract an audience (or face cancellation). Though not on a network, “Bloodline” looked to be a prime example of this in its first season. The Netflix drama was so focused on hooking viewers right away it gave away its biggest secret in the first episode.
And yet…Season 2 is somehow better. Despite a twist that can’t be repeated (or backed off), the sophomore entry of Glenn Kessler, Daniel Zelman and Todd Kessler’s extreme familial case study found a stronger angle than its early entry, honing a few troublesome areas and introducing exciting new elements that really work. “How’d they do it?” should be a question many modern showrunners are asking, in the hopes of replicating such success in their owns shows, but also because “Bloodline” is such an incredible rarity.
Barring radical but planned changes (like most dramatic anthologies) and ignoring the gradual growth of most high-quality TV shows (like “The West Wing”), Very Good TV Podcast tries to sort through the history of significant course-correction on TV. Discussing shows ranging from “Bloodline” to “Parks and Recreation,” Indiewire TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller and TV Critic Ben Travers attempt to get to the bottom of what makes for very good TV — in Season 2s, specifically.
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