Like a classic book series, or your favorite film franchise, no television show is completely flawless. Long form storytelling offers a lot of narrative potential, but also creates more opportunities to royally screw up that potential, and one bad plotline can be all it takes to ruin a good show. A bad story or two hasn’t kept some of the all time best programs from being just that however, and in retrospect, many stumbles that initially appeared toxic, turned out to be relatively harmless overall.
That doesn’t mean those mistakes didn’t suck horribly in the moment though, and a show bouncing back from a bad turn should be remembered just as much as what caused the problem in the first place. So let’s take a pained look back at when our favorite shows were saddled with some of the very worst of story arcs, the likes of which include forced romances, agrarian vacations, and plenty of surprise murders.