8. Supergirl's drop in quality (and production values)
When Supergirl premiered on CBS in 2015, it looked like one of the most expensive shows on television. Its huge budget made it look like a movie, while its uplifting and triumphant tone made it the perfect light-hearted superhero story. Yes, from its impressive special effects and its rich lighting to that goosebump-inducing theatrical score, watching Supergirl on TV weekly was an experience.
Fast forward six years, and the show was a dull shell of what it once was with a fraction of the budget and drawn-out and repetitive villains. It also took itself too seriously and lost the charm of what once made it so special. The regression was visible at first glance, too. All you had to do was look at the lighting, for the glorious warm colors in Cat Grant's office were replaced with a dull blue palette that made it so visually unappealing. And speaking of Cat Grant, the loss of Calista Flockhart as a series regular after the show's move to The CW really impacted it, as it was never quite the same without that bond between Cat and Kara.
The longer a show goes on, the more its budget will be reduced, so that explains much of the downgrade in Supergirl's final few seasons, but its repetitive writing was also a huge problem. The show often thrived when it tackled important themes and raised awareness on relevant topics (its fourth season is the perfect example of this) but its more basic, villain-centric episodes couldn't compete with their counterparts in the first three seasons. They were so mundane by comparison.
A lot of people like to blame Supergirl's downfall solely on its move to The CW but that isn't entirely true. The show was still great during its second, third, and fourth seasons, with the first two of those still opting for ambitious alien-centric stories that featured solid special effects. It wasn't until season 5 that the issues truly set in. After that, it was just going through the motions on a weekly basis.
Supergirl will always hold a special place in my heart. It might have been my favorite Arrowverse show, which is why it was so frustrating to see it fall victim to such a visual downfall the longer that it went on. But hey, we'll always have those first few seasons.