Why You Didn't Watch It The First Time: The previews for Nikita made the show seem like an bland, exploitative copy of La Femme Nikita. Also, the pilot took itself too seriously and the twist that makes the series different didn't come until the very end after you probably already stopped watching.
Why You Should Give It Another Chance: Nikita is an entertaining escapist pleasure. At first glance it seems like a glossy spy vs. spy thriller with lots of pretty people, but the show has heart, likable characters, and has even found its humorous side in season two. I especially like that the character Nikita is so reserved and serious. Like Olivia Dunham on Fringe, Nikita keeps her emotions below the surface and focuses on her mission with an intensity usually reserved for male characters. Just when the show seems predictable, the writers do something to surprise me.
Why You Didn't Watch It The First Time: F/X burdened Terriers with a stupid name and a horrible advertising campaign so it was hard to know what the show was about.
Why You Should Give it Another Chance: This quirky detective show is like a cross between The Rockford Files and Veronica Mars. The leads are down and out guys in need of a second chance. Their banter and amiable friendship is entertaining and the cases they take start off as low-key and realistic, but quickly turn tense and dangerous while still maintaining a sense of humor. It's only 13-episodes long and the main mystery is tied up in a satisfying way.
The Vampire Diaries
Why You Didn't Watch It The First Time: The first few episodes are mediocre and seem like a bland CW version of Twilight.
Why You Should Give it Another Chance: Somewhere between episodes 7 and 9 of season one the show takes off and changes into a plot-driven guilty pleasure that is tons of fun, where the villains do evil things and the heroine gets to be gutsy and assertive and doesn't just sit around waiting to be saved. The show combines the best parts of a small town soap opera with the fun supernatural action of vampires and witches, and because it's on the CW, every character is not only entertaining but super pretty too.
All three shows are now available on Netflix Instant viewing.