This may sound completely insane but I think that Pokémon might be headed in the right direction. The reason I can make this claim is largely due to character development. For one thing, the series has some of the most experienced villains that I can think of in the form of the Team Rocket trio and it also helps that they have believable personalities. Ash's traveling buddies come and go but I cannot think of a single one of them that had a totally negative impact on the show. (at least as far as I could tell) Ash's pokemon get credit in this department because they managed to overcome tough situations even when they were weak, which eventually shows growth.
And then there is the case of Ash himself. The only reason why it is acceptable for Ash to continue to make dumb choices (like checking the pokedex for creatures that he has already seen repeatedly) is because once upon a time, he also made good choices. In a bizzare way, Ash is similar to a real person due to him maturing over time but still being very capable of making mistakes. Because of all of this, I predict that the next season of the anime will be one of the better ones and possibly even surpass the first.
Before that though, we must ponder the mystery of how the hero has not aged even though 5 generations have gone by. Personally I would like for it to be explained through a time loop or something similar but a much more boring answer is that time passes at a different rate in Ash's world. It may be that they live in a universe with multiple Christmas seasons and weather changes not based in reality. Theoretically it could be possible but I am sure that there are countless other explanations as well.