Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Shows on Life Support

A while ago I did a list on this blog of 20 shows I thought had been canceled before their time. I may need to add three more to that list if the networks have their way.

Terminator: The Sara Connor Chronicles
At the end of LAST season the rumors where flying the show had been canceled. Thankfully it hadn't and we got some of the best episodes yet. I had low expectations for this series before it aired, but it quickly became one of my "must see" shows each week. So, of course, this show is once again rumored to be on FOX's chopping block. I was a bit reluctant to get too into the show simply BECAUSE it airs on FOX, given their piss-poor track record when it comes to science-fiction shows. I seriously wonder why anyone even pitches sci-fi to that network anymore, it's equivalent to putting a target on a show. I'm also starting to think that anyone who was involved with "Firefly" and gets a subsequent show also airing on FOX shouldn't get too comfortable. Why, oh why, couldn't all those asshat FOX Broadcasting executives get Swine Flu and be replaced by people who have an f---ing clue what good television is?

Ok, this show wasn't "must see TV" for me, I really didn't care if I missed an episode - but that was mostly because the title character's "geek cred" was unconvincing. Putting sideburns and a short sleeve button shirt with a pen protector in the front pocket does not a geek nor nerd make. But the series had it's moments and was better than they usual network offerings. But it has spent this entire season with a sword dangling over its head and may not get renewed. I have mixed feelings about that given the way the last episode went - Chuck "downloads" the ability to go Kung Fu on the bad guys. If he has "super powers" (something even alluded to earlier in the episode) they don't really have much of a show anymore. The whole point was that he wasn't a spy, he was supposed to be a nerd who couldn't fight or fire a gun. If they turn him into a competent spy the show would suck anyway. Which is why I'd have to think if the show DOES get renewed the new abilities would have to have some major downside (like they'll make his brain hemmorage or something) or he was only able to do it that once because he'd JUST downloaded it.

I also have to wonder why Joss Whedon pitches shows to FOX anymore. I don't think the executives there like him very much given how eagerly they'll cancel his shows. Consider what Robert Bianco of USA Today wrote: "that [Joss Whedon's] most devoted fans will debate and embrace [Dollhouse], and a mass audience just won't get." That, right there, is the problem. The "mass audience." Those guys SUCK! The network execs want shows that more people will watch so they can sell more expensive advertising time slots. As was said in "Men in Black," a person can be smart, people are stupid. The networks WANT those stupid viewers, especially the ones so easily manipulated by advertisers they'll actually be convinced to by the sponsor's products. That doesn't bode well for ANY show that is intelligent. Actually it probably doesn't bode well for our nation that the stupidest among us apparently have the most valued opinion about what shows should be renewed. Though I'm torn between deciding if the stupidest are WATCHING the shows or sitting in the executive offices of the networks? Either way, I've resisted the urge to get too into "Dollhouse" simply because I was fairly certain (right from episode 1) that FOX was going to cancel it without even showing all the episodes. Last I heard episode 13 isn't going to air. Sayonara, Echo.

EDIT: May 18th, 2009
Just heard today that Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has been canceled. Dollhouse got a stay of execution, mostly because of fan support.

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