Thursday, March 01, 2007

Timing is everything.

CNN is running a story about failing tv shows that I find very interesting. I've stopped watching Lost after its hiatus this year.

Much as I love Jack and Kate and Sawyer, I'm tired of their story. I want to know what happened to the other characters. How is Hurley? Where are Jin and Sun? Is Desmond tormenting Locke? What about Charlie and Claire? It's possible that they're talking about the other characters again, but I've missed the last two weeks now, though I've been home to see it, and I don't really care.

I never watched Studio 60. I did, however, watch The Black Donnellys and I -really- enjoyed it. That's a show for a viewer like me, who has seen The Boondock Saints more than is possibly healthy. It'll be interesting to see if the "big" shows disappear. It's fascinating to me, seeing as I'm just getting started.

Got another -fantastic- review on Stacking the Deck, over at Bam's site. That's an up. Have to go to the dentist today. That's a down.

The teeter totter continues.


Tessa Dare said...

Ok, I think I better be reading Stacking the Deck! Congratulations on the great reviews.

BTW, I read your superhero story the other week and loved it. I promise, I'm going to pay to read something of yours very soon!

Alice Audrey said...

Congrats on Stacking the Deck!


Catie said...

I think most producers, even JJ Abhrams, don't go into a tv show with the idea that it's going to last more than a couple of seasons. They often seem to have ideas for that long, but if it keeps going, it's like they're unprepared for it and lose the touch that made it work in the first place.

X-Files had that sort of problem, worsened by the fact that they apparently .never. had a plan, and all their hints at conspiracy theories started to need resolution and they had no clue at *all* what to do with it. Babylon 5 turned everything on its ear by /having/ a long-term plan. One of my favorite things to see is how DS9 changed because of Bab5. B5 fell apart in the last season, but it was like DS9 said, "Wow! Look! We can do a five year story arc and people will stick with it!" and really nailed the concept.

They also had the good sense to quit while they were ahead. Very very few producers have that much sense. Highlander only went a little further than it should've, because Adrian Paul was so sick of it, but their fifth season was hands down the best season. Buffy, OTOH, much as I loved some /aspects/ of sixth season (we do not speak of 7th), should've ended with season 5 (though Buffy's season-long story arc format was really, really well done, and showed that people will in fact tune in to keep up with a story that doesn't end within one episode).

I think it's a *damned* rare show that's got more than 5 seasons worth in it. SG:1 held it together until RDA started phoning in his performances (I haven't seen 9th and 10th seasons yet, so I donno how the new cast holds up), but I don't know that enough new ground was broken in the second half of the series to justify the number of years it was on. Defeating the G'o'auld would've been a fine five year arc and left everybody (ie, the cast) not-exhausted with the show.

The flip side, of course, is that an awful lot of shows take a season or two to find their stride (re: Highlander, or hell, TNG). That sort of suggests to me that on average, you've got 3 seasons worth of potentially good TV out of any one show. There are exceptions: if you *do* know what you're doing going in (like Farscape or Alias) you can hit the ground running. Farscape was sufficiently well-planned (nevermind the cancellation problem) that it didn't have a chance to peter out; Alias did. Similarly--though I wouldn't have said this at the time it aired--I think Firefly knew what it was doing. (Unfortunately, *Fox* didn't know what it was doing, but that's whole different kettle of fish.)

(I observe that I'm talking exclusively about SF/supernatural sorts of shows. I don't watch anything else, so I got nothin' on how they're run. :) Also, I'm aware I'm preaching to the choir, but hey, what can you do? :))

I wonder if this is going to be too long for the comments. :)