It’s a question i think we all have (if you watch TV series) asked ourselves at least once when you found out after a great evolution of a TV series (and i don’t mean shows, but episodes, movies), goes bad or ends unexpectedly without much word from it again.
Unfortunately, i think the main reason to blame is the audience, and especially the American audience who watch the show and them being the main target they kinda decide, of course based on ratings.
And unfortunately the American public isn’t the smartest of them all. If stuff doesn’t make sense to them because they’re too stupid for it, well then I’m sorry, then everything has to end! Didn’t you see the tons of stupidush, short comedy series? That’s what they want, easy, no-fuss, superficial, laughable TV series. And yes, the acclaimed series „Friends” falls into that category as well (it’s above the average, but still). I’m sorry to say that about them, but Americans are just like Al Bundy (in „Just Married, with Children”) or like Homer Simpson. Stupid, superficial and they don’t want to waste their time trying to understand more or have a deeper thought of something. They do that enough at work (or do they? don’t they import their more knowleadgable scientists?).
Why does everything have to rely on ratings? Well unfortunately, in this world almost everything revolves around money. The bigger the ratings, the bigger the money and the interest in the show. And the american audience isn’t a small one.
First situation is when a great series ends when it could do (and even make a point) so much more. Take for example Stargate SG-1. They’re one of the few series that after defeating a great and all powerful villain/race, the Goa’uld they managed to bring up an even greater one, the Auri with way more possibilities for greater plots and situations.
Indeed (as Teal’c used to say 😉 ), in some seasons the ratio of fill-up episodes (this is how i call the ones which aren’t great; are there just to make another episode with nothing great in them) increased but that’s because they wanted more money. They split up around season 7-8 (10 seasons in total) into 2 series, to parallel story lines with different actors and situations into Stargate Atlantis and Stargate SG-1. Not only that Atlantis is far worse and not so much fun / enjoyment as SG-1 but they promoted it even more and pumped a lot more marketing, money and good writers into it. SG-1 needed just that but it was left behind because Atlantis isn’t so complicated, maybe religious and easier to understand for the general American.
And it’s not the only case, another good series shut down: „The 4400”. Come on, this show had everything, heroes, intrigues, twisted and unexpected situations good actors. But no, something of such good quality and difficulty in understanding for an everyday Joe is just too much! „Heroes” a similar show came out (same idea, different perspective and story) but it think this one is gone too (haven’t seen it in a while, although it ended semi-open, if you know anything certain about it please let me know).
Since i brought Matt Groening up (creator of „The Simpsons” – cartoons more for adults then children), here’s another creation of his who was told it would be continued but too bad that it hasn’t: „Futurama„. As he said it: „While the Simpsons are my way of making fun of the American family, Futurama is my way of making fun of everything, the world”. Great series, but having more cultural and elevated gags. As i explained earlier, exactly this could very well be the reason it was discontinued. Another one down the drain.
It’s a pity to end good series, with fans and people appreciating them just because of a certain „uninterested majority”. Why do us other people have to suffer extra because there are more idiot people around us? Why do they get to decide for us? Try at least to make then pay-per-view!
Another situation, which has also arisen because of the general intelligence level is that good series go bad. An example would be „Battlestar Galactica„. The premise, the starting idea was genius. Although this current version of the series is the only one who managed to be ended and reach this level among the way they made it more commercial, more soap-opera-ish. It was great the way it was, we needed no extra sugar and over grily–sentimentalish (there’s a great word in Romanian for this: „a devenit siropos„). But no, it had to cover a broader audience exactly because of the god damn ratings and average people’s interests.
The above mentioned are not the only examples, there are plenty. By the way, why did the „Star trek – The Next Generation” series end and got replaced by shitty replicas / wannabees? „Star Trek” made history. As i viewed the full series i realised just how much of an inspiration it was to all other current Sci-Fi series/movies.
Now coming back to Al Bundy and Homer Simpson, you might think it offends them, the everyday American guy, but no, quite the opposite, he can find himself in those situations and without realising he laughs about himself. And maybe even if he realises it, he’s satisfied with the situation and doesn’t try to correct everything and if shit (to be read parody, irony) goes to far, hell, no problem, we’ll make sure to discontinue it.
Well this is our world, our reality 😦 . No matter of petitions, demands of fans (real ones, not the stupid american type, although some might be among them). Well in the case of Stargate they decided to make to 2 more movies (direct to DVD if I’m not mistaken) but i was a little disappointed in one of them (the next is still to be released). All this was done because of the request of the fans to continue the series (who also demanded they focus on SG-1 and stop Atlantis).
What do you think about this shitty, almost no choice situation?
Since i don’t want to end on such a tragic note i recommend you click on the pictures for details on the series from IMDB (and lots of pictures). Also i want to give you another good link: Epguides – a great site to find out when, what series is being aired on TV with a link on each episode for details on it (especially good if you’re from Romania or some country where the TV stations take these series way to late and you get them from the net).
This is only the beginning because i think there’s lots more to say but i don’t want to bore you in one single, way-to-long post. But as it goes in real life with good TV series – it might be continued, it might not be 😉 .