Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Unresolved TV shows

Dear TV execs:

I have a bone to pick with you. Each year, I am drawn into one, two, or twelve new shows. Some get renewed, others don’t. But when shows are canceled unexpectedly—sometimes in mid-season—there’s no chance of resolution. These permanent cliff-hangers keep me on edge and, like the Kennedy assassination and Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance, drive me cuckoo crazy with unanswered questions.

Twin Peaks ended before we found out what led up to Laura Palmer winding up in a body bag at the base of Snoqualmie Falls. At least David Lynch had the courtesy to give us the prequel Twin Peaks: Fire, Walk with Me. But fuck me if it clarified shit: it made about as much sense as a dwarf in a velvet suit dancing in slow motion and talking about the White Lodge. It was as clear as Agent Cooper's cup of black coffee. But you get points for trying, Dave.

My teenage years were permanently scarred when Paper Dolls went off the air. The show was about models, Morgan Fairchild was in it, and it ended with a giant department store fire. In other words, it was pretty much perfect. I’ll never know if Nicollette Sheridan and those rad Nolan Miller dresses survived or if Terry Farrell’s modeling career was cut down in its prime due to her first-degree burns. ABC, choke on my remote.

Millenium never made it to the year 2000 so I have no goddamn idea if the world ended or Lance Henricksen finally showed some emotion and stopped looking like that preternaturally calm android he played in Aliens.

Could you cut us a break? We suffer through bad plot lines, long-winded expository dialogue, and enough beer commercials to make us pissed-ass drunk just by watching them. The least you could do is to clean up after yourselves. Tie up loose storylines somehow: Act out Angel’s fate on youtube, post the final script for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip online (don’t tell me Aaron Sorkin doesn’t have one), send up some smoke signals to resolve Carnivàle… Do something, anything to take care of business, take care of your viewers.

If you don’t, I’m going to sic Bob, Laura Palmer’s freaky killer-in-her-dad’s-body, on you. I’ll pour some black coffee, cut a slice of pie, and pull up a chair. I can’t wait to see what happens next.


What prematurely canceled shows caused you to die a little on the inside?



Heather - said...

CARNIVALE, seriously!! That's one I will ALWAYS wonder about. Or how about the unresolved Deadwood? Apparently they just didn't make the last three episodes.

And, no lack of resolution, but I will always wish there was another season (or two) of Firefly.

Average Jane Crafter said...

Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared. MAN! I crave new episodes of those *so* badly. :-/

Chris said...

oh, for the love of the baby jesus, did you HAVE to bring up Paper Dolls?!? holy thigh-highs! It was bad enough that you made me think about Carnivale and the complete WASTE of the week following the news THAT wasn't coming back. I mean, that week is just a blur of crumpled Pabst cans, scuffling along dirt roads, and sleeping in big tents with the scorpions. And I don't EVEN want you to mention Veronica Mars. That shit did me in COMPLETELY!

Thanks for the memories, though.

Heather - said...

Oh yes, I'm working my way back through Veronica Mars season 1 right now... I totally forgot that it ended without an ending.

CarlaCarlaCarlaCarla said...

WTF happened to Dexter during Season Four? It just kinda went away. And now Showtime's claiming that it's finally fixinta start back with new episodes this-coming weekend?

Forgive my impatience if it turns out one of the show's stars was gravely ill or worse. It's just that my empty life revolved around it.

Unknown said...

To be fair they're working out Angel's fate in the comics. But Carnivale and Veronica Mars are giant aching holes in my heart.

Jennifer Worick said...

I never watched V. Mars but I feel for y'all and I'm about to Netflix it. I was going to mention Freaks & Geeks but I don't remember if it ended on a cliff-hanger; those are the cancellations that really get my goat.

Yay, Angel comics!

Kristi said...

Reunion - the one where each episode was one year; showing the progression of these high school kids with a dirty secret. One of them "accidentally" killed one of the others. But who did it, who was killed and when did it happen? I know none of those answers, the show was cancelled mid-season. Those TV exec bitches.

Kats Eliz said...

Maybe I was the only one watching last season's show, Kings, but it's not coming back and now I'ma all involved.
What will soldier David Shepherd do now that the princess has told him they can't be together because she's already betrothed to a man her father chose for her?
Will Prince Jack get his revenge after the King passed him over because of his homosexuality?
And will the queen's brother continue to fund the economy with their family's money now that he feels betrayed by the king?

Kats Eliz said...

Humble Pie, oh the taste of it.
I googled Kings and found out they only changed what night it's on. But I was right that it had been listed as cancelled.
While I'm embarrassed at my premature rant, I'm PSYCHED to know it'll be back!

DJ said...

Carnivale - YES! And I agree with Crafter about Freaks and Geeks. Sure the later episodes went steadily downhill, but that doesn't mean the rest of us weren't waiting for *something* to happen.

The only possible thing that I'd like to punch in the face MORE than this is shows that end in a terrible way. Um, Quantum Leap, anyone? "Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home." The day my adolescent eyes saw that was the day I wanted to see if you could kick someone in the ass and punch them in the face at the same time.

Don't even get me started on Kevin and Winnie not getting together at the end of The Wonder Years. Too...painful...

Thanks for the memories, f-ing TV.

hello. said...

OMG I totally forgot about Reunion! I loved that show,it was really good. The series pretty much would have only lasted one or two seasons. So I don't understand why FOX never finished it out. Another show NBC never ended was American Dreams. The thing is the show had an alternate ending to wrap it up. But because NBC couldn't make up their minds on whether to cancel it or not, they ended it on a cliff hanger. Boo. American Dreams is still one of my all time favorite shows.

Venting Is A Girl's Best Friend said...

errrr can i say lipstick jungle?

Nancy in A2 said...

Pushing Daisies. The pain.

CarlaCarlaCarlaCarla said...

Unresolved TV shows
comment thread revisited:

Woah, turns out someone was battling illness — the star of the show. And who came back a bigger badass than ever!

Anonymous said...

Oh, the list is long ....

1) Firefly
2) Drive
3) Strange Luck
4) John Doe
5) Tru Calling

Mostly on Fox. Huh. Imagine that. If you ever needed a subject for your punch list, can we add broadcast companies who torture their viewers by picking up interesting and innovative shows only to cruelly cancel them inside a season for the likes of inane, make-you-want-to-gouge-your-eyes-out shows like reality tv, stupid contests like AI and their ilk, and elimation contests like Survivor?

Grahhhh ...