Some of the most amazing stories I’ve ever had the opportunity to experience…I’ve never been able to discover their conclusion;
‘Their Good Ending’, if you will.
Why? Because of insane ways of gauging success or failure.
What am I talking about? I’m speaking of television series cut short due to low “ratings”, or changes to management or just downright evil shortsightedness by suits who don’t have the first clue about what “story” means to those of us who do NOT WATCH FOR THE LAUNDRY SOAP in the breaks.
I’m sitting here writing this, brokenhearted yet again, after watching the last episode of SGU. (Stargate: Universe.)
Two seasons and it was canceled far before the projected five season arc intended for the story. Why? Because of outmoded and outdated methods for determining a show’s viability. It turns out that this particular series had a HUGE number of people following it, but the powers that be were making their determinations on whether or not it was working based upon old ways of gathering ratings. It was KNOWN that time-shifting numbers meant that the viewership was far higher than was being reported, and yet it was still canceled.
I waited until now to watch the series because it was canceled many episodes prior to the end of the season, and I couldn’t bear at that time to deal with another Firefly or Farscape. I also had hopes that perhaps the studio that owned the properties would at least give us a conclusion the way Farscape belatedly was given after the outrage that its fans vented following that cancellation.
The same horrible fate has happened to a multitude of fantastic entertainments over the last several years. I only speak to what I enjoy, and that would be science fiction stories, but this applies to any genre show out there.
Now I UNDERSTAND there are hard bottom lines involved. These things cost a ton of money to produce, and need to be profitable in order to be done. Art for its own sake is fine, but people need to be paid, companies need to show a profit to succeed, marketing/advertising needs to hit targets to work as intended.
BUT…many of these projects get destroyed for NONE of those reasons.
It is one of many reasons I prefer books to visual media. Movies are a different matter as they are self contained novellas/short stories and do not need (in general) several chapters to do what a long form story requires.
I blog this to the wind, as I believe that in two of the final episodes of SGU, I have seen some of the best story telling I’ve been privileged to absorb in my life. They are a part of a tapestry being woven by storytellers with a passion for their creation, acted out by thespians of outstanding skill. And cut short a full three seasons before Their Good Ending by what I simply call: idiots.
Stargate Universe Season Two Episodes 17-18. “Common Descent” and “Epilogue”. -just stunned and in awe of how good a story can be when done right.
Now back to working on volume two of my own long tale. I can only hope that my creation will be even a little bit as good as what I’ve just finished watching.