Saturday, February 4, 2012

What a Great TV Show. Cancel It!

Not every conspiracy is a theory.
I think programs on TV that reveal certain aspects of truth tend to be canceled. Case in point: Rubicon (starring James Badge Dale). It discussed an Illuminati type conspiracy that was uncovered accidentally by someone who pushed toward finding the answers, and was beginning to succeed. It was canceled and replaced by a show about zombies that has become a "hit." Riiiiiiight, because I'd so much rather know about zombies than what goes on in the real world. You zombie-lovers out there -- pardon me. The undead have their due honor and place, but a show with the caliber of Rubicon deserved a better chance. One other detail that I found refreshing was the high placement of a powerful gay man within the corporation, played with delightful, manly relish by Arliss Howard.
The Event
The Event was another TV show (starred Blair Underwood) that discussed aliens kept prisoner in secret bases -- who managed to escape and go undetected among humans, and what happened when the President (Underwood) discovered the atrocity of their imprisonment and tried to free them. Canceled after one season -- in which the show was hailed as "the best show on TV" and was much loved by the scifi community for its intelligent treatment of the subject.


Another example -- ReGenesis
revolved around the scientists of NorBAC ("North American Biotechnology Advisory Commission"), a fictional organization with a lab based in Toronto. (see note Wikipedia) The show's advisor was Aled Edwards, of the Structural Genomics Consortium, which fosters new medicine developed through open access. Imagine, medicine being developed by people other than big pharmaceutical companies. What a wonderful concept. The show was groundbreaking in several ways, including a reality-based interactive game for its watchers, and the way the tv show was told. A scene would occasionally stop, rewind, and take you back to a moment where two characters were interacting -- and then fork into a different direction and take you down the path the other character followed. You learned more about the story by seeing it from different viewpoints.

The cast of Boomtown.
That divergent viewpoint was also used by a show called Boomtown, which starred Donnie Wahlberg, Neil McDonough, and Jason Gedrick (Iron Eagle). It was brilliant in that it showed the same story from multiple viewpoints, often replaying it with scenes shot from different angles. You might be the cop arriving on the scene of an accident, and then you'd switch to an EMT, and eventually end up as the DA who was involved in prosecuting the person who caused the accident. The difference between this and a regular show was that the camera literally followed each person from point to point in the interactions, showing the same scenes in completely different ways. You got a behind-the-scenes look at how powerful people worked and why they acted as they did. There was no high-level conspiracy here; no Illuminati-like cabal existed. Instead, the real flesh-and-blood heroes and heroines of the world interacted within a corrupt government, working to survive. It was fascinating.

David Palmer for President.
One of the few successful shows on television that showed high-level conspiracies (and got away with doing so) was 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland. It ran from 2002 to 2010, and I watched the show for eight years, never missing a live broadcast. I own season one on DVD, but successive seasons were too intense for me to rewatch. The last season, it was so graphic that I limited caffeine the day I watched it, and planned something relaxing afterward. Otherwise, I'd never have gotten to sleep! But I wouldn't miss it for anything. Jack Bauer is Everyman, and the hero that Everyman (and Everywoman) wishes really existed. His violence wasn't what made him a hero -- it was his passion for justice. Dennis Haysbert as President David Palmer emerged as one of the most noble heroes on TV. I'd vote for David Palmer in a heartbeat. Too bad a man like him doesn't really exist.

Pietas - the Sempervian leader
When I compare stories involving my immortal Sempervians-- who secretly control vast empires -- to some of the shows on TV, how do they hold up? Well, I think if the Sempervians were to end up on a TV show, their show would be canceled as well. Not because they aren't compelling characters. I write solid stories with strong plots. My books have received four and five star reviews, won a national award (Surrender Love gained an EPIC eBook Award for Science Fiction Erotic Romance), and gained other honors. I write what I think will happen if humans continue to experiment and perfect genetic enhancements. It's an old story. Frankenstein was a similar concept

The monsters aren't always ravening beasts. In my world, sometimes they're powerful people who control the government (Empress Destoiya), or they're successful entrepreneurs who shape the future of business (Luc Saint-Cyr). In the real world, sometimes the monsters are genteel, well-to-do controllers who sit behind desks at broadcast companies and decide what fodder is "fit for public consumption" despite what the public actually wants -- or needs.

Have your favorite shows been canceled? Which ones?


  1. I'm waiting to see the fate of The Firm. It's intelligent, well-acted, fast-paced, and has good ratings. It's also on NBC, which apparently thinks the only good TV is comedy, so I won't be surprised to see it canceled. I don't trust this network.

  2. I'm still mourning Firefly. I almost don't want to like a new show because I think I'm a jinx!

    1. Oh, what a classic example! I loved this program. It was everything good in SciFi. Nathan Fillion is the Man, isn't he? Well, except that my hero Luc Saint-Cyr is referred to as the Man... but otherwise, yeah. ^_^

    2. Me, too! As soon as I like any show it's immediately canceled. Thank heavens for DVDs! :)

      It never ceases to amaze me how little intelligence TV executives have... First, they put up the money and time slot for a show, second, they say they hope it will succeed, but third, they almost inevitably do nothing to help it succeed and yank it before it even has a chance to succeed. Brilliance in action there, TV execs! ;)

    3. Oh that is sooooo true! It's self-destructive. I hate to fall in love with anything for fear it'll be yanked. NBC is the WORST station for doing that! I've liked exactly two of their shows in the past few years, one of which was yanked after one season, and the other which I am currently watching (The Firm). That one is so good that I'm certain they will axe it soon. >_< It seems to be the case. Would love to be proven wrong. I am sick of moronic comedies and half-assed reality shows. Let's have some decent drama NBC!