Friday, May 30, 2008

Series Snark

Okay, here's the thing: I understand series. I understand that you have to have a big hook to keep people anticipating the next book, the next season, heck, even the next week.

But, goshdarnit, these hooks are getting out of control.

I have been waiting for a book for a whole YEAR, waiting with GREAT anticipation, because the darned last page promised something that had me drooling.

I walk into Borders and I pick it up. And the hook? The promise of a story about one guy? That one guy is not in the story. Not at all.

I've been waiting a WHOLE YEAR! It's a good story, and I like it, but I want the one I'd been promised! I want the one I've been anticipating for a whole year!

And that hook was not ambiguous. It was pretty clear. It's not like I misinterpreted it. It was there, it was strong, it was a freaking PROMISE!

While I'm on this snark, let's talk about television.

NCIS. Okay, I understand the need for a big bang of a hook at the end of one season. HOWEVER. Ending the season with the hook that all your favorite characters are disappearing, that everything is going to change, that everything you love about the series is NOT GOING TO BE THERE ANYMORE, is not exactly inspiring me to wait on the edge of my seat.

Why would I come back to see my favorite show destroyed?

It's frustrating. Probably they will spend half a year setting things to rights, but still ...

Same with Numbers. A huge part of the show is the main character solving crimes for the FBI with math. (I love his passion and love for math. It's infectious!)

But at the end of the season, they hook with the math genius suddenly losing his clearance and not being able to work with the FBI or his brother anymore.

Again, the hook that EVERYTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE just doesn't do it for me.

I mean, come on. Your watcher fell in love with a show for particular reasons. If you suddenly say EVERYTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE, how is that going to make them want to come back?

Then here's a show that reminds me of so much I hear about the writing business: Men in Trees.

I have fallen in love with the characters. I love that show. Those characters are now My Friends.

And what do they do?

Cancel it.

I don't know why, but I suspect it might be viewer numbers.

But whose fault is that?? Let's analyze:

Unless you have a DVR, you most certainly couldn't follow Men In Trees through the season. They must have changed nights three times. They took it off, then on, and you never knew when it was going back on again. Even I, who LOVE this show, missed weeks of it because they kept mixing it up.

It feels like the network set this show up for failure, and then they CANCEL the show for failing! Even though it was their fault!

And, you know, I'm getting real sick of networks yanking shows. Why should I watch any of them, why should I become friends with the characters, when they're just going to freaking yank my show, my friends, away from me?

I'm so tired of it.

Both industries are so focused on the big buck, the big bang, the sudden bestseller, that they don't give us a chance to discover and follow and fall in love with these series.

And they yank them too early, just when we're starting to fall in love, just when we're ready to tell the world about them and get word-of-mouth going.

I wish they would STOP IT!

So, tell me: what series that you loved has been yanked from you? Books or TV shows or movies...

17 bonus scribbles:

Erica Orloff 5/30/2008 08:38:00 AM  

I used to watch an FBI show with Eric Roberts. It lasted all of about eight episodes (and featured a YOUNG Angie Harmon). The "team" was so awesome, and I hated that just as I found a relationship with it . . . they yanked it. Time and time again it happens to me, so much so, that when I hear buzz about the "next big thing" show, I often don't bother. Because if it doesn't hit the ground running, it won't be on for long.

(And my mom LOVED Men in Trees BTW) . . . AND . . . this sort o has to do with my post today, too. LOL!

StarvingWriteNow 5/30/2008 09:17:00 AM  

Unfortunately, dear, everything changes. Sometimes for the good, sometimes for the "what in hell were they THINKING?"

I've lost pretty much all interest in series TV. The last one I watched with any real interest was "Bones" and I haven't even bothered with that one this new season. The last series I watched religiously, for years, was probably the X-Files. And I even gave up on that after a while--though now I am revisting it on DVD. It's fun!

Liz Wolfe 5/30/2008 10:15:00 AM  

This is a pet peeve of mine, too. Years ago there was a show called "Raven" that the husband loved. The network constantly pre-empted it for baseball games, movies, whatever. Then they moved it around to different nights. Then they canceled it because no one was watching it.
The hook thing is weird too. On Criminal Minds, it appears that one of the team is blown up at the end of the last show. I suppose they want everyone to wonder which team member it is, but the team is part of what's good about the show, so losing one of the members would change the show. And I hated the last episode of Bones. They turned a character bad and it just wasn't believable.
Last year I eagerly bought the next book in a long series of mysteries by a best-selling author. This was number 19 in the series. This series is written in first person. But half this book was flashbacks in third person. They showed stuff that the protagonist could never have seen or known. I didn't even finish the book, I felt so cheated.

conley730 5/30/2008 11:20:00 AM  

Wow! Your post made me think of the "number one fan" (can't remember her name) in Stephen King's "Misery". I don't really watch too much tv anymore, but I'm a loyal Heroes fan. I've been waiting a long time for the next season to begin. I hope it's not a dissapointment.

Heather Harper 5/30/2008 12:47:00 PM  

I've learned not to grow too attached to a show after X-Files fubar'd their final seasons. It was such a disappointment.

(Says the girl standing first in line for The X-Files 2 movie.)


Travis Erwin 5/30/2008 12:49:00 PM  

Deadwood on HBO comes to mind. They are supposed to do three two hour movies to close things but as it stands now they just quit.

conley730 5/30/2008 03:44:00 PM  

I just thought of a series I got in to and it was cancelled. Traveler. I think it was on last season or maybe two seasons ago. I really got in to it and then *poof* it was gone. Dang networks!

spyscribbler 5/30/2008 03:46:00 PM  

LOL, Erica. I swear I wrote this post last night. :-)

I TOTALLY agree with you on waiting for a series to take hold. On the other hand, if we all do that, none of them would take hold, LOL.

I feel weepy about Men in Trees. I loved it because of it, but I watched it over and over while DH was in Alaska because it sort of made me feel closer to him. :-(

spyscribbler 5/30/2008 03:48:00 PM  

LOL, WriteNow, you know change well this year. When are we hooking up for a girl's night? Day? Lunch? Coffee?

I understand about series TV. I'm seriously considering canceling TV altogether and just using NetFlix and the internet. All the latest episodes are on the internet.

spyscribbler 5/30/2008 04:04:00 PM  

Liz, EXACTLY! Ohmigosh, I wouldn't finish this book, but I have to for an essay. I know I will love it once I get over the fact that she didn't write the story I was promised, the story I had my heart set on.

I'm sorry about Criminal Minds. I mean, WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?

spyscribbler 5/30/2008 04:06:00 PM  

Funny you should mention Heroes, Conley. I was just trying to watch season 2 online at the website, but I'm not real clear on what it's about. Is it worth figuring out? I've heard so many good things about it.

Er, you're not saying I'm like that crazy chick in Misery, are you? ;-)

spyscribbler 5/30/2008 04:07:00 PM  

Heather, I think you're right. I can't seem to help it. There are just a few shows, like Men In Trees, Gilmore Girls, Star Trek, The Unit, where I just end up feeling like the show is a friend. I hate it when it's gone!

spyscribbler 5/30/2008 04:08:00 PM  

Travis, I heard good things about that one, too. I should look that up. Or maybe not, if the ending is going to disappoint. :-(

spyscribbler 5/30/2008 04:09:00 PM  

Oh, Conley, I remember that one! I actually watched one episode, was hooked, and then it disappeared before I found it again. :-(

conley730 5/30/2008 05:20:00 PM  

Yes, Heroes is worth it. I just got the first season on DVD and have been watching it to cope with withdrawals until the next season comes out.

I'm not saying you're like the crazy woman, just that your post reminded me of her rant about serial matinees and how they would always change the cliffhanger at the beginning of the next one.

Aimless Writer 5/31/2008 07:51:00 AM  

I know what you mean about Men in Trees. I watched it for awhile and then lost it. It disapeared. Then I found it again. It was frustrating. I don't watch a lot of TV so when I see something I like and then its gone it makes me want to watch even less.
Anyone remember Riptide? I loved that show and then it went bye bye. So sad.

Edie 5/31/2008 10:07:00 AM  

HEROES is great, although this last season was less great than the previous one. Maybe too many characters? Not sure. I kept wondering about the original characters.

I keep being afraid they'll take off two of my fav shows, MEDIUM and BOSTON LEGAL. They're both different, and I like that.