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Fun Friday Post 1: When TV Shows End

Friday, January 29, 2010

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If you’re trying to get in extra comments toward the contest, scroll down to see an additional post I put up yesterday evening. I’ll also be posting two Fun Friday posts today. One comment on each of these posts will count toward the contest.

Tonight, the TV series Dollhouse comes to an end. Unlike another Joss Whedon sci-fi show, at least he knew this show was being canceled in time to bring the storyline to a conclusion (which he wasn’t able to do with the cult classic Firefly). I’ll be disappointed the show is off the air for one main reason—Tahmoh Penniket, the template for Bobby in the book I’m currently writing, plays one of the main characters in the series. Ahhh . . . that jawline. And, as pretty much everyone in the world knows (especially those who’ve been reading my blog the last couple of Fridays), LOST is also coming to an end this spring. What am I going to do without these two shows?

Having learned Dollhouse was ending forced Joss Whedon and his writers to amp up the conflict in the show to get into the climax of the overarching plot sooner than they would have if they’d been renewed for another six, thirteen, or twenty episodes. And the writing has been fantastic, with a major revelation coming a couple of weeks ago that had Twitter aflutter at the jaw-dropping reveal that changed everything we’d known about the series. I’m looking forward to many moments like that during the upcoming final season of LOST.

What’s a show you liked that was canceled far too soon?

There have been lots of series that have had their highest ratings on their final episode. What is your favorite series finale?

What’s a show that should have ended before it did?

32 Comments
  1. Becky Miller permalink
    Friday, January 29, 2010 12:55 am

    I can’t imagine any show being mourned for its too-soon death more than Firefly. It’s like “the one that got away” of TV shows.

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    • Friday, January 29, 2010 4:56 pm

      But after watching both Serenity and these final few eps of Dollhouse, I wonder what JW would have done if he’d had another season of Ffly. He has a tendency to “go darker” with his shows the longer they last. But thank goodness for DVD!

      Like

  2. Friday, January 29, 2010 6:13 am

    There have been several shows canceled over the years that I loved. The first one I can remember {from ever-so-long=ago} was called Legacy, and took place in Kentucky right after the Civil War ~ Grayson McCouch was one of the characters. I think they knew it was going to end, but the storyline was in no way completed and that drove me nuts!

    Another one that I really liked was the Women’s Murder Club. I think that the writer’s strike had something to do with that cancellation {and probably some other great shows around that time too},

    My husband was very sad to see Jericho go…again another victim of the writer’s strike.

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    • Friday, January 29, 2010 4:58 pm

      Wasn’t Brett Cullen in Legacy? LOVE him.

      I got hooked on Jericho. And because the fans made a stink (and sent boxes and boxes of peanuts to the CBS offices) at least they had the opportunity to try to wrap up the story in the second half-season they were afforded. But I think it might have been better to just leave it hanging after the end of the first season, because the way they chose to wrap it up was pretty ridiculous.

      Like

  3. Friday, January 29, 2010 6:27 am

    Kings – that show just got better & better as the season went on, and the finale was FANTASTIC. It’s tragic that the writers didn’t get to continue their modern version of the David/Saul story.

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  4. Friday, January 29, 2010 7:27 am

    Q: What’s a show you liked that was canceled far too soon?

    A: I’m discovering the time-traveling show Journeyman on Hulu.com. It had only 13 episodes, but I’m parceling them out slowly knowing that’s all they wrote. I wonder why that show didn’t make it? The actors/characters are engaging, the plots interesting, the premise intriguing, the clue-dropping and reveals have enough wow/cool factor and they managed to surprise me a few times. But then, I didn’t watch it when it aired because it came on past my bedtime. My husband did though, and liked it too and is happily rewatching it with me. I’ll stay up for a 9pm airing show once or twice a week, but after that you’ve lost me.

    Speaking of which, I’m getting more excited about LOST S6. I started watching the enhanced S5 finale last night (again on Hulu). I learned a LOT of stuff from those little green pop-ups.

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    • Friday, January 29, 2010 5:00 pm

      Just remember—those little green pop-ups aren’t necessarily sanctioned/cannon. I’ve heard a few of the podcasts with Damon & Carleton in which they’ve had to dispel rumors that were started because of the pop-ups.

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      • Friday, January 29, 2010 6:52 pm

        Well… that’s not very helpful then is it? I think they want us confused. 🙂

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  5. Audrey permalink
    Friday, January 29, 2010 7:44 am

    Gilmore Girls, Hope Island, Privileged and now Ugly Betty.

    Gilmore Girls I wouldn’t have minded ending if the last two seasons had been somewhat decent and gave a good happy ending to Luke and Lorelai instead of having to bring in the turtle (Luke’s daughter, April) and Dopey (Chris). I think this was the only series finale I liked because the ended it how they ended the first episode, so it came full circle and that was nice.

    Hope Island. US version of the UK show Ballykissangel (which I also loved, but I think that went past it’s prime). Only lasted one season but I fell in love with it. The characters were great, the actors were terrific (the eye candy in Cameron Daddo), etc. But since it was canceled 10 years ago and made by a now defunct tv network, there are no dvd’s or re-runs. I only have a few episodes on tape and it’s poor quality.

    Ugly Betty. I almost cried when I heard about this the other day. It’s such a great show and you don’t find shows like this anymore. It told you that there is nothing stopping you from achieving your dream, and that looks don’t matter. At least they know ahead of time and can get some closure written in.

    Privileged – again, a good quality family show and it’s gone. Critics loved it, it was different, it made me feel good when watching it and gone after 1 season last year. And no dvd set for the season either.

    Like

    • Friday, January 29, 2010 5:02 pm

      Hmmm . . . I’ve never watched any of these shows. I may, eventually, watch Gilmore Girls, as I’ve always heard good things about it. As I said before, thank goodness for DVDs!

      Like

  6. Friday, January 29, 2010 8:50 am

    Shows that ended too soon?

    Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye – It was on three seasons, on PAX 2002-2005, and I was introduced to it two years ago via DVD. They did wrap up the storylines, somewhat, but everyone who was in love with the show admits to crying at the last thing on the screen on the last episode – “The End – For Now.” There’s talk of a TV movie, and there are lots of fanfic stories out there.

    Frank’s Place – A totally well-written show that was the victim of bad scheduling and INTERMITTENT scheduling.

    I haven’t watched “Dollhouse,” but my daughter knows all things Joss Whedon. Firefly was AMAZING, and I didn’t even see it when it was on, originally. I was indoctrinated recently.

    As much as I love LOST, I’m almost glad to see it end simply because it will wrap up and explain some storylines!! Can you imagine the table of writers for THAT show? To be a fly on the wall . . .

    Like

    • Friday, January 29, 2010 5:04 pm

      I was one of those who was very disappointed when Sue Thomas went off the air. Such a good show. I’ll occasionally watch re-runs on the Gospel Music Channel.

      I’m excited and anxious about the final season of Lost. I like the fact that they knew going into the show that they were going to have a finite number of seasons so that they were able to develop an actual story arc and stick with it.

      Like

  7. Amee permalink
    Friday, January 29, 2010 9:00 am

    Eli Stone was canceled way too soon. Although I do like how it ended where it hinted toward a certain relationship being established that they never got to do during the series. I still wish they’d bring it back!

    Sabrina the Teenage Witch is probably my favorite finale. I didn’t get to see the final season until a couple years ago when they had reruns on ABC Family. It was definitely the perfect end. Ooh, or Little House on the Prairie when they just blow up the whole town. Got to love it when they end with a bang. 😛

    Gilmore Girls should have ended with Season 5. It’s the only show that I actually refuse to acknowledge has more seasons than I actually watch. I’d never understand why people always told me not to watch Buffy after the 5th season until I realized GG shouldn’t be watched after the 5th season either.

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    • Friday, January 29, 2010 5:05 pm

      Little House was one of those shows, for me, that should have ended LONG before it did. Of course, by the time it ended, it had strayed so far from the books that the should have changed the characters’ names!

      Like

  8. Lizard permalink
    Friday, January 29, 2010 9:11 am

    I agree about the Women’s Murder Club being cancelled too soon. Castle has done a good job of replacing that show. There are others out there that got cancelled too soon, but I can’t think of them right now. I am hoping that Defying Gravity does not get cancelled and will come back over the summer. It is a cool show about astronauts in the not to distance future. I have to know what is in the pod andwhat is controlling everyone.

    I am very muc h looking foward to the Lost final. I hope they go the way of Battlestar Galactica (new version). The last few shows answered questions and fufilled story archs, but still left you asking questions.

    I agree about GC, it should have ended before April came into the picture. Stargate also should have ended before it did. Once Richard Dean Anderson left the show, it was never the same. There are a few seasons toward the end that I have not seen, but they did better with the last season. I am not watching the newest Stargate; I tried, but it didn’t make me want to come back.

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    • Friday, January 29, 2010 10:43 am

      Oh–bite your tongue! I HATED the way the new version of Battlestar Galactica ended. I started worrying, about four or five episodes out that they were going to “go there” with the ending, and, sure enough, they “went there.” I felt like I’d wasted a year (because I watched the first three and a half seasons on DVD) of my life watching that show because I feel like they copped out on the ending). My biggest fear with LOST is that they’re going to do some kind of “we ‘reset’ time and none of this ever really happened” ending. I don’t think they will, but that’s my fear.

      Like

  9. Friday, January 29, 2010 9:11 am

    Moonlight was canceled WELL before it should have been! The show came out just before the whole Twilight movie craze started. I have the feelingif it had came out just a year later it would still be going strong. I loved Mick, the vampire detective! I mean what’s not to love about Alex O’Loughlin?! Also New Amsterdam was an awesome show too adn I cried when it was canceled, now the only show I watch on Fox is American Idol!

    As for a show that had a terrific season finale I would have to say ABC’s Life on Mars. It was one of my favorite 70s themed shows even though it turned out it wasn’t a 70s show but a show based in the future. The finale totally shocked and surprised me but I loved it!

    A show that should have ended before it did? Well most of the shows that I loved were canceled midway through the season and I thought they shoud have all been continued so I don’t really have one that I wish WOULD have been canceled LOL!

    Like

    • Friday, January 29, 2010 5:08 pm

      I’m one of those people who, when I start watching a new show, records every episode (even before I had a DVR) because I was so sure it would be canceled and I’d never see it again. I actually have a couple of DVDs I made from the video taped episodes of the short-lived, syndicated show The Cape, which was set at Cape Canaveral and focused on a group of astronaut trainees (and starred Adam Baldwin, as second banana to Corbin Bernsen). It’s one of those that has never made it to DVD, so I’m glad I have at least half of the eps recorded.

      Like

  10. Friday, January 29, 2010 11:08 am

    Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman could have gone on forever in my book.

    Like

    • Friday, January 29, 2010 5:09 pm

      Sentimentally, I agree, but storywise, what else could they have done with that show? I don’t like the fact that they left a couple of storylines hanging, but they did address a few of those with the follow-up movies.

      Like

  11. The Damsels permalink
    Friday, January 29, 2010 11:47 am

    I’m going to miss Dollhouse – great writing and plotting and just GREAT show. JW is amazing! Sigh. Really wish it wasn’t ending.

    Jennifer

    Like

    • Friday, January 29, 2010 5:10 pm

      But the writing has been so much better, the storylines so much more amazing, during these wrap-up episodes. I had actually debated whether or not I wanted to stick with the show through another season, because it had started annoying me toward the end of last season. (Mostly because there wasn’t enough Tahmoh Penikett for my taste!)

      Like

  12. Friday, January 29, 2010 11:48 am

    What’s a show you liked that was canceled far too soon?

    FIRE-freaking-FLY.

    Eli Stone was another quality show that didn’t get the run it deserved.

    I’d say my biggest disappointment was Life. Damian Lewis was brilliant at Det. Charlie Crews.

    http://www.nbc.com/Life/

    (Not that NBC is really good at quality programming these days. 😉 )

    There have been lots of series that have had their highest ratings on their final episode. What is your favorite series finale?

    M*A*S*H.

    The last Tonight Show with Johnny Carson was another powerful one for me.

    What’s a show that should have ended before it did?

    Scrubs. The finale of last season when JD left the hospital should have been the last of it. I don’t mind the new “med school” angle but Scrubs should have gone out on top.

    Also, Twin Peaks should have stopped at one season.

    Like

    • Friday, January 29, 2010 5:11 pm

      I watched a few episodes of Eli Stone, and while the premise was cute, the show never really appealed to me overall.

      I agree–NBC needs a major shake-up in their programming, especially with scripted shows.

      Like

  13. Jess permalink
    Friday, January 29, 2010 1:01 pm

    I think Friends went on about 3 seasons too long. I can watch some of those middle episodes over and over–so quirky and good–but the last few, they all seemed to have way too much money and too few problems.
    Other than That Obvious Joss Whedon One, I can’t think of a show that ended too early. Maybe Boy Meets World–that show started out being so normal and it just got better and better–or, rather, weirder and weirder.

    Like

    • Friday, January 29, 2010 5:13 pm

      See, to me, Friends should have been canceled after the first thirteen episodes. I never liked that show. And it’s on ALL THE TIME now!

      Like

  14. Michelle permalink
    Saturday, January 30, 2010 1:06 pm

    Reading through the replies, there were so many shows that crossed my mind.

    Christy—-the ending of that was just such a cliffhanger, which shouldn’t be surprising considering one of the producers was a writer for Guiding Light in the 1980’s.

    Speaking of Guiding Light, since I grew up watching it, I must say I was displeased with some of how it ended. Not enough time given to the veteran cast.

    Due South—I seriously loved that show, definitely think it could have gone on.

    Highlander—again, loved it, but the last season was the most messed up thing I’ve ever tried to watch.

    Cane—-really good family drama, but killed by the Writer’s Strike, at least in part.

    Kings—-the only thing that had engaged me completely since The West Wing. I still mourn for that, and have pretty much refused to watch any of NBC’s shows. It probably helps that none of them sound good to me right now.

    For me the show that did it right was The West Wing, I love the final episode, and I loved how they came back from season five. But then again, a bad season of The West Wing was better than anything else on television, imo.

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  15. Saturday, January 30, 2010 1:09 pm

    I have to say, now that I’ve watched the series finale, Dollhouse is a show that should have ended one episode earlier than it did. That series finale episode last night was STUPID.

    Like

    • Saturday, January 30, 2010 1:23 pm

      Watch out for those Whedonites!!

      Like

      • Saturday, January 30, 2010 1:27 pm

        I know–I just checked the hashtag on Twitter, and apparently I’m the only person who didn’t think the episode last night was “completely awesome” or who sobbed all the way through it.

        Of course, considering that with what they had going on in that show should have been set up over at least two if not three prior hours, they lost me before the first fifteen or twenty minutes was over when Tahmoh Penikett’s character was shot in the head and left dead on the street.

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        • Saturday, January 30, 2010 1:37 pm

          Main characters shot dead on the street is NEVER my choice of plot. Sometimes it’s hard to be a writer, when you can point out so many plot holes, and ways they COULD have done it better! LOL I’m glad I never jumped on the Dollhouse bandwagon – even daughter #1 who is a STAUNCH Whedonite, admitted to being confused at times.

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