TV Shows & Trust
This was my final post at my old blog (thehollywoodrant.blogspot.com) and it’s an issue I’ve always been passionate about. To me, there’s nothing worse than investing my time in a television show that gets cancelled without any closure. Having this happen to me way too many times, I’ve found my trust int networks to do right by me slowly dwindling to the point where I’m not willing to give any new show a chance until I’m sure it won’t be cancelled.
As I age I become more hesitant to watch anything new that comes on my television. Work, love, family; these are just a few real-life factors that force us all to have less time for TV as we get older.
But there’s another factor at play here: TRUST. Years and years of withering trust in the shows I watch to give an ending to building story-lines has made me very unwilling to give a new show a chance. Why should I waste my time on anything if they’re not going to finish the story?
I don’t stand alone here. There’s not a single person out there who hasn’t had this happen to them on multiple occasions. It usually happens in the form of struggling shows filming a huge, game-changing finale, complete with cliffhanger ending, all in the hopes of drawing enough interest to save said show. Then the show gets cancelled. This is infuriating, but usually some time passes, the weather heats up, trips to the beach are taken, and I’ve quickly forgotten about it.
Problem is, that’s all fine and dandy the first few times it happens, but sooner or later, trust in the television industry to do right by me and all of the people who invested their time falls apart completely.
For some reason, when a show is cancelled a few episodes in, it feels even worse. Maybe it’s because there’s no summer to wash away the hurt, I don’t know, but it feels worse nonetheless. Recently, a coworker invested her time in Zero Hour, and I begrudgingly invested my time in Do No Harm. Both of these shows were cancelled after only a couple of episodes. We can quickly and easily look back at the two, three hours we wasted and think of all the things we could’ve done instead, or all the other shows we could’ve put our time into instead. I still have four episodes of Shameless to catch up on. Damn, wish I would’ve done that instead.
I believe all of this is causing anger amongst the fans of television, and I’m pretty sure this is playing a role into lower-than-expected ratings for some of the network’s biggest debuts. The networks were expecting big things from the previously mentioned Zero Hour and Do No Harm as well as the earlier debuts of 666 Park Avenue and Last Resort. All of them failed. But even in failure, at least 10 to 20 million different people invested some of their time in at least one of these shows, and stuck with them past their first and second episodes. That adds up to a lot of pissed off people who want to know what happens next.
To solve this problem, I propose that television networks do the following: first, if a show has failed in a prime spot in your schedule, burn off the remaining episodes on Saturday instead of four to six months later in the summer. Second, if a show gets cancelled without a chance to wrap up story-lines, allow the show to film a two-hour TV movie to please the fans and give them some closure. There is no third. This is simply about building that trust back, and if these two steps are followed, the fans will again have trust that their time won’t be wasted because the stories they decide to invest in will be guaranteed to have an ending.