Fact: I watch too much TV.
Fact: After a series that I watch comes to an end, I don't always look for something to replace it.
Fact: Somehow, I still manage to watch too much TV.
I don't know. Maybe I just get sucked in too easily. After all, I did watch "ONE TREE HILL
" for a few years (the music was good, OK?) before the novelty of watching people in their mid-20s play generally unsupervised high school students finally wore off.
And, once I start watching a series, I'm more than likely to keep watching it until it ends or until it does something to really piss me off. I still haven't forgiven the folks at "KNOTS LANDING
" for making Sid drive off a cliff. And that was back in the 80s!
Point is, I already watch a lot of TV, and, maybe because I grew up watching soap
operas, I like to follow shows for a long time. Which means, if I'm going to invest time in a TV show, it better have a premise that will allow it to stick around for a while.
I realize that TV execs these days have pretty quick trigger fingers. New shows that aren't "hits" from the get go tend to be gone pretty quickly. But, I think some of the blame for this phenomenon must fall on the execs themselves for green lighting shows that don't have much of a future.
Case in point, ABC's recent show "LAST RESORT
." Andre Braugher played the captain of a submarine that went rogue after the US military attacked it. I've been a fan of Braugher's since the brilliant "HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET
," so I gave "Last Resort" a chance but quit watching after about three episodes.
Why? Well, Braugher's character parked the sub near an island somewhere. When crew members went ashore, they found the natives not all that friendly. Plus, it didn't take anybody very long to figure out where they were. By the end of the third episode, quite a few crew members had already been killed. This isn't like "Star Trek" where more anonymous crew people could just be transported on board. At some point, and it seemed like it would happen pretty quickly, the sub was going to run out of crew members. Then what?
Alternately, let's assume that, at some point, Braugher's character actually wins. He proves his point or whatever, and the sub is allowed to return home. Maybe Braugher's character is even a hero for exposing treasonous behavior. Great. But, that scenario doesn't bode well for a show titled "Last Resort." Are more subs going to go rogue?
Either way you look at it, the show didn't seem as though it could be sustained beyond one season. Which, would be fine - if it were billed as one and done. If I knew that, I might have stuck around. But, the general assumption is that once a series starts, it has a life expectancy of "x," where x=as long as possible, preferably several years. "Last Resort" didn't seem like it could be sustained that long, so I quit while I was ahead. I think ABC cancelled the show a couple weeks later, but the 13 episodes that had been made were allowed to air.
Another ABC show, "ZERO HOUR
," just got pulled after only three episodes. It started weak and went downhill from there. According to IMDb, 10 more episodes were shot, but they won't air. Instead, "Zero Hour" is being replaced immediately by encore presentations, i.e. repeats, of "Shark Tank." That's bad.
Based on the promos for the show, I had decided not to watch it. Like "Last Resort," it didn't seem as though it had a premise that would allow for a long life span. As I gathered from the promos, a man (Anthony Edwards, formerly of "ER") had one hour to solve a ridiculously complex puzzle if he wanted to save his wife or the world or maybe both. It appeared that the puzzle involved time travel. Even so, how long can you drag out one hour. Even TV, which tends to have no concept of how time works, can't make an hour last longer than one season, can it? Like I said, no future, no viewer.
Well, as I also said, I watch too much TV. While I wrote this, the DVR was recording the premiere of "RED WIDOW
." Based on the promos, it seems like it could last longer than three episodes - if ABC allows it.