Three Brilliant Sci-fi Shows Killed Too Early
I Hate TV Executives
Why does it seem like everytime an intelligent show, a show with heart, brains, and guts, comes out, the network executives kill it? Why are we subjected to endless rounds of "The Simple Life" and "According to Jim"? If I have to see one more reality bimbo or crass husband I'm going to freak. Seriously. Just come visit me at the institution, and bring cake please. This seems especially true for the sci-fi genre. Everytime something good comes out, they screw it up...big time. This is the reason I don't have cable folks, between the lack of crappy programming and depressing news I would need a prescription for Paxil, and I'm not kidding. Here are three recent sci-fi shows that were brutally axed before their time, enjoy mourning with me.
Way back when, in 1999, an adventerous little show featuring a handsome, lost astronaut came out on the Sci-Fi channel. John Chrichton gets "shot through a wormhole" and comes out on the other side of the galaxy, and finds that he's definitely not in Kansas anymore. This show was great for so many reasons, and I miss it dearly. The unique and exotic aliens were crafted by Jim Henson's creature shop, no messing around with stupid CG aliens. These creatures seemed alive, and real. This was also helped by the character and emotional development in the show. We really get to know the main crew very intimately, in contrast to a show like Star Trek which is much more military. They may be aliens, but they are also people. Chrichton, played by Ben Browder, is lovable, handsome, and a very dynamic character who changes drastically over the shows four seasons. Also watch for hilarious hijinks from D'Argo (Anthony Simcoe) and Hynerian Dominar Rygel XVI. There is a valid reason why fans went on the war path when this show was cancelled, find out for yourself!
What happens when the "last frontier" meets the Wild West? Firefly! Joss Whedon's classic sci-fi show pits the crew of the Serenity against the wilderness of space, and a unique combination forms. Of course, as it was smart television, it was cancelled after only nine episodes by Fox. Puh-leeze! Fortunately the show had such strong sales on DVD that Universal Studios decided to work the show into a movie, giving fans some resolution at least. "Serenity" was released in 2004, and though not a blockbuster, was eagerly received both by fans of the show and new converts alike. It may be like only getting to eat half of the pie instead of the whole deal, but what a sweet slice!
This one might just be the death of me. When Sci-Fi announced the cancellation of the hit "Battlestar Galactica" I had to eat a whole Ben & Jerry's pint. A whole pint! My pants don't fit anymore! It seriously makes me wish I had never seen the show at all. Screw the whole "it's better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all". I hurt.
Seriously though, this isn't just great sci-fi, it's great human drama. It's a show about people, politics, war, love, and what exactly makes us human. Great actors, unique filming, this show has it all. I also noticed the other day that the soundtrack is rather unique, and really contributes to the quality of the show. There is a reason why this show has received such great reviews. If you haven;t heard the gossip on the wind, the storyline revolves around the sole group of humanity left (about 50,000 people) aboard spaceships after cyborgs created by them came back to destroy their entire civilization. The caveat? The Cylons (robots) look, feel, and even bleed like humans (and they are great in the sack). I personally love Baltar, he makes me grimace with embarrassment every time he comes on screen, and his double dialog with the cylon in his head is hilarious and masterful. And of course, who doesn't love Starbuck? I'm depressing myself just writing about it, I've got to find the mint and rum, it's mojito time...
What Do you Think?
I'm so sick of cookie cutter formats, story lines, and drivel just to please the mindless masses. Stand up with me and say it! No more bad reality TV! No more contrived endings like in "I Am Legend"! No more cancellations! Boo Hollywood. Bad executives! It's time for a spanking (and not the fun kind). I almost give up, but not yet. I hope you'll join me in saying "no" to bad TV.