Entertainment websites are buzzing with the ridiculous amount of television programs being cancelled within the last 48 hours. This is the time of year that networks announce their new programming schedule - and NBC & ABC are really shaking things up. They have both announced a boat load of new series, which means they have to make some room. For the most part I agree with their choices, yet I still get upset that some shows just are not given the opportunity to grow. Here are my thoughts on the cancellations so far:
1. Mercy/Trauma - I clump these 2 shows together because they were basically the same show. I wasn't too impressed with either of them, but for reasons beyond my control - I kept watching. I can't say that I will miss either of them, but they did both serve a purpose. Mercy was the better show of the two - mostly because the plots were a little more interesting. The series hit a high note when Veronica gets caught in the middle of a burglary. This traumatic event causes her to seriously lose her marbles and spiral into depression (and alcoholism). I think it has been a while since I have seen a main character have actual serious problems that can't be solved. Her mental stability is questioned for the rest of the episodes. The season finale (which is now the series finale) has both of the men that she loves - yes, I honestly believes that she does love both of them- in peril. Since there is no conclusion - I have come up with my own which is...they both die. Which will f*** Veronica up to a point of no return. Trauma on the other hand, tried to do the same thing with the main heroine being "damaged", but they didn't pull it off as well. They never really explained (at least well) why Nancy didn't go to Med school other than that she is stubborn. Her relationship with Rabbit felt kind of forced - and they never brought up the issue that he was in the helicopter that killed her boyfriend (fiance maybe? I don't remember), which is a little awkward. I felt like Nancy was self-destructive because she craved attention and drama, while Veronica was self-destructive because she doesn't know any other way to live. Like I said - I wont really miss these shows, but it was nice to watch shows with realistic, complicated female characters.
2. Scrubs - I obviously knew this was coming, but I am a little depressed about it because the "new" Scrubs was actually very entertaining - it just wasn't Scrubs. They didn't do it right. If they took this same show and gave it a different name and got rid of the girl that was supposed to be the "female J.D" it would have worked. They basically tried to re-create something that was essentially impossible to re-create. However, the new characters were AMAZING - especially Cole. I demand a spin-off.
3. FlashForward - I knew that it was a tough choice for NBC - should they keep V or FlashForward. Both are high concept shows with potential for a cult following, yet both are suffering in the ratings. I follow both shows and I honestly can't tell you which one I like better. I feel like both have some pretty big flaws. I think it really came down to the fact that V is an easier show to catch people up on - I think anyone can turn on any episode and get the gist of what is going on, while FlashForward is a show that you can't miss an episode - and you would need to watch it from the beginning to truly understand everything. I am disappointed that they chose FlashForward mostly because I really like all of the characters, it has some nice surprise twists and it moves pretty quickly. I was upset that they pulled a Nina Meyers and made Janis a traitor because it made absolutely no sense - I felt like they cheated their audience by insisting on a "shock value", but then in the following episodes we learn that Janis is actually a double agent. That was a nice twist that I didn't see coming. I will miss this show. I hope that they don't end it with a big cliffhanger - that would just be torture.
4. Law & Order - ok - I have honestly never watched an episode. I know it is bizarre for someone who is obsessed with television to never have watched one of the most popular shows on tv - I only had 20 years to try. I have no excuses. I can't say whether it was good,bad (or predictable...), but in regards to it's surprise cancellation - all I can say is It's about damn time!! There are 3 Law & Order shows - the original and 2 spin-offs. One of them needed to go (or dare I say 2 of them...). It was practically a monopoly.
5. Romantically Challenged - How did anyone over at ABC watch the pilot for this show and think that it was a good idea? It was absolutely painful to sit through. It was an embarrassment for all involved especially Alyssa Milano - who I wanted to like, but was appalled by her unintentional awkwardness. Someone did the right thing by cancelling it quickly, but I question and judge ABC harshly for putting it on the air to begin with.
6. Happy Town - Although it hasn't been officially cancelled - it was pulled off the air by ABC after only 3 episodes - the network boasts "new episodes will return shortly", but I have my doubts. The show had a great marketing strategy - "if you're happy and you know it clap your hands" SCARY NOISE "if you're happy and you know it". It was super creepy and I thought it was a great idea to turn a scary story into a serial tv show. But the first episode wasn't scary at all - instead it barely made sense. It was trying to create a mystery, but it basically just threw a bunch of information at the audience - none of which was all that interesting. The following 2 episodes were quite boring and I have to say that aside from the always amazing Amy Acker and the dull but handsome Geoff Stults, the over-acting on this show was off the chart.
7. Heroes - The most shocking and bittersweet cancellation of all over the past 48 hours is Heroes. I can't say that it didn't deserve it - I honestly think the network gave it plenty of chances to redeem itself. One of my first posts on this blog was about shows that people need to watch so they don't get cancelled and Heroes was one of them. I wanted the show to continue simply because I was hopeful that it would find its strength again, but when I really thought about it I knew its time was up. I am upset that it didn't get a proper goodbye and am hopeful for a movie that will tie the series together. It was once one of the most innovative shows on television and it will be missed.
I do want to point out that in October when NBC cancelled "Southland" - I suggested other shows that should have been cancelled instead that included "Mercy", "Trauma", "Heroes", at least one "Law & Order", and "The Jay Leno Show". I find it interesting that six months later all of these shows are cancelled, while they still lost a truly great show to TNT (they have renewed "Southland" for a third season). NBC giving up "Southland" was a huge error on their part - they must be kicking themselves.