Submitted for your approval, the following trailer from NBC’s latest primetime drama The Firm:
Pretty good, right? Guess what? CANCELLED!!!!
If you couldn’t tell, I’m outraged. NBC is notorious for cancelling shows with rapid-fire snap decisions–and now it’s personal.
The Firm was one of my favorite movies of all time. I was excited when I heard it was getting a television sequel. I invested a very late night playing catch-up on Hulu.
But I was instantly hooked. The Firm has a triple dose of intriguing suspense. On one hand, you have the mafia from the original story trying to hunt down Mitch McDeere. On the other hand, you have a new big-time law firm that hires McDeere with their own machinations in mind. And, on a third freaky hand, you have honest-to-God riveting court cases. With everything going on in this show, the writers could just have used typical court case stuff and it would still have been interesting. But, no, they went above and beyond and left me in tears with some of these well-thought-out cases.
And what does NBC do to them?
Why, NBC, why?
This isn’t the first time, either. They did it last year to a little show called Chase.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t that into Chase when our relationship started, but by the end I was shopping for engagement rings. I started to see all the gimmicks and hooks–the stuff, as a viewer, you keep coming back for week after week.
If this wasn’t enough, you might remember my previous affair with sexy little number by the name of Studio 60.
I want to be clear: there is no bigger tragedy than the cancellation of this show. Apparently, NBC only had room for one show about the behind-the-scenes of a sketch comedy show, so they went with 30 Rock. I find 30 Rock funny, but compared to the witty, raw depth of Studio 60, it might as well be the State of the Union.
Seriously, go buy this show on Amazon right now. You won’t regret it.
And I don’t even want to get into the think tank behind bumping Community off to give Whitney a shot? Whitney? Really? Nobody likes Whitney. And if someone does, I guarantee they don’t like it more than Community. You belong on CBS, Whitney. Welcome home.
But NBC isn’t completely to blame. Fox has its indiscretions as well. I was forced to forgive them for cancelling Firefly since I didn’t exactly do my part to watch it when it was on.
But what about Dollhouse?
I faithfully tuned into that. Joss Whedon moved with cheetah-speed on this show to deliver the plot, and it still got axed. Why? Because it was original? Because it wasn’t about a lawyer or a forensics team? Gah!
What is wrong with you network execs? When did it become so much more about the money than the art? There’s a little thing we in the biz call “hitting your stride.” It’s what makes TV shows good.
Here’s another personification metaphor for you: have you ever had that girl at work that strikes you as cute but in a couple months she’s all you can think about? It happens with TV shows too. The personality of the characters begins to show. They grow on you. All of a sudden the TV show is hotter than you ever thought possible. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the show has changed, but the viewer has.
Inside jokes–the epitome of humor–can finally be established when shows get a little time. Character quirks and traits can blossom. The audience can decide for themselves if a choice is “in character” or not. But you can’t do that when a character isn’t properly established. And don’t give me any bologna about how that should happen in the first episode. If that becomes the case, we’re headed for a society where the Pilot episode of every show is basically going to be a Powerpoint presentation about the characters.
Not every show can be LOST when it comes to intrigue, people. And what would LOST be without time to hit its stride? We didn’t know shit about Hurley until at least Season 3!
Not too mention, where did all that next-level intrigue get us with LOST? That’s right: the series finale where 6 years of branching storylines suddenly needed to be gift-wrapped.
All I’m saying is this: If you want a show to really stick, it needs time to grow. I don’t care how cool, stylish, sexy it is right off the bat, if it can’t hit its stride, it’s game over. Nobody wants a bunch of flat characters solving cool crimes for 7 years. Right? Hopefully?
Surely there must be a better way to gauge viewer interest in this day and age. I can’t believe for a second that networks aren’t using data from DVR recording devices, Hulu, and Netflix. There has to be more than just winning viewers of a particular time slot.
Is there something I’m doing wrong as a viewer? As a guy that can’t seem to get home in time for live viewing, is there a way I should be re-watching these shows to make sure the networks are getting the message?
Please. Enlighten me. And try to catch The Firm while you can. That’s where this whole thing started, wasn’t it?