This Monday I gave watching Heroes. I got about four or five episodes into series four (or is it the second part of series three?) and I realised I couldn’t be bothered anymore. I’d reached the point when I couldn’t remember who was currently alive, dead or waiting to be resurrected, who was related to who and which side they were all on.
The trouble is, of course, that the series has been extended too far, and so, like the X-Files and Lost before it, I just can’t be bothered to wait and find out what’s going to happen at the end. Actually, with Heroes its worse than that, because at least with the X-Files and Lost there was a sense of waiting to see what the answers were, with Heroes everything was answered back in season 1 when they saved the cheerleader and the world. Now it appears they have to save it again, and once they’ve done that I suppose they’ll have to save it again and again until the programme is no longer commissioned.
Now, I’m not writing this out of a sense of bitterness. I don’t think that the makers of TV programmes owe me anything, after all, they’re only in it for the money. But I don’t owe them anything either, and because of the model employed by programme commisioners I now find I no longer bother watching new series until they’ve proven themselves and/or someone I trust convinces me they’re worth it. (Which is why I’ve just started watching The Wire on BBC, about five seasons too late). This is convenient for me, but if everyone does the same it will mean falling TV audiences and less and less new series altogether.
All the above probably explains why my favourite SF TV series was Firefly. One short but perfect season, and then it was cancelled before it could be messed up.
I suppose Joss Weedon’s lost pay was my gain.