Satisfying Cancelled Show Endings

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Joe Washington, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I found that ending rather unsatisfying. I felt they took too long to get around to Arthur finally learning the truth about Merlin, and once he did, too little was done with it. And I feel they dropped the ball on the overarching mission of the series. For years, Merlin's toleration of Camelot's persecution of magic-users was supposedly justified by the knowledge that Arthur would one day undo that injustice and create a society where all people, including sorcerors, were treated fairly and equally. Merlin's whole quest throughout the series has been to bring about that goal. But we got no resolution for that. There were hints that the laws against magic might be repealed later on, but it was nothing more than a cursory suggestion, a totally inadequate resolution for such a central thread of the series. I really found the finale to be a failure on many levels.


    I wasn't too satisfied with either of these. DS9 dragged the war out far too long, forgetting that the story of DS9 wasn't only the story of the Dominion War. I would've liked them to wrap up the war at the end of the sixth season and spend the final year telling the story of its consequences and aftermath -- although at least the novels got the chance to explore that. But DS9 in a way had the same problem as Merlin. The mission defined for Sisko at the start of the series was to bring Bajor into the Federation, and we never saw the resolution of that thread. Or rather, we almost saw it, but it was deferred and then never revisited.

    As for VGR, it dropped the ball on the denouement even more drastically. At least DS9's finale spent time (too much time, I felt) giving the characters sendoffs, but VGR's finale just ended with "Look, we're home, fade out" with no exploration whatsoever of the impact that the characters' return had on them or on the Federation.

    Well, not really. The "Epitaphs" comic fills in the periods before "Epitaph One" and between that and "Epitaph Two." So the story hasn't been continued beyond the finale. And it got a pretty decisive conclusion.


    Another finale I found underwhelming. The thread in the preceding season was about Clark coming out in the open as a hero, showing his face to the world, winning their trust. I thought they were building to a climax where he'd appear before the people as Superman and make a grand speech inspiring them to overcome Darkseid's malevolent influence, thus providing a resolution to that ongoing thread. Instead we get maybe 20 seconds of him flying up and pushing a planet away, without a single person (or viewer) getting a good look at him as Superman. Which is an absolutely terrible resolution. Not to mention that it's unclear what exactly lets him suddenly learn to fly, since it seems to be nothing more than a flashback montage that triggers it. Not to mention that he and his allies callously kill the possessed humans they're fighting. Not to mention that they brought back Michael Rosenbaum's terrific Lex Luthor only to give him an ending that rendered his entire character journey irrelevant. All in all it was really pretty bad.
     
  2. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    What I said was that it was a more satisfying conclusion than the movie version. Honestly, despite killing off two principals, Serenity doesn't have much more of a feeling of finality to it than the series. Given the choice, I think the last scene in "Objects in Space" is a better way to go out than anything in the movie, which missed the tone of much of the series and didn't handle the ensemble particularly well.
     
  3. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Caprica and Wonderfalls have awesome endings.

    Farscape season 4 ending I thought was wonderful and worked as a very sad finale.
     
  4. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Commodore Commodore

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    Fringe ended very well, i think. Not so much about the overall plot archs, but the character moments.

    It was especially good for Astrid, who was VITAL in helping the team win the battle....and she had an amazing goodbye with Walter, making it a real father-daughter type of relationship (especially with Walter remembering her name onpurpose).
     
  5. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I thought Journeyman fit the description of the OP's gist. It wasn't perfect-but it was beautiful, especially the final scene...
     
  6. Ethros

    Ethros Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I thought this was about "cancelled" shows, DS9, Voyager, Buffy etc weren't cancelled, they just ended naturally.
     
  7. Konata Izumi

    Konata Izumi Commander Red Shirt

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    Sixth Doctor Who's show coming back as a zombie for one more season, constructed as an elaborate insult at the BBC.
     
  8. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Fringe wasn't canceled, it ended.

    Damages season 3 was actually a better ending for the show than what we ended up getting.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Sort of in between, actually. "Canceled" is when the network ends the show (due to low ratings/high costs, usually) before the producers feel it's reached its natural endpoint. "Ended" is when the producers choose to wrap it up. Fringe is a case where the network decided that the ratings weren't good enough to keep making the show any longer, but they were very supportive of the producers and fond of the show, and thus agreed to give them one more half-season to conclude the story. So it was kind of a "cushioned cancellation," you could say. (Kind of like what Warehouse 13 is getting -- the network decided to end it prematurely, but is giving them a 6-episode mini-season to wrap it up next year.)
     
  10. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Same here. Too bad it couldn't be continued in a novel....

    Or could it?

    Hint, hint....
     
  11. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Agree 100%. As much as I'd love to see the other prospective two "volumes" of two seasons each, Carnivàle was a beautiful nightmare of a show, and no dream ever really lasts long enough to resolve all its plot points. In a way, Carnivàle's abrupt ending is perfect.



    Agreed again. The climactic accelerated plot pace perfectly fit Team Antony's sense of spiraling out of control. :techman:
     
  12. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Alas, some publisher would have to acquire the rights first, which would be a tough sell, given that the TV show has been off the air for a few years now.
     
  13. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    There's no need for novels, anyway. The comic follow-up has been great. (I'm not close to being finished collecting it, though, now that it's over).
     
  14. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Beats and Shouting Moderator

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    I disagree with that. The resolution of River's story was a big part of the movie. Simon and Kaylee had some resolution as well.

    As for the tone, I agree it was somewhat different, but I think that was placed in a clear context. They were more desperate, and the stakes were much higher (smuggling cows doesn't really compare to the murder of an entire planet).

    I thought Serenity was a fitting ending (if it had to end), far more than Objects in Space (which was a good episode, though).

    JMHO
     
  15. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I actually already figured it was something like that. I just figured that since you're a fan of the franchise like me, AND you're a writer, you would appreciate the sentiment.
     
  16. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    "The Judgement" (part two) was a great finale--its no wonder it held the record for the highest rated TV episode for so long (before the M*A*S*H finale, anyway).


    [quote[6 TNG - Star Trek the next generation[/quote]

    ...then the TNG movies screwed that up.

    I have to disagree. The problem with the season arc/"ultimate battle/everyone is in danger" plots is that one already knows the series stars are not in real danger (Young Justice used this kind of plotting, at a time when it was long stale).

    Luthor and Darkseid's fate was a too convenient wrap-up, and come on--the JL gives the villains a head start to escape just because they helped save earth?
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  17. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Absolutely. This just struck me as another good opportunity to explain that these projects tend to be initiated by the licensors and/or publishers, not the writers.

    Believe it or not, this is a fairly common misconception, which I run into a lot at book-signings and on-line:

    "I really like GRIMM. Why don't you write a GRIMM novel?"

    Or, worse yet:

    "I've written a Sarah Connor novel. How do I get it published?"
     
  18. archeryguy1701

    archeryguy1701 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As several others have said, the Caprica finale was pretty good. Another good conclusion was when Jericho was canceled for the second time. After getting canceled on a cliffhanger the first time and then getting a new lease on life, I appreciate that they filmed some extra stuff so their season two finale could be easily and quickly adapted to a series finale.