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Second Coming: Problems with Genre TV series returns…

Alright then, finally watched the final two episodes of AMERICAN HORROR STORY. I did enjoy them, and the series in whole generally but now looking back, I can see some peaks and lows and changes throughout which helped at some times, troubled it at others.

I did watch it in an irregular order, catching I think episode 3, then back tracking and continuing on, before a gap until the last two. I did heard that it has been signed for a second series, JESSICA LANG also reprising her nasty neighbour role again. Now having seen the way it ended, I can wonder how it might successfully continue on.

This now, is of course a very well noticed, often tragic problem. With so many new drama and genres shows over the many television channels, more appearing all the time, they really have to work at gaining a strong loyal audience against the others shows, and then maintaining them through to another series and so on, keeping ratings good enough to justify producing more.

Most recently I have seen the passing of the V remake series, which I think could have pulled through somehow and before that JOSS WHEDON’S DOLLHOUSE series, which did get a second series but then had to tie up loose ends and plotlines in the last episode inventively.

I am currently watching LOST GIRL, on SyFy which is now running a second series, after successfully picking up a good audience response so far. It is something different, light hearted, but good enjoyable dark fantasy speaking an language I like. But with budgets tight at television stations and production companies, who knows how long it will last. I think there is a good run in it though.

Right now though, over say the last year or so, so many have been appearing in the dark fantasy/sci-fi/horror mould it is almost unbelievable. Now we have Speilberg produced TERRA NOVA-oh dear, problems there, GRIMM-Looking quite good initially, think I’ll watch, THE WALKING DEAD-Caught the first series, but have lost interest now the second is here, THE FADES in the UK-Very impressive short dark urban fantasy horror, MISFITS is doing well in the uk, not really seen it though, SANCTUARY is surprisingly strong, continuing on, and I do like what I see of it, SUPERNATURAL-bit too mainstream, handsome leads, not my thing. There are many others still, and in one sense this is a very great thing, evidence of strong interest and possibilities with these kinds of series and audiences there for them, mostly.

But there is only so much air time on television, only so much budget for shows to win our attention. So the pressure comes. This is the problem. I think I really noticed it well, a couple of years ago now, maybe during the TERMINATOR: SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES. It was regularly reported in magazines and entertainment news, how it was progressing along, how it might go, the ups and downs. That is pressure enough on the writers, as well as the rating coming in. I did not watch all of that series, and was possibly put off by these reports. I sometimes don’t even wish to begin watching a new series, if I think it is likely that it will only been around for one series but by then  I really like that characters and situation.

So when a new series know they want to get lit for another series, now we can almost see them very desperately doing just about anything with the characters and plots to confuse or create any level of desire in us for more. Sometimes this backfires terribly, and ends in a very embarrassing mess. This can then ruin the whole series, and what has gone before, simply for chasing the chance to get signed for a chance to return and do the same over again

Should the writers and directors not ultimately strive to create the most convincing, engaging well made, honestly crafted series before thinking of long time comfortable payment or playing it too safe to just simply be there, on air?

Well, I know there are some producers, writers and directors in television who do take bold chances, who risk cancellation for the chance to make something unique, special and loved.



Author of science fiction novels Orbital Kin and Minerva Century-also horror, literary fiction, many short stories and screenplays. Always reading, writing, watching films, playing guitar/bass, and am a husband with a coffee addiction. New horror novel due for 2017. This is my blog, offshoot from my website. It will be where I post current thoughts, opinions, views, reviews, or discussions about contemporary film, movies, books, video games, television series mostly in the horror, science fiction, fantasy and their sub-genre offshoots. The entertainment not in the mainstream (for the most part) and proud of it. Also follow me on twitter- @ParsonsFiction, and facebook - James E Parsons

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