June 28th, 2021
Well they went and did it, the barstids! Once again, the powers that control television programming, cancelled a show that I enjoy. And not only did they X it out of existence, they allowed the show the end on a cliff hanger!!! Dang! That is just so many different kinds of wrong.
I don't know if you ever watched the show. It was kind of sci-fi Ii suppose. The description refers to is as from the "supernatural" genre but I certainly wouldn't put it in the same bucket as, say, "Charmed" - either version. It was more X-files than Buffy. And it doens't matter anymore because it's done. Gone. Over. Cut down in it's prime. Well maybe not it's prime. It was cancelled after all. AND now we will never know the truth! I am so deeply unsatisfied.
According to the creator of the show, Jeff Rake, it was intended to run for six years. And it was cancelled at the end of year 3. So half way through to The Answers. You are killing me here Hollywood!
Of course this is not the first time that those same Powers That Be out in Lala Land have left viewers high and dry and drawing the curtain at a cliff hanger. Sometimes literally. What turned out to be the final episode of the show Hannibal had two characters diving off a cliff. Kind of on the nose don't you think?
The show Las Vegas ended as the Guest of Honour, so to speak, of a funeral shows up and the shock of that sends one of the primary characters into early labour. What the actual heck? Why is this guy still alive? And more importantly, is Delinda's baby ok? Do she and Danny ever get married? (and a thousand other question).
Another old favourite of mine, The Pretender, ended with an explosion on a subway car. Then the series was cancelled. What? Did Jared Live? Did Miss Parker? What about Ethan? Oh my gosh! The disappointment of that cancellation lived with me for far too long. But of course, the fan base was pretty strong for that show. Strong enough that it morphed off into books, comics and eventually a made of TV movie with all of the primary actors, to try to wrap things up. It was a lovely effort and much appreciated.
The list of shows cancelled before the actual story's conclusion is a long one: Angel, Dallas, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and The Glades come immediately to mind. And every single time it happens I just want to howl with rage. I don't of course, I was raised better than that. But on the inside, quietly, I seethe.
Cancelling a show at a cliff hanger is cruel and unusual punishment. It is just so unsatisfactory. Like playing a scale on the piano except the last note. ARGH! Walking out of a really good movie 1 5 minutes before the conclusion. Knowing that there is a trully excellent dessert awaiting and leaving before dinner is quite over. And unexpected relationship break-up without ever getting to find out why.
Actually I'm not sure what is worse. Ending a show on a cliff hanger or having an ending that is just plain awful. One that seemed to have been thrown togehter at the last minute and nobody gave a damn about the show anymore. Or maybe a cat wrote script and the producers looked at it and said with a shrug, "good enough". Newsflash guys, "good enough" is never good enough. If it's worth doing at all, it's worth doing well. Which means that the finale of these shows, bascially, sucked,: Firefly, Game of Thrones, How I met Your Mother, Lost, X-Files and all of the CSI's. Actually now that I think about it, most of not all of the various version of Star Trek should be on the list too. I'm sure there are others. Hollywood is notorious for it. Shame on them!
There have been some shows that had stellar endings. So it can be done. It is possible. And I have no idea why it isn't done more. I mean, shows do have to end. They cannot go on ad infinitum. - some of them may feel as if they have been on the air for eternity but eventually all of them must conclude. And now that I think about it, those big final show of the final season episodes always get a ton of views. Everyone tunes in to see their favourite characters for the last time and to find out, ultimately, what happens. It seems to me that financially it just makes sense to allow a show, especially a popular show, to have an actual real true ending.
It was a long time ago now but I remember the last episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Do you recall that one? The station was bought out and almost all of the people who worked there were fired. Do you remember the worlds' silliest group hug? It was sad, funny, silly and a perfect way to end the show. MASH is a great example. It was time for the show to end, I don't think anyone would argue that. The actual Korean War lasted 3 years, but MASH was on the air for 11. Still they elected to go out with class. I know the actors were crying, I've read that the crew were teary-eyed and I know that most viewer at home cried as Hawkeye's helicopter takes off and sees that his friend, BJ, spelled out "good bye" in rocks in the field below. That was perfect. Supernatural ended recently, another show that was on air for 15 years, which is a crazy long time. Obviously, it was time to go. But it was another complex, complicated, heavily populated show and I had no idea how on earth it could possibly be wrapped up, in a tidy fashion. But they did it. It was not just an ending but a conclusion. Perfect.
But Manifest? Nope. Cliff hanger. It's like when someone is noodling around on the piano and plays all but the last note of a recognizable line. ARGH! Or leaving a movie 15 minutes before the end to avoid traffic. ARGH! Or an unexpected ending to a relationship without ever finding out why he (or she) left you. Double ARGH!
It is dissatisfying in the extreme. I need closure!
I have a pretty good imagination so I can write my own ending for Manifest. It's probably not what the creator had in mind. But since it's been cancelled (on a dang cliff hanger!!), which means I will never know what was intended, I don't suppose it really matters. Still it's the principle of the thing. Come on Hollywood, have a heart!
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Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.