A disturbing lack of faith: Sarah Connor’s coda a fitting send-off
I have a hard time being overly critical of TV shows I blog about. Oh, I’m still critical when I feel it’s called for. It’s just hard.
After all, if I’m blogging about a show it’s because I really like it. Otherwise I wouldn’t bother. So I’m predisposed to root for “my” shows. When they falter, it bums me out. The early spring episodes of The Office‘s third season were particularly rough on me.
Another rough go was with Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Now this was a show that seldom reached the heights it aspired to or that I believed it could. But I kept writing about it, rooting for it and pointing out its flaws where I saw them. Usually it was too much melodrama and too much muddling of the overarching plot.
By the time it righted the ship and started to become the awesome show it was meant to be, it was too late in a couple of ways. First off, I gave up on blogging about it about a month before the finale. Second, the entire known universe — excluding a few hundred (dozen?) delusional fans — had become aware that it was doomed to be canceled.
It was really hard to stick up for the show after the fact, when several of those fans deluged this site with angry comments and some impressive poll-rigging abilities — exactly 1,000 votes on a write-in ballot for Medium? — after I had the temerity to rally for another bubble show I love, Chuck, which actually stood a chance of renewal. (And eventually got it.)
I didn’t have much nice to say about Sarah Connor that day, but it was too late anyway. Now, though, I can look back and say that by the time the second season wound down, Sarah Connor had really hit its stride.
I don’t take back a word of my criticism along the way, but I do feel for creator Josh Friedman, who took to the Interwebs late last week to lament his baby’s demise. If I had to characterize his musings, I’d go with angry, maybe resigned. Not bitter, though, which is to his credit.
I guess there were signs that the show was in trouble (other than the 1.3 rating and the four share). First there was the day I was in my office and looked up to see Chuck Lorre and a Warner Bros. facilities manager standing in my doorway pointing to various features and using their hands to take “air measurements.” (Chuck tried to play it off like waving to me God Bless him, but I know an air measurement when I see it.)
There’s more, and it’s worth a read. I skipped the comments, because I’ve been there and done that.
I’d like to think the guy deserved better, but that’s a pretty naive take on the business of making TV shows. He had a great run for his first time at the helm and probably learned a lot about what to do and what not to do next time. For me that makes his next endeavor, whatever it is, worth checking out.
Maybe then he’ll win the only poll that counts: the poll of network programming executives.