TV Article – Cancelled Shows: Time to Say Goodbye

Written by Emily Stewart May 20, 2014

The Cast of "Community"

So much for “Six Seasons and a Movie”

Ah, spring! There’s so much to look forward to about this season. Walking outside without your winter coat, smelling the flowers, and listening to the chirping birds. Let’s not forget about hearing the news that your favourite show has been cancelled! As I noted in my article about success and television, this is not necessarily a bad thing. I’m not just talking about when terrible shows get the axe, I’m also referring to great shows that have gone on for a few years. Some narratives have potential to stretch out its plot to a few more seasons. However, when they do, the story-lines just go downhill. Since nearly every finale has got some sort of cliff hanger, it’s always disappointing when a show ends. Sometimes you just have to say goodbye.

Won’t be the same without you.

Sometimes, fans will receive a warning for when their favourite show will end. “Two and a Half Men” and “Parks and Recreation” announced that their upcoming seasons will be their last. “Community” fans, however, were told that the beloved comedy was axed quite recently. I reviewed the first few episodes, and given what I’ve seen, I’m not surprised. To be fair, however, the ratings were lower than ever. TV ratings don’t measure success. On the other hand, if ratings decline each season, then the narrative isn’t strong enough to carry through. Plus, Chevy Chase and Donald Glover, two of the principal actors, had left the show which usually isn’t a good sign.

Laura Prepron and Josh Meyer of "That 70s Show"

Take a look at “That 70s Show”, for instance. Topher Grace had to leave the show for the eighth season after being cast as Venom in “Spider Man 3”. Ashton Kutcher followed suit. Their respected characters’ exits were done well, but the entrance of Randy? Not so much. After knowing Eric (Grace) for seven seasons, the thought of replacing the main character just didn’t sit well. Randy (Josh Meyers) and Donna (Laura Prepron) didn’t even seem to be in love. Don’t get me wrong, both shows were great and had their moments, but it’s tough to replace a key character after they leave with a new character. It’s even tougher to go on without them.

No chance of a comeback?

A possible fate for new TV shows is that they’ll be cancelled after the first season. It really makes me wonder what factors constitute the longevity of a television show. There have been a few times when it was frustrating to see a show end. Back in 2007, for example, “The Class” had great potential to continue on due to an enjoyable cast, including Jesse Tyler Ferguson. His character, Richie, proposes to Lena (Heather Goldenhersh). Her reply? “Sure”. And that’s the end of the show. Yes, it brought some positivity; however, it also created a lack of closure. To this day, I haven’t found a season finale more anti-climactic or frustrating than this one. It’s for the best that a television show ends with a bit of optimism. That is, if such a conclusion is realistic for the show.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Heather Goldenhersh on "The Class"

Truthfully, we can never predict when our favourite show will end. We all wonder what will happen in the upcoming season after the finale. As much as we don’t want a show to end on a cliff hanger, it does build up anticipation for an upcoming season. However, there’s no guarantee that there will be a next one. Also, some shows are long overdue their time, especially if key characters are leaving. As hard as it is, sometimes we have to say goodbye to our favourite shows.

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About Emily Stewart

Emily is a Media, Information and Technoculture student at Western University who likes to put her critical thinking skills and passion for writing to good use, including reviewing TV shows for We Eat Films.

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