I've been amazed when people ...
I've been amazed when people have said in previous Ask Matt questions that they don't want to start watching a show because of the chance it might be canceled. I've lived through the agony of having shows I've cared for canceled. I was crushed when Dark Angel
ended mid-story. I was in agony when Firefly
ended prematurely and stunned when Farscape
was canceled after a gut-wrenching cliff-hanger. And there are many others: Wonderfalls
, Dead Like Me
, Veronica Mars
. Doubtless there will be others. But I don't regret having watched any of these shows. Would my life have been less rich if I had never watched Firefly
? Would I be better off if I had never seen Dead Like Me
? I understand wanting a beloved show to go on for seven or eight seasons, but I'm grateful even for the brief glimpses into alternate realities that these shows provided. I would have loved to see where Wonderfalls
would have gone, but I'm delighted that I got to experience the show at all. So yes, some of the shows of the new season may not last. And yes, I'll be incredibly frustrated if Bionic Woman
gets canceled at midseason or if Pushing Daisies
isn't renewed past this season (assuming both are as good as they appear they will be), just as I will be depressed if we don't get a Season 3 of Friday Night Lights
. Watching a show that makes me care, even when there's a risk it might be canceled, seems to me better than watching a show that can never make me care at all.Answer:
No one said watching good TV would be easy. Obviously, I couldn't agree more, or I'd be pretty useless in this line of work. If the material's good enough, I'm happy to go along for any ride, even at the risk of it not getting all the way to the end of its journey. I can't say I regret watching any of my pet projects that met an untimely fate (say, Freaks and Geeks
). While the nature of programming in such a commercially driven medium does tend to breed cynicism among consumers, the rewards of watching the best that TV has to offer more than makes up for it.