Question: I wanted to respond to your comments about the idea that perhaps the unaired episodes of canceled shows should not be streamed online, and instead viewers should simply "move on." I've yet to have a show I watch sent to this online exile, but I've had tons of shows of which I was a fan canceled with unaired episodes that later surfaced on DVD. Surely, I was better off seeing the entire glorious season of Wonderfalls rather than "moving on" after the handful that aired, wasn't I? Even without a lick of closure, the unaired Christmas episode of Tru Calling was a gem. And Firefly was only getting better through its unaired episodes. (Of course, in that case we fans finally got our closure in a different medium.) Might the problem that viewers are having this year with the Vanisheds and Kidnappeds of the world have more to do with streaming technology, or the fact that their unaired episodes were themselves not very good, than that the notion of watching unaired eps at all is a mistake? I know I'd be tempted to view the episodes of The Nine that didn't air, but that show was already a chore by the time it was canceled, so I'm sure I'd only get more of the same frustration out of its final hours. Just interested to hear your thoughts.
Answer: I'll admit that my "move on" comment was too glib, given the passion some viewers clearly have for this season's failed serialized dramas, and I got plenty of letters taking me to task for it. In the case of shows like Kidnapped (which I'm led to believe was able to wrap up its story, more or less, in 13 episodes) and Day Break (which initially was only intended to air 13 or so hours during the Lost hiatus anyway), being able to see the entire short series in full is clearly a positive thing for those seeking dramatic closure. And I'm with you when it comes to DVD releases of shows that never got a chance and had hidden treasures left unseen (Wonderfalls and Firefly being among the best examples). But in cases like Vanished (I think) or last season's Reunion, when a show with a much broader arc is cut short before the producers can achieve anything like a coherent finale, it's best for everyone to wash their hands of it if it's not going to go further. This season, many of the networks have attempted to use their online resources to fill the void when a show is canceled midstream, but so far it's proving to be an imperfect system. What I was responding to, probably in a fit of just-back-from-vacation frustration, was the amount of mail I was getting from viewers who refuse to be satisfied no matter what the networks offer up on behalf of these dead shows. The bottom line is, there's almost never a happy ending for a show that is given a quick heave-ho. But if the networks give you the option of continuing to watch in whatever format, who am I to discourage you? I just doubt I'll be going along for the ride.