Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Spot. On.

Yeah, what Bill Simmons said about the season finale of "The Killing":
... I will leave you with four thoughts. First, Sunday night shows have a built-in competitive advantage because the best HBO shows (Sopranos, The Wire, Six Feet Under, etc.) got us into the groove of watching the best possible television every Sunday night, then AMC kept the momentum going with Mad Men and Breaking Bad, and somewhere along the line, that became our Smart Television Night and it doesn't really matter what's on anymore, as long as it feels like a good show. We never cared if Walking Dead or The Killing were great, just that they were good enough to keep us interested on Sunday nights, because that's the night we like to watch well-acted shows with well-developed characters that creep along from week to week and keep us guessing. So really, we're to blame for letting The Killing happen — we always knew it sucked, but we didn't care. We allowed this catastrophe to happen.

Second, The Killing is destined to become the first example anyone brings up when the subject is, "What show did something that made its fans hate it the most?" It's not like other shows haven't antagonized their fans before: The Sopranos cutting to black on its final episode, Seinfeld and his buddies getting arrested, and Dallas executing a retroactive "everything you just watched never happened" season-long dream sequence are the three most famous examples. But has a TV show ever willfully misled its viewers like this, to the point that it made you hate yourself for ever watching the show? No. Never. We made history here.

Third, I always judge television shows by the dueling metrics, "If I could travel back in time and tell myself to either watch or NOT watch this show, what would I say?" and "If I could have done the MJ's Final Shot in 1998 with a TV show and gotten out at the perfect time, then never watched another episode, when would that time be?" A good example: Lost. I would absolutely watch that show again, only I would tell myself to stop watching right before the final season started. Or Seinfeld. I'd keep watching right until George's fiancée dies from licking the envelopes, then I'd be done.

With The Killing? I would beg March 2011 Me to not watch a single second of the show. So there's that.

Fourth and most important, I can't remember a single show damaging a network's brand this severely, to the point that AMC either needs to apologize, offer the entire Breaking Bad series on DVD for 85 percent off, or even publicly distance itself from the show the same way a sports team distances itself from a star player who does something horrible. That's how bad this was. AMC had won our trust over the past few years; because of that trust, we endured The Killing because we trusted AMC enough that we assumed they wouldn't screw us. It's unfathomable that none of the people running such a seemingly intelligent network said, "We better leak to Tim Goodman or Alan Sepinwall that they're not wrapping things up in one season, we don't want people to be pissed off." Nope. The ratings mattered more than the viewers.

And yeah, that's happened before in television … but not like this. The Killing turned out to be aptly named: AMC just killed any "most creative network" momentum it had. People will not forget what happened. I know I won't. And in case you were wondering, hell will freeze over before I watch Season 2.

[Read the whole thing]
My Comments:
About 45 minutes into the season finale, I said to myself "These bastards are going to leave us hanging, aren't they?"

Yep. Bastards.

NB: By the way, I was perfectly fine with the leftist, holier-than-thou, do-gooder, hypocrite of a city councilman being the murderer. But they couldn't just leave well enough alone. Bastards.

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At 6/21/2011 4:05 PM, Blogger LarryD said...

Never even heard of this program until now. I won't be wasting my time with reruns - not because of the spoilers, but because it sounds like it didn't get better as the season went on.

For me, the next 6-8 weeks will be agonizing enough waiting for the 2nd half of "Dr Who" to start up again on BBC America.

At 6/23/2011 1:17 PM, Blogger DP said...

Wow--just amazing how a "creative team" thinks they can dick with the viewer like that.

While the end of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica was not without glaring flaws, the creators at least respected and built upon what they had previously created for the audience. I definitely did not feel betrayed by the ending. For the most part, I thought it worked, or at least worked well enough.

What you're describing is pure contempt for the audience. Which deserves to be returned in full by dismal season 2 ratings.


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