PDA

View Full Version : Will you watch a TV show if it's over/cancelled before you begin?


Chef Troy
02-09-2013, 04:45 PM
There have been times when I've started DVR'ing a show intending to watch it and then it gets cancelled before I get around to watching any episodes. I usually just delete the episodes without watching them, because I feel like the BEST I can hope for is that I won't like them, and therefore won't care that the show is gone.

I am sure I would LOVE the show "Firefly," and for that reason I have never watched any of it, because knowing there are so few episodes of it out there would overshadow any pleasure I took in watching it.

What say you, Dopers? is it better to have loved and lost a show than never to have loved at all?

randwill
02-09-2013, 04:53 PM
You should watch and savor what there is of "Firefly". I think it's great!

Like everyone, I see the relentless promos for new shows, but I'm very picky these days about what I'll try and quick to dump something if it doesn't grab me after a few episodes. "New Girl" and "Elementary" met with swift cancellation at my house. (Yet I'm still watching "Glee", so go figure.)

Lately, I've been patting myself on the back for never trying out shows which get quickly cancelled. I guess I'm developing a sixth sense after all these years of TV viewing.

Chronos
02-09-2013, 04:56 PM
Never seeing the later seasons of Firefly is tragic. Never seeing what little we have would have been even more tragic. Yes, I would rather have loved and lost.

My answer is even more definite for series that are over (by which I understand, have come to their natural conclusion). I think that the best works of art must have a definite end, and so knowing, going in, that the story I'm considering does so, will make me even more interested in it.

DrFidelius
02-09-2013, 04:56 PM
Every movie I've ever watched was finished well before I saw it. Why would I not want to watch shows just because they are now cancelled?

(The reason for cancellation is important - network shenanigans is one thing, an awful concept, writing or acting is quite another.)

Zeldar
02-09-2013, 04:58 PM
I try hard not to watch shows that were cancelled before they got going good. I have seen several that I was really getting into when their plug was pulled and that made me wary of doing such again. The last one to piss me off bigtime was Terriers and I was saddened to see that The Killing is coming back (it should have been killed after the first season.)

I enjoy Netflix version of shows I never saw when they were being broadcast, but it's their notoriety and buzz that draw me to them. And, by definition, they would have been cancelled at some point. Just not assassinated. :)

Ethilrist
02-09-2013, 05:11 PM
Hell, that's about the only circumstance under which I'd start watching something--knowing that I'll eventually pick up all the seasons on DVD used, or (once I gets mah internets back) on Netflix. I gave up on trying to watch regularly-scheduled TV in realtime (or even video tape it and watch it the next day) ten years ago.

don't ask
02-09-2013, 05:28 PM
I must admit there are shows that I have had recommended that I don't bother watching because they were cancelled early. I can understand that people who have already seen them may advocate me watching what exists, but for me it is like watching a half made movie. I don't think a movie that consisted of the first hour only of Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather or Pulp Fiction would rate very highly.

And it's not like there is nothing complete available to watch.

Lamia
02-09-2013, 05:53 PM
I don't have a DVR so this doesn't come up for me, but I think it would depend on how long the show ran and whether it was canceled with a bunch of important things never being resolved or if the existing episodes stand alone pretty well. Every show ends sometime, and there have been a few that dragged on longer than they should have.

If for instance Community had been canceled after season three I would still consider it worth watching for anyone with the right sense of humor, but I see how a series with a big story arc that got chopped off or that had a season finale cliffhanger that turned out to be the last episode could be too frustrating to bother with.

GuanoLad
02-09-2013, 06:02 PM
I watched the Firefly box set. Unlike the rest of the universe I didn't think it was all that great, though I would've watched it if it had continued on.

Another show I had the entirety of before beginning was Day Break, with Taye Diggs. It was really good, it's a shame it didn't continue, though it also ended conclusively so maybe it worked best as a single season show.

I can't think of any others. The closest I get is joining a show two or three seasons in, which I've done a few times.

Mahaloth
02-09-2013, 08:32 PM
Firefly is worth it.

I never saw X-files until it was over and it was worth it. Of course, there were 9 seasons of episodes so it was not painful experience. It was more of a joy knowing how much we had left.

epbrown01
02-09-2013, 09:31 PM
I would totally watch a show that's already been canceled, and I often have. It can be a good thing, since in the US we tend to run a show into the ground long after the stories are done. Smallville should have ended when Clark graduated high school. Buffy should have ended after season 5. Supernatural should have wrapped a season or two back.

Meanwhile, I wouldn't want to have missed Veronica Mars, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, Firefly or Daybreak, even if they didn't run for a decade.

Simplicio
02-09-2013, 09:51 PM
I don't really get the OP. Other then the Simpson's, which at this point looks like its run will outlast the eventual heat-death of the Universe, isn't the fate of every show eventual cancellation?

Bryan Ekers
02-09-2013, 10:14 PM
Heck, I've watched plenty of shows that were cancelled before I was born.

shijinn
02-09-2013, 10:51 PM
the American system of cooking up storylines on the fly instead of a fixed story like everything else is foreign to me. however, i have gotten used to it and have now no expectations for a series resolution. since they seem to have no idea how long a series will run before it ends, i find most series finales to be cobbled together anyway.

Fugazi
02-09-2013, 11:24 PM
I actually prefer it. I hate waiting a week, or sometimes months between episodes. By the time a new season rolls around, I forget quite a bit of what happened the previous season.

alphaboi867
02-09-2013, 11:50 PM
I don't really get the OP. Other then the Simpson's, which at this point looks like its run will outlast the eventual heat-death of the Universe, isn't the fate of every show eventual cancellation?

Yes, but a few shows (The Lucy Show, or 30 Rock) get to run long enough that their creators end them on their own terms then rather have have them by the network be cancelled.

TBG
02-09-2013, 11:57 PM
Another show I had the entirety of before beginning was Day Break, with Taye Diggs. It was really good, it's a shame it didn't continue, though it also ended conclusively so maybe it worked best as a single season show.

I never did see the end of that. After cancellation, they put the remaining eps on ABC.com, but their player was a pain, and worked like crap on my connection, so I only got through a few of them.

Please, no one feel the need to give a synopsis or anything, it's been way too long, I would need to rewatch the show from the beginning for any of it to have meaning now.

epbrown01
02-10-2013, 12:39 AM
I never did see the end of that. After cancellation, they put the remaining eps on ABC.com, but their player was a pain, and worked like crap on my connection, so I only got through a few of them.

Please, no one feel the need to give a synopsis or anything, it's been way too long, I would need to rewatch the show from the beginning for any of it to have meaning now.

It's on Netflix if you ever want to catch up.

panache45
02-10-2013, 10:35 AM
I recently started watching Fringe . . . just in time to Tivo the final episode, which I will not watch yet, of course. But the reruns are out of order, so I have to mentally fill in the blanks for ones I haven't seen yet. It's actually more fun this way.

whc.03grady
02-12-2013, 10:17 PM
My wife and I watched Twin Peaks for the first time, 20-plus years after it was cancelled. Cancelled, though not wrapped up, which would seem to be an important distinction. It was worth it, but there are so many never-to-be-answered questions, more than most shows which are canned without a chance to tie things up.

LawMonkey
02-12-2013, 10:32 PM
It's a bit rough if you know it gets cancelled early with no resolution at all. Firefly and Terriers, both brilliant shows that died too soon, have each got a little bit of a satisfying conclusion, so I would have to recommend them.

bump
02-13-2013, 09:21 AM
I'm more apt to watch a show that I know has been cancelled or is over with, than to try and pick up a show that is either new and unproven, or hanging on by a thread.

It's less annoying that way- I know it's cancelled, and that I can just enjoy what's there and be a little frustrated that they didn't continue. I can watch it on DVD or stream it in a relatively short amount of time for most shows like that as well.

Watching the show crater in slow motion is the worst though. After the whole 4th/5th season business with Babylon 5, I sort of gave up on that kind of thing, in expectation that I'd watch any future series like this in syndication after it's over and done with.

Le Ministre de l'au-delà
02-13-2013, 09:54 AM
I came in specifically to mention 'Firefly' - I see it got covered. 'Rome' is another series that I just recently watched. I'm not sure how I missed it the first time around, but it's fantastic.

I grew up watching syndicated re-runs in non-prime time spots, so that's how I approach a lot of TV series. Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Twilight Zone, Get Smart, Gilligan's Island, Adam 12 were all done by the time I saw them; it didn't have any effect on my enjoyment of them.

Anaamika
02-13-2013, 09:55 AM
Actually that makes me want to watch the show more. I hate shows that go on and on and on without any ending in sight.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.