Saturday, 27 October 2012

Alcatraz - Why did it have to end?

In 1963, Alcatraz prison shut down, all the prisoners were transferred due to unsafe conditions, but thats not what happened, that's not what happened at all...

Isn't that a great opening line to a TV series. It was one of the reasons I wanted to watch this show. That and it came from the producer of Lost, Super 8 and Alias. J J Abrams. Here's the story:

On March 21, 1963, the inmates and guards at Alcatraz prison mysteriously disappear. To cover up the problem, the government reports to the public that the prison has been closed because of unsafe conditions. A secret government unit was set-up to find the prisoners. Now, in the present-day, the inmates begin returning - unaged and unaware of where they have spent the missing decades - and continue their criminal ways. They are acting out of character and appear to be searching for specific objects. A federal agent employs a police officer and a conspiracy theory novelist to help track them down.

The only thing is, and I don't know why I do this to myself, but I knew when I picked up the DVD that it was going to be the only series of it. That it had been cancelled by Fox some time before the DVD release even came about and still I bought it, watched it and got hooked. I loved the story. I wanted to know what really happened on Alcatraz, why the 63's disappeared and why they were coming back now. These things will never be answered and I did it all to myself, by picking up a series that would never ever answer any of the questions that rose from it. I also got attached to the characters, and as most series do, it ended on a cliff hanger that I will never know the conclusion of.

This isn't the first time I've done this to myself. I did it with Firefly. I picked up the DVD and got totally hooked and screamed and ranted for days about why didn't they ever finish it. How could they cancel such a good show? I don't think the people at FOX and other networks like them really know their audience as well as they think they do. If they did, they wouldn't get targeted by so many campaigns to bring back shows they cancel after one season. It's happened a lot - Ringer, Secret Circle, Eastwick, Alcatraz, Firefly - just to name a few. But shows like Lost, Prison Break and Weeds (I define theses as inferior shows) can run on and on. I always think that they don't give it enough time. They are so concerned with initial ratings. I've always maintained that you can not judge something rating and there for total profit/value until after the first set of reruns has finished. People miss things the first time around. Reruns reach more people. Ratings improve and this window is what I think make or breaks a show. But the big companies these days don't wait for that, they demand instant successes.

Almost makes me want to boycott TV together. Except for the fact I have Sky+ episodes of Grimm to watch. :)

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