Fox Fox Fox…. Second only to the CW in confounding programming decisions and right behind NBC in breaking fandom’s hearts.

Some shows had to be “LoneStar-ed

Sometimes, ratings are just too bad… [and so are some shows]. Fox isn’t exactly the most patient network of them all and it has a history of axing showsafter two episodes.

A few words about the shows that got cancelled before anyone had a chance to watch them:

Mulaney, Seinfeld of the Millennial generation?  We’ll never know. Never watched it, never will. No regrets. I am shocked it actually aired 13 episodes! [feels like it went away after one]

Gracepoint, the place where British hits go to die: the target audience for this show was people who loved Broadchurch. The problem is that people who loved Broadchurch [like me] were not particularly excited about watching a repeat so soon after the original aired. In any case, this was an “event” series and there was never a commitment to produce more than one season… but I am sure they were hoping for it to be a hit [and get in a bidding war with Kudos for David Tennant?]. Shonda’s Thursdays may have also contributed to Gracepoint’s demise.

The Red Band Society, Not another uplifting teen show: This wasn’t the worst new show of the year by far. I watched a couple of episodes and was still on the fence about it. However, when I realized its inevitable fate I stopped watching. People tell me it got interesting, but I don’t handle stories about terminal illnesses well, so stopping was probably a good idea.

Backstrom, not made of Bones was an OK show, better than most. That didn’t prevent FOX from cancelling its only new cop show. But it is OK because Hart Hanson has Bones and, even though that show doesn’t make me jump up and down, it still has enough sporadic game-changing episodes to keep it interesting. So I am not going to complain about its longevity [but I would happily trade a season of Bones for any of my beloved cancelled Fox sci-fis]

FOX didn’t actually “lone-star” any shows this year. At least they let them air 10+ episodes. [But I am sure they made up their minds after 2]. Can’t say I will miss any of this.

The secret for a lasting sci-fi on FOX? Don’t be something I LOVE


Dark Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Terminator the Sarah Connor Chronicle, Alcatraz, Terranova, Almost Human

Yes, I know Sleepy Hollow is still kicking, but that’s not really sci-fi, it’s fantasy. Given Fox’s history of breaking my geeky heart, last year I predicted they would cancel the show I was anticipating the most: Gotham. But I was wrong! On more than one thing…

No Fox didn’t cancel the Batman prequelbut sadly I was wrong about loving it too. Unlike a LOT of people I know, I did not stop watching Gotham, nor I intend to stop any time soon. There are elements about it I actually love, but they are more related to the aesthetic/tone/style aspects than the actual storyline or characters… And that’s not a good thing.

I still think Gotham had a lot of potential. I really like the cast (Donal Logue, Ben McKenzie, Morena Baccarin returning to sci-fi) and Robin Lord Taylor was a standout newcomer. It has a great visual aesthetic and endless material to draw from. I think it had issues with tone and structure. The tone… not dark enough/ not quirky enough. It’s neither Tim Burton nor Christopher Nolan, is something in between. I’d personally would prefer uber dark… but I could also get into something over-the-top-quirky [a la Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls or hey even Twin Peaks]. As for the structure… it’s a cop show. It is too much of a cop show and it gets boring after a while. A geek friendly show should have more serialized elements. Allow the audience to theorize and come up with hidden connections and patters. In summary, I wanted more.

But… turns out that… when I am not 100% pleased, Fox is. So Gotham didn’t become the latest addition to my defunct sci-fi list. [Update 26.05.15 I finished watching Gotham S1 and towards the end they incorporated a multi-ep arc with Milo Ventimiglia's character that worked quite well. I hope they continue this semi-serialized trend in S2]

Embrace the soap factor

And what about Empire? I always intended to watch because Taraji and Terrence are A-class actors [Oscar nominated for God’s sake!] And I expected it to be reasonably successful [for a mid-season show]. I DID NOT expect it to be a ratings’ monster! That show surely defied every ratings convention and became the hit of the season.

But is it that awesome? Well it IS a soap, but it is a good soap and there is no shame in that. Yes, the storylines are far-fetched and there is a lot of over the top drama, screaming matches, deception, murder and every single soap opera trope you can think of. But the actors are great, the characters are fun and the music is quite awesome.

But … just as I said about the other famous soap of the season: “This is not Mad Men”. So take it for what it is. It might even be my favourite Fox show right now, however I don’t think of it on the level of other dramas [but, sometimes, TV just needs to be fun].

In any case, looks like the “reality TV” era might be ending [American Idol will wrap up after next season] and we might be entering a soap age… Guess I can live with that [hey, at least soaps are scripted]

And that’s it for FOX, let’s see if they can get their edge back next year.

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Alejandra spends her days watching TV, writing for TV, writing about TV. Hopefully, one day, she will get substantially paid for all three. Follow her on twitter @azannier

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  1. I think Empire is SO stereotypical. I just cannot handle watching it anymore. I watched the first couple of episodes. It's just a soap through and through. It's all about shock. The slang, the violence, the sex; it just seems unnecessary to me. I don't mind those things when they serve the plot. Hell, sometimes I encourage them. There's just too much. It's just way too over the top to me. And it makes "some" black people (and I'm Black) seem so absurd and uneducated. It's like all Black people are stereotypical rappers or something. I don't know, maybe it has changed. I just am shocked it has completely dominated in the ratings. I do think it is entertaining. I do think it challenges some conceptions, although it mainly plays to stereotypes people find funny. I do like the music. I just can't enjoy it really. I wanted to like it...Like I said I don't think it's without merit. I just wish they showed different types of characters on the show.


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