Unfortunately in the world of TV series not all donuts come out with a hole. And even those that start off well always risk getting lost in the dark labyrinths of the verbose. The long agonies, the endings that never come, are one of the dramas that a production for the small screen can run into. The reasons? Multiple. Let’s think of a TV series like House of Cards. If it had ended at the right time, he wouldn’t have had to invent a season without Kevin Spacey and all those tricks to keep him from appearing on stage. In this article we want to list 8 productions that ended after a long, slow and painful (especially for the fans) agony. Get ready to suffer with us, we stay close.
1) 13 Reasons Why
Thirteen Reasons Why, or as we know it in beautiful country Thirteen is a product that could have made history, if only it had closed after the first act. The first season, whether we like it or not, offered a new and very interesting narrative dynamic and was an excellent job of adapting Jay Ascher’s novel. Mind you, not that this series is a masterpiece, the influence of excellent predecessors such as Skins or Veronica Mars have had their weight in the success of that first season so good and destroyed by a sequel not up to par. Very important themes were touched upon and tackled in a delicate and incisive way: in short, 13 at that time was not only an interesting, but also a useful series.
In the first season, the writers created a joint and a coherent and functional narrative, but lost themselves in an ending that wanted at all costs to open the door to an unnecessary second season. And this is where we come to the point. It was not necessary to continue Thirteen, because everything that follows the events of the first season is perfectly imaginable without needing to be shown. The story had exhausted all the arguments with the first season: the rest we have seen is just a monothematic monologue, long-winded and with revisable writing.
2) Once Upon a Time
The first season of Once Upon a Time was engaging, well studied and structured, with vertical episodes that gradually introduced us to all the inhabitants of Storybrooke and the Enchanted Forest and a macro-story that was composed episode after episode. The positive trend, between ups and downs, continued for a couple of years, in which the development of the story and the characters reached its peak. The finale of the third season, except for the final cliffhanger, could have been the perfect way to close the events of the protagonists and to give them the “for they lived happily ever after” which we have come to expect from a series like Once Upon A Time.
Unfortunately, however, with the superfluous subsequent seasons, which no longer reached the levels of the first ones, the ABC series has lost its edge, often resulting too repetitive and finally cloying. For seven long seasons, the series dragged on with a certain underlying tiredness, getting up only when it was too late. The seventh season, with an all-new cast, marked a revival of the show, which has been reborn from its own ashes. Too late.
3) The Last Man on Earth
Airing on FOX, based on an idea by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller then reworked by Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth has more or less the same concept as all the classic apocalyptic products: a virus has wiped out almost all of the race human, leaving behind deserted streets and uninhabited houses. At the beginning of the series, there seems to be only one survivor: Phil Miller. What is the substantial difference compared to the past?
Well, soon said: The Last Man on Earth is a comedy, Phil is quite an idiot, and the few characters that will come are more idiotic than him. The first season of The Last Man on Earth was able to bewitch even the most skeptics about comedies, because he created a world that, in some ways, did not exist before. The problem was, as with the other TV series already mentioned, that it lasted too long, until it reached cancellation and a real non-final. A production that had expressed incredible potential, but which has been lost over time.
4) House of Cards
From an apocalyptic series we pass to a political one, the most famous: House of Cards. Let’s be honest. Despite the good claims and good will, the last season of House of Cards is a perfect marriage of light and shadow. Leave behind a trail of onlookers not at all happy. Combined with the plot that has showy flaws, holes that are not plugged at all, certainly the absence of Kevin Spacey proves to be a huge blow, so much so as to affect the entire sixth season of House of Cards.
The physical elimination of Frank and the belittling of his figure several times fueled the idea that Spacey’s absence was the weak link of the entire sixth season. Frank Underwood, on the other hand, is everywhere. He is present in every dialogue. His name comes up in almost every scene. There are many references that make his name a subject of discussion. And all this is the least that could be done. Undermining the entire plot, not only turned out to be a completely vain attempt, but it irreparably compromised the whole House of Cards. A TV series that should have ended much earlier.
From House of Cards let’s move on to another cult TV series: Westworld. The production has always attracted great criticism and great praise, perfect example of its incredibly erratic nature. A truly excellent first season, through which Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan had reworked the 1973 film of the same name by setting, among other things, a mechanism with alternating timelines, was followed by the second structurally similar yet all too Byzantine; above all, it lacks a sufficiently powerful narrative horizon and capable of lassoing the various stories.
The third succeeds in the arduous task of doing worse than the second. Perhaps in an attempt to revive and simultaneously expand the discourse, the authors had decided to abandon the theme parks to embrace a deliberately cyberpunk aesthetic, consequently updating the various references and even the video game quotations richly present from the beginning. Failing miserably. With the fourth, things went better than expected, but Westworld will forever remain one of the greatest what ifs in the history of the small screen.
6) Black Monday
After House of Cards, let’s go back to talking about politics and especially the economy. Our sixth proposal recounts the events leading up to the famous Black Monday, or the day of October 19, 1987 in which the stock markets experienced a crisis unprecedented in the history of Wall Street. The mix of comedy and drama, elements present from the first minutes of Black Monday, does not always get the desired results: however, the series can count on a high-level cast capable of making the production overcome empty passages.
However, the problem is exacerbated when it was decided to lengthen the stock of the TV series. Unfortunately, the result is bad and Black Monday turns into a series that makes you laugh (enough) and reflect (a little) and that almost everything is based on the mimicry of excesses and the good understanding of the cast of actors. Too bad for that tendency of the screenwriters to the sudden twist, necessary to drag the production forward, and to the immediate twist that often alienates and negatively affects the spectators who had loved his debut.
Our penultimate TV series is Quantico. The production was presented at its release as one of the most promising series of recent years. Indeed, both the pilot and the first season promised very well, with a compelling script that blended present events – hence the main plot – with past references thanks to the skilful use of continuous flashbacks which from time to time explained the dynamics between the various characters and their relationships throughout the story with a good mix of romance and spy genre.
Unfortunately, as often happens in overseas productions, however, the desire to commercialize good serial products at any cost almost never pays off in the long run unless at the base there is actually a screenplay capable of holding up for so many chapters. The third season seems to have been created only to squeeze the last energy out of a product that in fact had nothing more to say, a great pity.
Misfits has been able to take and upset all the canons of serial genres and reuse them at will, creating a totally new and, above all, anarchic product. After so many years the anarchy has turned into chaos and, after just as many changes in the group of protagonists, the series has turned into a very sad parody of itself.
After the conclusion of the last season, all insiders – and above all the public – have certified that the Misfits plan has failed, and that desire to overthrow the natural order of superheroes has become a tired and excessively wordy series in telling events ready to upset the viewer, without however ever taking the commitment to give a real depth or horizontality to the series. Telling, after an incredible first season, an excellent second and a third still good, a sequence of irritating sketches for the sake of themselves in the last two, just to market and carry on production as far as possible. A great pity.
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