4 of the Biggest Unanswered Questions–Friday Four

ParasiteA lot of the time in long-running shows, or even just shows that manage a few seasons, there will be some big things that are brought up, and then never heard from again. Often it’s because the answer would’ve been a huge shakeup for the status quo, but not always. Sometimes it’s just a plot thread that was left hanging in case the writers ever decided they wanted to revisit it. But then the story started to go in a different direction, and it didn’t really make sense any more to dust that idea off and drag it out of the closet. So looking back on the finished shows later, it can become a rather large mystery for the fandoms: what is the deal with this unresolved plot thread?

In that vein, here are 4 big questions raised by series, usually early in their runs, that were never answered.

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Franchise Potential, Part 2

Enterprise DSo last week I discussed what makes a show capable of producing spinoffs that succeed independently, and a big part of that was the parent show having an open premise. Star Trek was simply about the exploration of space, while Battlestar Galactica was narrowly focused on the story of human survival after the end. The fact that it’s set in space is almost incidental most of the time. But there has to be another aspect to it. After all, Lost in Space and Space 1999 were contemporaries of Star Trek TOS with similarly open premises and yet they’re all but forgotten by comparison. So what else is there?

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4 Great Shows with Awful First Seasons – Friday Four

FerengiWith Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s second season almost half over, I think it’s safe to say that the show has now reached quality-TV levels, becoming a show that’s thoroughly entertaining on its own, and not just as an adjunct to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Defiance, too, proved its worth in its second season and earning the right to a third. But I think most fans would be willing to admit that these two shows had some pretty significant problems when they started, with SHIELD having insignificant, family-friendly standalone episodes and lifeless, peppy characters, and Defiance trying too hard to emulate premium HBO shows like Game of Thrones while centering on a group of people who were almost the polar opposite of SHIELD‘s: selfish, petty and often times cruel. It’s basically the opposite problem of those shows that ruin it all in the ending, but this trip-up is a far more common one. And that’s why it’s so difficult to watch these one-season shows (like Charlie Jade) fail to move on. Usually, it takes time for a TV show to find itself, but often times they don’t get the chance. Just look at these, 4 shows with downright terrible first seasons, and imagine the awesomeness we’d have missed out on if they hadn’t been given a chance.

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Doctor Who Series 8 Retrospective

Cyberman destroying the planeIt’s been an interesting run of Doctor Who this year, to put it delicately. This was the first time we’ve not had a ridiculously long break right in the middle of the season, for example. We’ve also tacked away from the overly convoluted arc-based storytelling of series 6 and the stand-alone blockbuster style of series 7, settling for a more moderate approach with some serialization and some stand-alone, with two-parters and longer episodes where needed. That’s on top of a new Doctor, a retooled companion and a radical shift in tone. So how did all this add up?

Spoilers throughout the season ahead.

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4 Finales That Ruined The Show – Friday Four

BSG EarthSometimes writers make missteps in their shows. They make a move, be it killing off a character, or retooling the show, or what have you, that enrages the fans. A lot of the time, this will kill the show, but not always. If not, the writers will backpedal, returning things to the way they were in the hopes of maintaining the show a little longer. But once in a while that misstep just happens to be right at the end, when the show was scheduled to finish anyway, and there’s no chance to correct it. And when that happens, the lackluster finale can be enough to, in retrospect, ruin the entire experience of watching the show. That’s what happened with these four, finales and final seasons that so radically changed what we knew about the work that it’s no longer enjoyable. This is a highly subjective thing, so I’m sure that plenty of people will disagree with my list, but all I can do is describe it from my perspective.

With that said, here we go. Naturally, it’s nothing but spoilers past this point.

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