Sudden TV Series Abandonment Syndrome


I hated to break the news to him but it had to be done. Like a Band-Aid on hair-- the faster it's off, the more merciful.

"Pop," I said, bracing for the inevitable, "Monk is ending this season."

And yup-- NASA astronauts heard my father's anguished cries from their latest space mission.

The same thing happened when Riptide was canceled in the '80s.

You probably don't even remember it, since it was only on for about two seasons. But that quirky private-eye-computer-geek team made a deep impression on the Pop.

Chicks in bikinis, orange remote control robots, geeks with taped glasses, detective-work, palm trees and fast boats... As far as Dad was concerned, it had all the elements of classic entertainment. And twenty-five years later, the Pop is still in mourning.

I'm surprised he's not wearing a Hawaiian printed arm-band with a computer chip glued to it, in memory of the thing.

Then there was the recent Stargate SG-1 exodus, and Pop is feeling the withdrawal symptoms of that, too. Stargate... where we go from planets with unsubtley-spacified ancient Earth cultures to vaguely metaphorical interplanetary social commentary on adventures with:
  • A big dude with better eye-makeup than mine carrying the soul of a psychic tadpole between his man-boobs...
  • A brilliant female scientist who shows that brilliance doesn't prevent you from being captured and sold as a sex slave every other episode...
  • Another scientist mainly for exposition and frowning
  • MacGyver in uniform

I was concerned when I first read Stargate SG-1 was going off the air, because I knew what it meant to the Pop. I mean, I'd sat through some episodes with him. I'd heard him dub it the "finest science fiction program to date." Far superior to the Stargates that followed, I understand. Something, it would seem, just short of Shakespeare but with more forehead prosthetics.

And I was right: I'd barely shared the bad news of its cancelation when he'd cycled into the tried-and-true, "How come everything that's any good is canceled?" recap.

"Dad, it was on for ten years," I reassured him. "We had two presidents, two wars, the dot-com boom, 9/11, iPod technology and Rosemary and Olive Oil Triscuits in that time."

But based on the previous Riptide loss, his Sudden Series Abandonment Syndrome (SSAS) has kicked in. In the face of painful loss, he is not willing to forgive.

And now Monk.

"I was just getting into that and now it's cancelled," he sighed. "Just like Riptide. And look what happened to Stargate SG-1! You know, that was the finest sci-fi program ever made?"

Absolutely, Pop. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry...

Perhaps someday they'll make a pill to ease the pain of Sudden Television Series Abandonment Syndrome. To soothe, to help him forget.

Until then, there are DVDs, and I've sent him a box full of them. Eye-makeup-dude, sex slave scientist and Admiral MacGyver can live on forever, in those beautiful iridescent disks.

I hope it brings him some joy... washes away the anguish of missions unfinished... cultures unexplored... and the bitter, salty taste of tears unshed...

In the meantime-- According to Jim, ER, and Kath and Kim live on...

Television... she's a capricious little minx.

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Do you suffer from Sudden Television Series Abandonment Syndrome? Did a show go off the air that you still miss? Or is there anything on TV you can't believe is still running? I'd love to hear about it!

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38 comments:

legbamel said...

Regardless of the allegations that its contestants are all actors, I'm fascinated with Don't Forget the Lyrics and my kids and I made it a ritual over the last few months. Now, they've replaced it with some stupid show about, as far as I can tell, naked androids that get drunk. The series has not been officially cancelled but no one seems to know when, if ever, it will be on again. [sigh]

It's always the good ones. Tell your Pop I share his pain, although not necessarily over those particular shows.

Jenn Thorson said...

Legbamel- Thanks, I will. :) And I'm sorry for your loss. Naked drunk androids? Crimeny. Suddenly, I'm glad I mostly just Netflix everything.

Karen said...

I can't believe that these horrific reality shows continue to breed and multiply; and I swear to God if that skanky blond singer doesn't find a decent girlfriend who can last more than the interlude between one season on VH1 and the next, I'm going to bash my television with an axe.

Nooter said...

tell him to start watching those insipid reality shows, maybe we can get a few of them canceled too.

i miss underdog, talk about a positive role model, and that sweet polly purebred, va va voom!

Jenn Thorson said...

Karen- Okay, I think you need to step away from the television... nice and slow... put the axe on the floor-- gently!... :)

Nooter- Well, there's something I bet he hasn't considered-- watching programs with an INTENT toward cancellation. Now that's an idea! It would be such a wonderful public service for us all.

And Underdog was a fave of mine, growing up. He had style, that pup. :)

nonamedufus said...

I sympathize with your Dad. Jericho, My Own Worst Enemy, Pushing Daisies...the list goes on and on; shows you invest your time in only for some network mucky mucks to cancel in favour of a low-budget - yet for some inescapable reason - hugely popular reality show. I love life but reality sucks!

Jenn Thorson said...

Nonamedufus- I have Pushing Daisies on my Netflix list. And I was well into Carnivale myself when it got canned.... It's rough when the plot is something you're curious about and you realize you'll never have answers. I hear ya.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

You can always distract him with the first four seasons of Battlestar Galactica on Netflix, though that is ending soon as well.

I'm still trying to get over the cancellation of Freaks and Geeks, though perhaps its perfect sweetness lies in its brevity. If I was an English teacher I'd be tempted to show my kids the whole series and then make them write a story about what happens after they go off with the Deadheads.

Jenn Thorson said...

Shieldmaiden- Ah, thank you for the suggestion, but he has very strong feelings against Battlestar Galactica. He feels it's too relationshippy and does not hold a candle to Stargate SG-1. :)

Freaks and Geeks was great.

Da Old Man said...

Monk is going off air? I am verklempt. But it will live on in reruns for many more years.

Has the Pop ever seen Psyche? Sounds like something he may like. Or hate. Very little middle ground with that show.

Jenn Thorson said...

Da Old Man- Hmmm... I do not know. He's never mentioned it. I somehow see him not liking the psychic element to the show, even if the guy is faking. The Pop likes science and biology and is not so much into the mystical stuff.

bob said...

ya had to bring up riptide. and i thought i was over it. i am not.

i can't continue this comm—

Da Old Man said...

Not psychic at all, just good detective/observation type crime solving. And very funny.

Jenn Thorson said...

Bob.... Bob?.... Bob, are you okay? Can you hear me? Bob, it'll be all right-- Riptide is now on DVD, both seasons! Nick, Cody and the Boz would want you to LIVE BOB!! LIIIIIIVE!!!!!

Vic said...

Shieldmaiden is totally right - I miss Freaks and Geeks to this day. It was so funny, and I unfortunately knew most of those people in high school.

Jay said...

I'm still annoyed about Crusade. And Blake's Seven. AND not that The Prisoner was abandoned as such, but they cut it short and told them to hurry up the ending.

And they canned Firefly.

*Pout*

Jenn Thorson said...

Vic- Yes, I felt a bit like that, too!

Jay- Oh, dontcha hate it when the ending gets rushed because they find out something will be canceled?

I liked Firefly the show, but didn't care much for the film they did after the show was canceled. It just didn't seem fair, somehow.

chyna said...

Tell your dad to move over and pass the Kleenex', I too am in mourning over SG-1 (the real one not lets go swim in a world of water Atlantis). By the way McGyvor is a General. ;) Hey if you are being really kind to your dad or maybe for Father's Day, there are two movies that take place after the last episode and supposed to be a third in the works. Also I see on the SG-1 site there is another SG Series being filmed, can't tell you much about it just that they've started filming. Keeping my fingers crossed on that.

And don't get me started on Farscape.... stupid Sci-Fi channel! What does your dad think of Dr Who or have you not let him see it for fear of cancellation? If he's that guy who dooms shows keep him away from the Doctor.

Tony Single said...

I tend not to suffer this affliction, although your Pop certainly does have my sympathy. I guess I prefer my programmes to not outstay their welcome... it's not enough for a show to keep going and going and going just because it can. Sometimes the best shows are the ones that didn't hang around for long, like the aforementioned Firefly. It might have been unjustly canned, but at least we'll always regard it as a treasure rather than a clapped out old warhorse that should have been given a bullet between the eyes four seasons ago. That's what happened to X-Files I'm afraid. I LOVED that show, and still do, but when they pushed on when David Duchovny left, I felt they were making a terrible mistake. A huge part of what made that show work was the dynamic pairing of Duchovny and the lovely, intellectual Gillian Anderson. Break that and you break the show. Anyhow, that's my two cents worth. :p

Jenn Thorson said...

Chyna- Ooh, he would like the movies, I bet-- thank you for that tip, I bet he doesn't even know about those. And the Pop doesn't like Doctor Who very much, I don't think-- probably because I love the Doctor. It's never fun to watch Who episodes with him, he gets grouchy. But based on your theory, it's just as well-- we'll have the Doctor around for a while more.

Tony- I wholly agree with you about what happened to the X-Files once Mulder and Scully left. It was really sad to see it struggle on like that. Firefly could have used another season or two more to suit me, though.

Chat Blanc said...

it IS a travesty! and I shall not judge your father as I once nearly wept at the loss of Friends, and also Will & Grace. I still watch the reruns and relive the moments of sheer joy. *sniff*

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

How awesome is your Pop to have the honor of being prefaced with the word "The". My goal in life is to have "The" before my moniker. Maybe I'll go invent something cool. Or, maybe something infinitely easier, like, saving the world.

Jessie said...

4 words-Mystery Science Theatre 3000.ok ones a number.
But I love that show,i discovered it by dvd,but it is far more inteliigent than half the stuff on tv.
among others inthe tv graveyard is third rock from the sun,and that seventies show*sniff*

Chaotically Calm said...

I didn't know Monk was going off the air (a part of me is crying)....it's a good thing Law & Order lives on in so many forms.

Jenn Thorson said...

Chat Blanc- We all do feel our own individual pain on these things. :) Just remember, "Chanandler Bing" and "Just Jack" live on in syndication.

Nanny Goats- Well, I can try to remember to call you "The Nanny Goats," but you already have those panties on there, so it's kinda gonna be a mouthful.

Jessie- Your consolation for Third Rock is that Jonathan Gordon Levitt has gone on to do some quite good independent films... So, while the aliens have had their run, he's turning into a pretty great li'l actor.

Faith- Sorry to have been the bearer of bad news to you, as well.

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

I can't wait for ER to get cancelled.

ReformingGeek said...

I liked Eli Stone when it first started last year and then it got stupid so I was that surprised they canceled it.

I'm still morning the cancellation of The Brady Bunch! ;-)

Jenn Thorson said...

Meg- Oh my gosh, until recently I didn't even know it was STILL ON. I thought I was hallucinating the ad for it. How can it be? This thing has been on for about 15 years now!

ReformingGeek- Wow, that's many years of mourning, too.

The Great Fox Hating Potentate said...

I started my blog specifically because Fox had killed another one of the shows I loved; I so understand STSAS. Sniff, I miss Firefly. :(

Great post :D Adding you to my blog roll.

Cheers,
Julian

Margo said...

I have an embarrasing knack for latching on to shows that don't make it through a full season. Most recently, "Lipstick Jungle," total mind rot for the middle aged... loved it and can't believe it is gone. Back in the early 70s there was this show called The Sixth Sense with that now old and drunk Gary Collins. He was pretty hot back then. He solved crimes with his mind and I thought it was fabulous.

Jenn Thorson said...

Julian- They have their way with things like that. Look what they did to "The Tick" cartoon-- now Ben Edlund can't use the Tick characters unless for Fox... Sad, sad, sad.

Margo- Wow, Gary Collins actually... acted... at one point? Mostly I know him as a talk show host. And, well, also as a mugshot. :)

Marvel Goose said...

I am pleased to say that I have not ever watched an episode of anything mentioned here. Probably more pleased about that than I should. People who don't watch a lot of TV are just insufferable, aren't they?

I believe I last mourned the cancellation of a TV show when they first killed Star Trek back in the 60's and then only the first cancellation. When they decided to renew it due to fan protests the reincarnation was horrible.

I think they made it horrible on purpose to teach us to know our place: to be like Carp with brains akimbo, eyes unfocused, and mouths open to consume any pellets they would serve us.

ettarose said...

I have never liked any of the shows mentioned. When I got upset over the demise of "Everybody Loves Raymond" I had friends who poo-pooed the show. I still miss "Fear Factor"

Jonny's Mommy said...

Oh Monk! Moooonk! Moooonk! Let me mourn you by the ripping of my clothes!

I loooove that show.

I really do, but it has been on like forever and I'm sure they will show re-runs forever and ever and ever and ever on USA.

I thought it sucked when Star Trek Enterprise was canceled. Talk about a good sci-fi show. But SG-1? Finest sci-fi show? Yikes...has he not seen Battle Star Gallactica? (Can't spell that at all). or ...well, any other sci-fi show out there other than SG-1?

Anyhoo.....just saying it effects me too..those show cancellations. I remain torn apart over the Gilmore Girls. Well, you know, if Lorelei Number 1 hadn't become a slut in the end I might have been more upset...

Jenn Thorson said...

Marvel- You wholly-anti-TV people are a tad smug, perhaps. :) I don't recall Star Trek coming back until the Next Generation in the 80s. That wasn't bad, though I'm not a Trek fan.

EttaRose- Ah, we all have our favorites. Thanks for sharing yours. We will not poo-poo you here. We are not poo-pooers. :)

Jonny's Mommy- Don't rip your clothes for Monk fer Pete's Sake, then Monk would make you throw them all out because once they're ripped they won't be the same, and possibly will sew up unevenly. No, just throw them out. And get new ones. Preferably that button up to the chin and have an even number of belt loops. :)

Dad doesn't like Battlestar Galactica-- at all. I mean, at. all. The amount of times I've heard how bad it is-- how Stargate is so much better...

I kid you not.

dizzblnd said...

I am still distraught over SG1 being cancelled, now Battlestar Galactica.. MONK?? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO say it ain't so I LOVE Monk.. sigh.

Why Kath and Kim is still on, is beyond me. It should have been canceled after the pilot aired... sigh

Jenn Thorson said...

DizzBlnd- Yeah, I love Monk, too, actually. Tony Shaloub does a great job with that character.

I saw "Kath and Kim" once and all I could think was, "What a waste of some otherwise decent actors!" I have no idea what the point of that show is.

chyna said...

I'm with your dad about Battlestar. I liked the original when I was like 8 or 9 but this new one is not high on my list of gotta-sees.

I'm all for ER to die already too. The cast changes all the time has gotten old and annoying and frankly how many "very special" episodes can one show have?! I guess Xena being cancelled was a sad thing too except that woman could never stay dead already. Even for a sci-fi show it was getting ridiculous. Love Lucy!