I'll say it: I'm glad. I hope that we're seeing a new model of television show that is more like the 19th century serialized novel. Show me you've got a beginning, middle, and end all within sight and I'll follow you wherever you want to go. Most television refuses to take risks because they've spent so much money on sets, built unknown actors into stars, and created a relationship with their viewers. As a result, characters change less, permanent change is anathema, and eventually shows have no choice but to jump the shark.By choosing to end the show within reasonable time (Lost is... LOST) they've ensured the narrative rug won't be pulled out from under their core viewer's feet.In a strange sense, the Telenovela is the perfect model for television. A predictable number of episodes that allow for permanent change (and mascara!). The same writers bringing back the same actors, just in different roles for the new series. Can you imagine if Eick and Moore decided to take their same core cast and do something entirely different with them?
I remember that back in the '90s some writerly types were getting all effusive that The X-Files signaled a comeback for the sort of storytelling found in the 19th century serialized novels, which really struck a chord with me at the time because it was a very cool idea (and still is.) Too bad they frakked that one up royally by taking it about four seasons past its' natural ending point for the exact reasons Max laid out above.So this is very good news to me and other fans of serialized programming, and I hope this was decided far enough in advance so that the second half of the season can wrap it all up (and be better than the second halfs of seasons 2 and 3!)I gotta disagree with one thing above though--even though it's pretty OT, the last few episodes of Lost resold me on the show. Going back and rewatching season 3 of BSG and comparing it to season 3 of Lost, the latter's holding up better, completely inexplicably. Either way, both shows have declared a finite end to the series, which bodes well for us fans of serialized television fiction in the long run. Going back to the X-Files analogy, as awesome as the first few seasons were, it's incredibly frustrating to watch them now and know that the story just gets dumped and more convoluted and pointless and a profoundly sub-Lifetime-movie conclusion. TV execs should look at that as an example of a case where dragging something on for far too long effectively destroyed the entire franchise. At one time, that show was in the top 20, but nowadays folks will only discuss it in hushed tones around fellow disappointed obsessives. Way to blow it, Rupert et al.So back to BSG...good news!
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