I recently finished watching the American TV version of ‘The Killing’ – a remake of a hugely successful Danish show. I was worried it might be a bit of a disappointment but to be fair it gripped me throughout – until the final episode that is…
The Killing was a slow burner. It wasn’t a fast-paced drama in the mould of 24, but it was a good watch and even going into the final episode you didn’t know who had killed Rosie Larsen. The problem was that by ther end of the final episode, you still didn’t know. Instead we were informed that there was a second series in the offing. A completely unneccessary second series.
This isn’t the first time a TV show has been extended well beyond its life span, and all in the name of profit. For example, how the fuck did Prison Break last four seasons? This was initially a show about a man who deliberately got arrested in order to save his brother from Death Row. By the end of the fourth series he had escaped from prisons in America and beyond, as had brother Lincoln. It soured the brilliance of the first series.
Heroes also proved a tremendous flop after the first series. The original season was absolutely magnificient. The next few were utterly unwatchable.
Lost was probably the original flogger of a dead horse. And Jesus Christ did they flog it.
Jerry Seinfeld was offered millions of dollars to make a tenth series of his sitcom, but he refused. He decided he wanted to go out at the top and not jeopardise the quality of his franchise. It would be nice if other show developers showed such moral worth. It’s not all about money. It’s about a TV legacy. And while Seinfeld will live forever, the likes of The Killing will be forgotten within six months.