Or the potential joy of ending a series.
One of the recent conversation strings in my house lately has been focused on the ending of a series. This refers to books, movies, and even TV shows.
For those of us who have been followers of television series, this time of year can be tricky. If there is a potential for the series to be cancelled, what happens to bring the story to a close? If the series has been cancelled or decided not to come back for a new season, does that mean they have time to create an ending that will tie everything up?
For example, The Big Bang Theory was able to bring the series to a satisfactory close after 12 seasons. On the other hand, Star Trek, The original series, was canceled after 3 seasons leaving Kirk, Spock and McCoy, along with the rest of the Enterprise crew, out exploring the galaxy. One can’t help but wonder what we might have seen if the series had been given a last season to tie up loose ends.
Movie series don’t seem to have the same issues, mainly because there is often no guarantee that a studio will plan ahead to produce the next film in a potential series. We have seen some attempts at that, however, usually ending with questionable results.
Book series can be tricky, too. Writers dealing with boredom can kill off a series faster than a speeding rabbit. One of my favorite authors has produced a series where a new book was released about every 3 years without fail. Imagine the frustration when the latest book came out 4 years late. Yes, 7 years between books. No matter how dedicated the fan might be to the series, it is almost impossible to keep interest and enthusiasm going with such a delay.
What brought all this to mind recently was the release of the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard. Now, I could expound on the fabulous production values and the fabulous cast – and season 3 has had an amazing cast – and all of that would be an honest POV. What stand out, for me at least, was the amazing amount of work that went into writing the season’s storyline.
This was a labor of love produced by people who have been involved in Star Trek in one form or other for decades. The end product gathered together stories, characters, situations from a variety of Star Trek series (and I do mean series plural) to create an end of series show that was unexpected and engaging.
This was a rarity for any medium.
This particular cupcake came along after a couple of years where favorite authors seemed to forget what they were writing and it showed. Where series galumphed along not really attempting to reach even the more modest levels of quality we had seen in earlier seasons. Where a big studio was advised that if the star they were willing to toss aside didn’t return to a big ticket movie series, don’t bother making the next installment.
If you are committed to a book, movie or television series, things matter. Consistency, timing, commitment, and as much transparency as possible between creators and consumers are important from all sides.
What it all boils down to is simply this: without an audience it doesn’t matter if a book, movie or TV show is available. Keeping that audience is important.