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AngelMatt Roush About Angel Cancellation - Tvguide.com
Monday 23 February 2004, by Webmaster
I’m pretty much in shock. I can’t believe that any executive with an ounce of intelligence or creative energy left in their body would agree to a decision like canceling Angel. It has been a solid series with an obsessively loyal fan base for almost five years. It is just beginning to reach its full potential. This has been the most consistent of all the seasons of Angel ? and my absolute favorite. Every episode has been meticulously crafted, perfectly blending humor and horror. The characters and stories are the most exciting they have ever been. This season has been a testimony to what television can be if the writing and acting are carefully executed. Angel will never be the show that hordes of morons can turn on when they want to avoid using their brains. Nor should it be. Entire networks were created for those folks. The WB insists upon destroying one of the most challenging, inspired and original hours of TV because it’s not mainstream idiocy that people clamor for. What makes the show better than great are its unique characters, epic story lines and truths about redemption, loss, purpose, love, and good and evil. Quality programming like this can not be replicated.
If the WB does in fact end up throwing away one of the finest programs left on TV for another one of their disgusting teen soap operas (i.e. Hormones on Parade), featuring annoyingly pretty people (talentless eye candy) with problems like hair and boys and school and parents who don’t understand them, then I quit. I am giving up on network TV completely. I will watch FX for Nip/Tuck, wait for good DVD box sets, and keep my ear to the ground for the next Joss Whedon series, but I can’t take any more of this frustration. I feel like I’m stuck in some TV Land-hell dimension where the really original, smart shows are promptly canceled (only after flaunting what we’ll be missing), yet the hackneyed, brainless crap is renewed every year and shoved in our faces. And it makes me really sick. Obviously. ? Lea
Readers of this column will not be surprised to learn that my e-mailbag was bursting with literally scores of similar cries of outrage, frustration and sadness over WB’s cancellation of Angel (along with a few "told ya so’s" from ex-fans who still can’t get over the death of Cordelia or who resent Spike or whatever). I appreciate everyone’s genuine venting and wish I had the space to share more of these anguished letters. Without question, though, the most common response was: Why????
I wish I had a good answer. WB’s argument for canceling Angel has something to do with the network’s nebulous future and its need to free up time periods to give a shot to newer series, since so many of its franchises are aging: 7th Heaven, which has one more season to go; Charmed, which many Angel fans are chagrined is getting the renewal Angel was denied; and even Gilmore Girls, which hasn’t been the same since Rory left for college. But given WB’s post-Smallville track record at developing genre shows (Birds of Prey, Tarzan), I am honestly puzzled why Angel was put on the chopping block right now, before even seeing how the projected Dark Shadows remake (which I’m actually looking forward to) turns out. And if Angel has indeed been sacrificed at the altar of reality TV, a genre WB has been relatively slow to embrace, especially considering its target audience, then that is beyond sad. It’s tragic.
I got a number of letters mentioning fan campaigns such as Support Angel and Petition Online’s Save Angel. Can’t say how much they’ll help, but what could it hurt?
Among the many oft-repeated questions: Could UPN pick it up? Will Sarah Michelle Gellar return for the finale? All too early to tell at this point. As for WB floating the option of making a series of TV-movies to continue the franchise, I hope they’re serious. There’s so much potential, especially if it’s possible to combine the Angel and Buffy worlds at some point. That would be the upside to an otherwise very dismaying situation.
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