AngelSaying Goodbye to ’Wonderfalls’ & ’Angel’
By Melanie McFarland
Thursday 15 April 2004, by cally
Saying Goodbye to ’Wonderfalls’ & ’Angel’
It’s time to wave bye-bye to ’Wonderfalls’: Here’s why
By MELANIE McFARLAND SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER TELEVISION CRITIC
SAYONARA, "WONDERFALLS." Your time with us was short, your fan base minuscule but true — not to mention quick to push my e-mail inbox over its limit with messages conveying their sadness and outrage at Fox.
Maybe some series are just too good for this TV world we live in. How do you expect the average viewer to see past "Wonderfalls" oddball trappings in a month when you put it on Friday, when nobody’s watching TV, then move it to Thursday, when viewers are watching "CSI," "The Apprentice," heck, almost anything but Fox?
That’s just it. Fox didn’t expect "Wonderfalls" to work. If it did, Fox would have at least granted "Wonderfalls" the benefit of an "American Idol" lead-in for a couple of weeks.
But you know what? Show runners of veteran series that are going down the tubes might consider "Wonderfalls" to be one of the lucky ones. At least it was stillborn. Compare such a kind cut to a show that’s grayed your hair and drained away your chi, only to have an unceremonious axing be your final reward.
Then, adding insult to injury, your show dies during the same season the universe throws a celebratory wake for "Friends." With all the partying going on, your pet’s passing may barely go noticed. As for the reasons these series are going to the grave after several years of service ... well, here are but a few.
You’re not the hit producer you used to be, Vol. 1. Or: Your franchise is toast.
Joss Whedon devotees love him and everything he does. Even with Whedon’s name going for it, "Angel," a "Buffy" spinoff, was never able to win over the faithful audience of its anchor after the Slayer leapt from The WB to UPN. Worse, it couldn’t find new blood to keep it going either.
This season began with promise, as the Buffyverse creator himself returned to "Angel’s" production staff, tore down the story line and added Spike (James Marsters). Then, he moved Angel (David Boreanaz) and the rest of Angel Investigations’ outside crew into the show’s nerve center of evil, the offices of Wolfram & Hart, to continue his fondness for metaphor.
Just as "Buffy" was high school as hell, "Angel" would become an allegory for one’s late 20s and early 30s, when a person chooses either to hold true to youthful ideals or to sell out and become part of the powerful status quo. Lofty as that reads, Whedon’s touches still weren’t enough to convert "Buffy’s" orphans, and it couldn’t keep enough of "Smallville’s" viewers around on Wednesday nights. Put a stake in it — "Angel’s" done.
At least The WB announced its execution early enough to give Whedon time to take the show out with a bang. A few "Buffy" characters are due to emerge for the final battle, but Angel’s once great love, Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), will not be among them.
Your time has come and gone.
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