SyFy, The Killing of Science-Fiction
It seems that good Science Fiction is being killed in America. This month alone, has seen the announcement of the last episode of Stargate Universe, aka SGU, and the cancellation of V. These two science fiction series have a great history in television. SGU has fifteen seasons behind it and V is a reimagining of the original Mark Singer series a lot of us grew up with. Unfortunately, I will not be writing about V today but suffice it to say, I’m not too happy about its demise either.
Stargate Universe is spawned from the Stargate Franchise which was first introduced to us in 1994 with the MGM movie Stargate and has since been a part of our lives as Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and the most recent vision, Stargate Universe which by all means is the best in the series to date. Additionally, two movies, Stargate The Ark of Truth and Stargate Continuum were added to the franchise, and two other movies that didn’t make it to the screen, SG Revolution and SG Extinction, both promised but never materialized.
Stargate Universe, a hard, gritty and raw imagination of the Stargate franchise that, for those of you that are not viewers, plays out onboard the Ancient’s spaceship Destiny. Members of the Icarus Base are forced to escape through the Stargate during a Lucian Alliance attack and find themselves stranded on Destiny with no way to get home, in another galaxy and travelling further away from Earth. It only gets better from there.
I’ve watched since the SGU Premiere with a skeptical view at first. I was a big fan of SG-1, but I lost touch with SG-Atlantis, so I was thinking that SGU would be a rework of Star Trek Voyager or worse, Lost in Space. But! From moment one, I was hooked. I saw something in SGU that I had not seen in anything from the Stargate franchise before. Darkness…from the way the scenes are shot to the sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat storyline to the complex characters. It is that wonderful darkness that keeps most Sci-Fi shows from becoming campy. It was true Drama.
Amid the darkness was just the right amount of humor, Volker’s sarcasm is outstanding, and the banter between Volker and Brody can have me laughing on the floor. There’s some serious sexual tension between Col. Young and TJ, then TJ and Varro, leaving Young to watch, magic. And then there is Vanessa James, every young man’s fantasy, yes. But it doesn’t stop there, this ensemble cast has more. Rush and Eli, the two most intelligent and complex lead characters, probably in all of Sci-Fi, have a tenuous relationship at best. Rush works on his own agenda while Eli moves toward the greater good of his shipmates. Lt. Scott and Chloe have both grown on me as they’ve moved into more adult rolls. And lastly, Greer is one of my favorite characters for his self-sacrifice, his never-ending loyalty, and his growth as a person. I really want to see where he and Park, and Volker were going to go in the storyline.
SGU is the kind of TV show that makes kids dream. It’s smart, intelligent, and makes you think. The storyline is a work of twisting turns that lead you in directions you are unprepared for, while still being enjoyable and easy to follow by the audience. As an audience member, I have become addicted to the story. I think even with only the two season, this show will produce future scientists, astronauts, writers, actors and more through the inspiration of SGU
Now for the fun part, the RANTS!
The Syfy Channel, in their great wisdom (Insert plenty of SARCASM!), decided not to renew SGU for a third season, blaming ratings. Additionally, to help boost SGU, they moved it to a different time slot, twice, placing it up against major network shows with much larger audiences. And lastly, to add salt to the wound, they inserted a nice long break in the middle of the season to try to make us forget about SGU. All these changes to make room for shows like Smackdown, Haunted Collector, Ghost Hunters, and a lot of other shows that are far from Science-Fiction, including Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen. Now, if this has made you think “WTF? This has nothing to do with Science-Fiction, Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen? This guy is a prissy whining wuss!” well, you are not alone. Fans of SGU, Caprica, and Science-Fiction in general are running away from Syfy like it’s an acid tsunami. They are creating Save (Insert Sci-Fi show here) campaigns all over the Internet, with petitions to sign. I’ve signed a lot of them and joined in the campaigns making my voice heard. If you are a follower, check out my “Bring Back Stargate Universe” page for all the info to help in our fight.
I wonder if Craig Engler and the rest of the Syfy Execs feel anything like the NBC Exec that cancelled Star Trek? By the way, little known Wikipedia fact I read, Lucille Ball (DesiLu) kept Star Trek from being cancelled after the first season, but once NBC moved Star Trek to a death time-slot, it was the end of Star Trek, much like Syfy has done with SGU.
So WTF was Syfy thinking!?! Their entire success has been based on the premise that they are a Science-Fiction channel (once SciFi Channel before they sold out.) Now Syfy, they feel they can gain a broader audience. Unfortunately, they have pushed away the very audience that made them what they are today. My thoughts are that it all comes down to money. Evidently, there are more people out there that will watch half-dressed men throw each other around the ring then anything that is smart, provocative, intelligent, and worthwhile. Advertisers like stupid people.
So does Syfy think that their Syfy produced “B” movies are going to keep us tuned in? Most of their movies are in the horror or fantasy genre. While they too have their following, they don’t appeal to everyone that loves the Science-Fiction genre. And so far, I seen very few of their movies that I’d watch a second time. Again, WTF!?!
So does Syfy know more about Science Fiction and entertainment than their audience? I’m a fairly hardcore fan of Science Fiction, and have been for over 40 years much longer than Syfy. I know what’s entertaining to me. I know that if I want to watch a cooking show, I go to the Food Network and watch Giada, she’s hot and entertaining, unlike Marcel, again a prissy, whiny wuss. And if I want to watch wrestling, I go out to the garage, grab a hammer and pound a nail into my forehead.
I have watched Syfy since it first became available from my cable company. I was one of many that wrote letters and made telephone calls to my local cable company to bring The SciFi Channel to our area. When it was finally available, I paid extra to have access to SciFi so I could see all the shows I couldn’t see anywhere else. That’s all changed now.
Syfy, our long relationship has come to an end! I am not one of your stupid, mindless viewers! I don’t watch SHIT TV, and I’m not going too. I no longer need your services. I have BLOCKED the Syfy Channel on my cable box just like Syfy has blocked so many Twitter, Facebook, and SyfyOnline fans. I will not unblock it until there is closure for SGU and only if Syfy is the one involved in that.
With bittersweet sorrow and more anger and disappointment then I’ve ever known in a matter like this…
… Farewell old friend, I hope October’s Rescheduled Rapture starts in Craig’s office.
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