I have a super power. I can’t walk through walls, make myself invisible or move things with my mind. My super power is much more subtle than that. I have the ability to stop any television series from being renewed merely by liking it a lot and watching it on a regular basis.
The latest victim of my special ability, ironically enough, was NBC’s “Heroes.” It lasted for four seasons. I never watched it until after the 3rd season became available on Netflix. I didn’t even have to wait for the DVDs to arrive because I could stream it on my computer. I decided to watch the first season to see if it was any good, and I was hooked from the first episode.
The beauty of watching a television series on Netflix is that you can watch back-to-back episodes without having to endure commercials or a week of torturous anticipation waiting for the next episode. I raced through the first three seasons at break-neck speed. I felt like a mouse repeatedly tapping a lever to receive a treat. As soon as one episode was over, I was clicking on the next one. I was an addict, “Heroes” was my drug, and I couldn’t stop myself. I didn’t want to. It was that good.
Once I had finished the first three seasons, I waited in almost unbearable anticipation for the fourth. For the first time, I had to endure commercials every fifteen minutes or so. At the end of each episode, they would dangle a preview in front of me for the following week, and I would be forced to wait seven long days before I could watch it. I hated it. I loved it.
The finale for the fourth season was teasingly delicious. What would happen next? How long would I have to wait? Rumors began surfacing on the Internet that “Heroes” might not be renewed for another season; it was on “the bubble” along with other shows waiting for the Big Cheeses at NBC to decide which ones would be renewed and which would not. I waited impatiently and scoured the Internet every few days looking for updates.
There was talk that it might not be renewed due to decreasing viewership, although other posts were optimistic:
“It’s going to be renewed.”
“No, it looks like it’s not going to make it.”
“Wait… things are looking up! A renewal is a definite possibility!”
Finally, NBC made its decision and “Heroes” was no more. I felt like a crack addict whose supplier had decided to stop selling drugs and apply for a job at Wal-Mart, and I was not happy! NBC had done me wrong, and I vowed I would never watch it ever again. I would hold a grudge against the network which would last for years – possibly the rest of my life. I would feed my grudge, water it, pet it and take it to the vet for regular checkups.
(If, on the other hand, NBC were to offer me, say, a lucrative writing job with a generous bonus as compensation for pain and suffering, I could probably forgive them.)
Other television shows that met their demise because I liked them were “Nowhere Man” back in the ’90s (I own the series on DVD) and “The Phoenix” in 1982 which only lasted five episodes, including the pilot. I loved that show! Therefore, it was doomed.
“Prison Break” was another good one. I didn’t watch it until after it had already ended, but I’m pretty sure I had something to do with its demise, anyway, in some weird, time travel phenomenon: Since I was going to like it, it ended after four seasons instead of lasting longer.
You want proof? I never watched a single episode of “Lost” and it lasted six whole seasons.
When it comes to good television series, I am the Kiss of Death.
I’ve been mainlining the new “Dr. Who” which was resurrected from the dead in 2005. According to BBC America, an eighth season will begin filming February 20. Yay! “Dr. Who” has a long history, originally airing from 1963 to 1996, and it seems to be going strong once again.
Could it be that “Dr. Who” is my own personal kryptonite? I certainly hope so. If The Doctor can’t stop me, nobody can.
For me, falling in love with a television series is like falling in love with the wrong man. I know it’s not going to last and I’m going to get hurt, but I just can’t help myself.
Recently, my friend, Michael, turned me onto “Fringe” which just started its third season. I told him that I have a history of killing any television series I really, really like. And I really, really like “Fringe.”
Michael, you have been warned.