Thursday, March 21, 2013

Do we dare watch "Defiance" on SyFy?

Despite my background in utter nerdiness, I'm not an avid SyFy watcher. I like Ghost Hunters, Destination Truth (when it decides to come on), Face Off and a few other reality tidbits. Occasionally, you might catch me watching a few fiction shows here and there.

To be honest, though, SyFy doesn't have the best track-record when it comes to its fiction series. Part of it, I think, has to do with chaotic marketing. It's hard to determine time slots with the channel and suddenly, shows disappear and then reappear to the point where it doesn't feel like there is a standard season to anything. What night is Merlin on? Which Stargate are they going to clone and close next? Where did Warehouse 13 go? Is it coming back or abruptly gone forever? What happened to Alphas? It's almost like the person in charge of programming is bi-polar. That's how chaotic this channel feels in comparison to other networks. There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to anything.

Most recently, though, around a year ago came the cancellation of Eureka. This was a shock because the executives were boasting that ratings were at an all-time high. In fact, Eureka was continuing to gain popularity. But then SLAM!, the brakes were hit. The producers cited profit and budgets as the reason why it didn't work out. (Check out this article for a reference.) Okay, I can get that, but then Alphas hit and the effects and such seem to be in comparison to the expense of Eureka. So why cancel a perfectly good show that is gaining ratings only to take a huge risk on a brand new show? And it was a huge risk that didn't end up paying off. Then they were out both a popular veteran show and a new show. What was that about profit and budgets?

Defiance is a new SyFy show premiering April 15th. The premise is a future Earth, after years of war, a community of Humans and various aliens living among the ruins of what was once St. Louis. The premise looks good, the previews look good, the sets look really good...

My problem lies with the network itself. I'm not in the television business and I don't know how all of that works and maybe that's part of my problem. But as a viewer, my faith in SyFy is jaded. I don't trust them to follow through with the series. I see them as flighty entrepreneurs, who, when they realize how much work and time it takes to start a business, decide only a short time in that they'll just shut it down as opposed to working at it to keep it up.  I don't trust them to leave me with that satisfied feeling I get when I read a really good story, watch a really good movie, or follow a series through to fruition. It's frustrating when I'm chugging along, watching a good series, only to have it abruptly stop before its prime. And while I want to watch and like Defiance, I'm of the mindset that maybe SyFy isn't the best venue for this show. When a hyped up show like this, with an apparently large budget, makes an appearance, I'd feel a lot better about watching it if it was in the hands of a network that has a better fiction series track-record than SyFy.

If I do end up watching it, and I get into it, if SyFy cancels it prematurely, it will be the last original fiction series I watch on that channel, no matter how good it might appear.

Peace, love, and nerdiness,


1 comment:

  1. I am watching Defiance right now and see so many parallels between it and Eureka... at least their premiers: new guy in town with his daughter. Gets put in a position of authority to help out the town and make some money. Daughter is unimpressed. Same plot. Syfy is taking the easy way out. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the same writers.