So you can read my books

Saturday, April 11, 2015

J is for a show whose spirit died along with its creator

Elmore Leonard created a unique character in Raylan Givens

and the TV show spun from his story, FIRE IN THE HOLE was impressive.

Justified has received critical acclaim throughout all six seasons,

particularly for its acting, directing, art direction, writing, and Olyphant's and Goggins' performances.

I thoroughly enjoyed it up until Season 5 when Raylan devolved into someone I did not like. 

It coincided with the death of the series consultant, Elmore Leonard.

Has any TV series fizzled toward the end of its seasons for you?


  1. Sadly, quite a lot of TV series just go on for too long, and essentially 'jump the shark'. The networks don't seem to be able to let go.

  2. Yeah, it happens a lot. Maybe they should have just let this one rest, along with Elmore.

  3. I've never watched Justified, but it seems to me that very few shows are good past the first few seasons. I don't know's like all of it gets stale somehow over time.

  4. fizzled, yes... most shows like a comedy pits the lead characters at people outside their group, by the end your leads are fighting the inner group and getting mean doing it...

  5. I dug that show. It did lose some steam in the end, but I think most do.
    X-Files fizzled in the end. That last season was just show after show of watching Scully cry.

  6. Not all writers are able to write in an established voice and style. It's a tug of war. They shouldn't be faulted for trying and failing to carry on, after the death or departure of someone who has already left a strong, personal mark on a show. The odds of success are dependent on a skill set that is actually pretty rare, I think (and one technical writers, also, have to master - that of imitation or consistently writing as someone else, or as no one at all).

    Perhaps the best thing they could have done was to just wrap it up and move on, but of course they have everyone's livelihood to think of!

  7. Elephant's Child:
    It is strange actually. The networks prematurely chop one series yet extend another past its entertainment value. Greed I guess, plus ego's on the line.

    I think they had a duel of outlaw vs. lawman they wanted to give closure to. But in the end, they made all the characters unsavory and unpleasant so that now I no longer care who wins.

    You're right: few shows stay fresh all through their tenure. MASH was given new life whenever an old cast member left and a new one entered, tilting the status quo on its ear. :-)

    Exactly! They forget what gave their show value for their viewers, making it unpalatable for them.

    Yes, when Fox Mulder left, the show dried up since the dynamic that drove it was missing. I stopped watching it towards the end. I did turn up for the last episode.

    I don't fault the new writers. The main star of the show took over the creative reins towards the end. One of his co-stars kept telling anyone who would listen what an unpleasant human being he was -- apparently there was something to what she was saying!

  8. Hi Roland .. I get bored with the same set of scenarios ... so I'm sure I wouldn't have stayed the course watching this - but shows you what happens when the mentor dies ...

    Cheers Hilary

  9. Hilary:
    It is an object lesson for us writers: to always keep the spark alive, right? :-)

  10. Sounds like Leonard was the glue that held it together.

  11. I have the first three (or four?) seasons of this on DVD. I've only watched the first two. Awesome show (so far). I'm sorry to read this commentary about season five.

    There are plenty of shows that devolved and died. The remake of Battlestar Galactica was like that for me. I thought the first season of Roswell was exceptional and all downhill from there (with the exception of the Michael and Maria characters who --mostly-- stayed true and fantastic). One of my all-time favorite shows, Ally McBeal, simply couldn't recover the loss of Robert Downey, Jr. after season four (on the heels of the loss of Gil Bellows in season three) and season five was a misery for all, particularly those who loved it most (yes, I'm talking about me). Veronica Mars was stellar in seaon one and mostly stellar in season two. I loved the way the story arced for an entire season around ONE mystery in both seasons. Each show included elements going into that overall arc, but solved a single mystery in that show. The third season began with that formula in place, but then mid-season it solved the mystery that should've lasted the entire show. Veronica turned into a parody of herself and all of the cast were doing and saying outrageous things. Total devolution into chaos. Not surprisingly, the show faced cancellation at season's end. Total dismay for the fans. The movie (recently released) was a breath of fresh air for everyone seeking the Veronica Mars that we loved so much.

    I'm sure there are more. Those are just the first that come to mind.

  12. I think series are good with their endings. it when a series just keeps going on and on. I was thinking Married With Children was like that. Happy Days too.

  13. Sandra:
    You have the same first name as my best friend. It was good seeing it here. :-)

    Yes, I think knowing that Leonard was watching kept everyone on their toes and from straying too far from his concept of the character.

    The first 4 seasons made me wait impatiently for each new episode. Sadly, I could tell half-way through the 4th that the life had gone out of the writing.

    I am like you with the reboot of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. Its first few seasons were fresh, and I bought the season DVD's so that I could watch them one right after another. Then, it just lost its way it seemed. :-(

    I imagine Robert Downey, Jr. on Ally McBeal had to be fun to watch!

    iZombie has some of the creative talent that birthed VERONICA MARS. I think you might enjoy it. :-)

    I've never watched THE SIMPSONS, but it has been on so long, I wonder if the spark has left that show?

  14. I never saw this series; did sound interesting until season 5. LOST sort of fizzled its final season.


  15. Betty:
    Season 5 is just wrapping up next week. I will probably tune in to see villain and marshal dueling in a burning house while the femme fatale walks smugly away from the inferno!

    LOST did, indeed, fizzle for me, too!