Cancellations and a Passing

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ABC has decided to pull the plug on Alias after five seasons, despite having Jennifer Garner signed through the 2007-2008 season. In one of the toughest timeslots of the week, it was getting clobbered by just about everything other than Joey. Rather than switch it somewhere else, they’ve chosen to cancel it now so J.J. Abrams and company can wrap everything up.I’ll admit the family is somewhat behind on the series this season, more due to our schedules than a marked drop in quality. As a result, I can’t comment on whether or not the new cast members and Garner’s own pregnancy forced such story contortions that audiences drifted away. I will say that its breathless pacing and appealing characters will be missed after the final ep runs in May.For those keep tabs, the show goes on hiatus over the winter, giving Garner time to spend with her newborn. It’ll be back in, I believe, March taking its timeslot back from Dancing with the Stars and then running straight through to the final mission. Please, may it be something other than a Rambaldi device.I also note the cancellation this week of Brannon Braga’s first non-Trek effort, Threshold. My general dislike for Brannon’s work coupled with uniformly negative reviews has kept me from watching this despite an appealing cast headed by Carla Gugino and Brent Spiner. The ratings on Fridays were suffering so CBS sampled it on Tuesday night and it did even worse. They tried to build support these last few weeks by streaming previous episodes on the website since its serialized nature made it tough to sample mid-run.Finally, I want to note the passing of Pat Morita at age 73. Best known to one and all for his work in the four Karate Kid movies, I’ve enjoyed his work over the last three decades or so and will miss his gentle, reassuring presence.

5 thoughts on “Cancellations and a Passing

  1. I’ve been more or less okay with Threshold, although it’s certainly easy to watch the woman with the sexiest calves in Hollywood in almost anything. I have been trying not to think too hard about how the alien infection is spreading, since if it was spreading as easily as the text of the show indicates, then the folks at Threshold should be dead by now. No matter. There are worse shows on teevee.Which brings me to Alias and my fears for any movie JJ Abrams writes. Ultimately, in the entire five-year run of the series, there have probably been about a dozen shows that were what I wanted from the series. I grew weary of Sydney Bristow breaking down into tears every other episode — what kind of tough girl spy would do that? — and, like you, the Rimbauldi plots irritated the giblets out of me. I also hated the two-year gap in Sydney’s life (how Dallas!), and I’m not fond of the murder of Michael Vaughn. I did like the new protege they added this year, but yeah, the concept of pregnant Sydney Bristow running around risking her baby is just ludicrous.And, with both shows, we’re back to a bigger problem: Programmers messing with time slots. Alias did just fine on Sunday nights, and probably would have kicked butt (like Desperate Housewives against Fox’s stupidly weaker Sunday night lineup.

  2. The other annoying thing about Alias was just how high your suspension of disbelief level has to get for the spycraft. Just from the latest episode, Jack says during a team meeting “So and so knows what all of us look like”…for a mission in the Middle East. So do we do the sane thing and *use another CIA team who the target doesn’t know from Adam*? No, of course not…Not to mention that other than his having a contract as a series regular, I can’t figure out why anyone ever trusts Sloane at this point.

  3. Finally, I want to note the passing of Pat Morita at age 73. Best known to one and all for his work in the four Karate Kid movies, I’ve enjoyed his work over the last three decades or so and will miss his gentle, reassuring presence.I’m going to miss him, too. In addition to his [b]Karate Kid[/b] role, I loved his appearances on [b]M*A*S*H[/b]–in fact, he delivered one of my favorite punch lines in the entire series. I’m not going to do the scene justice, but it was one of those early episodes where a bunch of characters show up for a poker game with much bantering back and forth. At one point, the game includes Morita, Klinger (dressed in drag), and psychiatrist Sydney Freeman. Hardass Colonel Flagg bursts into the tent where the game is playing, looks at Klinger and asks who that lady is. Mortia responds, “That’s no lady, that’s my wife.”Sydney says, very psychiatrist-y “That’s a very interesting joke.”Morita responds, “Thanks for seeing me, Sydney.” and tosses some chips into Freeman’s pile.There’s something about the gleam in Morita’s eye and the warm tone of voice and the subtle tossing of chips that just makes that my favorite M*A*S*H moment. R.I.P.

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