Monday, March 17, 2008

The Dreaded Credits

We all know that feeling, watching the last episode in a season of Alias, our heart pounding faster and faster as the tension and the action build, dreading every second that the screen is going to go black with the title credits appearing, starting the long months of waiting until the new season starts and our questions can be answered. In its 5 seasons, Alias left us with some of the best finale cliffhangers, making its faithful viewers anxiously await the next season's premiere. Here at Let's Talk Alias we're going to explore what made these cliffhangers so great and how the following season's premiere followed up on our questions and launched into a new season. We'll start with the season 1 finale, "Almost 30 Years" next Mon., so take the time to rewatch this episode along with the season 2 first episode "The Enemy Walks In" over the next week and come back with your comments and questions. If you have any ideas on what else we can discuss in this theme please let us know!


uncle111 said...

What prompted me to suggest this topic was having just rewatched season 1 and being struck with the fact that I didn't have to wait months for the cliffhanger's resolution. I was also reminded of how powerful the cliffhager finales and the following season premieres were.

It is going to be a real treat to watch and discuss all these combo episodes one after another.

Thanks srg-alias.

uncle111 said...

Forgot to check the box to be emailed replies.

Page48 said...

Sydney Bristow must be rubbing off on one-time "Alias" guest star Christian Slater. New series on NBC, described as "the Bourne Identity meets Jekyll and Hyde".

uncle111 said...

I just watched the first season cliffhanger. I'm going to rewatch it and S2/E1 before commenting, but I'm going to take notes on all the things that demonstrate the serialized nature of the show-- how things in the episodes are tied to things past and things future.

Robetron said...

OT -

I wanted to thank whoever it was that suggested Firefly.

I remember someone telling me once that the movie, Serenity, was based off a TV show, but never saw it and I figured I probably never would. Now, with the lack of programming due ot hte writer's strike, I was open to reaching out to other things.

After the pilot episode (which is very much like the first hour of the movie), I decided that it is indeed a worthy wat ch. I have yet to decide whether the claims of being even better than Battlestar Galactica are valid, but since iTunes offered the entire season plus the unaired episodes, I will be able to se it all and judge for myself.

I'm a little excited about having something to watch again. Whoever it was that mentioned it earlier: Thanks!

srg-alias said...

I was home sick yesterday and decided to take advantage of the time by watching the S1 finale. Instead I watched the second-to-last eppy, Rendezvous, which is one of my favorites, I just love Will discovering the real Syd! Anyway, hope everyone else enjoys revisiting the awesomeness of season 1. :)

Page48 said...


I watched "Serenity" first, back in January, and then couldn't wait to download the series. I've finished watching the 14 episodes produced by FOX. Two or three of the eppies were NEVER aired, and those that were aired were often presented OUT OF ORDER. Pure network genius.

In my opinion, every episode was excellent, and I'm stunned that the suits at FOX couldn't work this out for themselves. What chance is there for quality TV, when, on those rare occasions when it comes along, it's squashed like a bug, while worthless crap gets rewarded?

I avoid comparison with BSG, because I think the two shows have completely different personalities and they're both engaging shows in their own right. One thing I enjoy about both shows is that aliens are nowhere to be seen.

"Firefly" struck a chord with fans, which should only be a constant source of embarrassment for FOX. I would like to be in the room when a FOX exec Googles "browncoat" and reads up on things like the The Browncoat Ball and Browncoat Cruises, which are still being organized today.

Unfortunately, writer Joss Whedon, like some "Alias" writers we know, couldn't resist killing a couple of beloved main characters in "Serenity". Somehow, I just think that killing main characters is a tad abusive to loyal fans. After all, it's fiction, and it could just as easily be avoided. Even grievous bodily injury with the prognosis of full recovery would be a more acceptable plot twist.

Joss Whedon will be back this fall with his first new show since "Firefly", when he unveils Dollhouse. Will it be any good? Who knows? JJ has taught us that TV genius is fleeting and may even be as much luck as genius.

Two by two, hands of blue.

Robetron said...


Page48, the movie, "Serenity" was cool enough for me to buy a copy and put it in my library before watching "Firefly," butnow that I have watched the whole series, the movie makes so much more sense.

It is so good to see that a good show can overcome the idiotic network decisions, and that the fans made it happen. It may be too late for ALIAS (because they made hash of it at the end of the series), but I am glad to know that justice does happen in our 'Verse once in a while.

I'm a little sad that there is no more to watch.


uncle111 said...

With there being nothing good on other than Jericho and maybe New Amsterdam, I guess I'll have to get Firefly and BC somewhere and check 'em out.

uncle111 said...

Someone just posted this on another board:
Jericho Nuked by CBS
By Gina Serpe
Fri, 21 Mar 2008 12:02:48 PM PDT
Aw, (pea)nuts.

Despite getting a fan- (and legume-) powered reprieve, CBS has given the
heave-ho to Jericho.

The latest—and presumably final—cancellation of the apocalyptic series
came Friday, after CBS execs determined the resurrected series had not generated
big enough ratings. The season/series finale will air Tuesday night.

"Without question, there are passionate viewers watching this program; we
simply wish there were more," said CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler. "We
thank an engaged and spirited fan base for keeping the show alive this long,
and an outstanding team of producers, cast and crew that went through
creative hoops to deliver a compelling, high-quality second season.

"We have no regrets bringing the show back for a second try. We listened to
our viewers, gave the series an opportunity to grow, and the producers put a
great story on the screen. We're proud of everyone's efforts."

However, in what's no doubt an attempt to ward off another 25-ton delivery
of peanuts to the network's New York and Los Angeles offices, the Hollywood
Reporter claims that two potential endings for the series were filmed, and the
one chosen for air isn't as definitive as it could have been.

Per the Reporter, the selected ending won't necessarily preclude the series
from coming back to the airwaves, albeit on cable, if at all.

Last June, Tassler, in the wake of the enthusiastic peanut-sending campaign
that has already gone down in the annals of TV fandom, ordered a seven-episode
second season of the show, hailing the overwhelmingly persuasive nature of
sending the nuts—an idea borne from a line in the inaugural season's finale—
but warned that "for there to be more Jericho, we will need more viewers."

Unfortunately, follow-through doesn't appear to be Jericho fans' strong
suit. The show has continually been on the losing end of the Nielsen fight since
its relaunch last month.

Jericho averaged 6.8 million viewers through its first six episodes this
season (the finale will be the seventh), in the neighborhood of other CBS
un-favorites like Viva Laughlin (6.5 million—for one episode) and Welcome to the
Captain (6.3 million). Last season, when it got canceled the first time,
Jericho averaged 9.2 million for a 23-episode season.

That's a loss of nearly 2.5 million viewers, or 26 percent of its audience.
Most every show is down this year, but that's even worse than usual.

Jericho does, however, continue to be a bankable hit online, both as one of
CBS' Innertube's most-watched shows and as an iTunes performer. The
second-season premiere sold more than 700,000 copies, making it one of iTunes' most
downloaded shows.

—Additional reporting by Joal Ryan

Page48 said...

Bummer news about "Jericho", Uncle. Why do people object so strenuously to decent storytelling? Ah well, not to worry, Dennis Miller is back with a new game show. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Wake me when it's over.

I was sad to finish up the last eppie of FF, as well, Robetron. Don't tell me FOX couldn't have squeezed 5 seasons out of that one.

Checking the IMDB page for Captain Mal (Nathan Fillion), I notice he appeared on an eppie of "Lost", and also appeared in "White Noise 2". I don't recall him in either and I've seen both. Unfortunately, since FF, he has also been reduced to appearing in "One Life To Live" (must have had bills to pay) and "Desperate Housewives" (more bills). Hopefully someday he can appear in a sequel to "Serenity".

Robetron said...

Nathan Fillion played the part on LOST of a police officer who had been duped into marrying Kate (by another name), whom she ditched out of paranioa, thinking that as a cop, he would eventually figure it out that she was not who she claimed to be.

Page48 said...

Ah, yes, Robetron, I do remember the story of Kate and The Cop. Had no idea at the time who Nathan Fillion was.

I see that Helo from BSG has signed on to Joss Whedon's new fall entry, "Dollhouse" (see link a few comments back).