There seems to be a "Greenlee Curse" as it pertains to TV shows I like. Inevitably (with a few exceptions, like Lost, Heroes, and The Simpsons), if I really dig a show, it is doomed to be cancelled early.
I really hoped with Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, I'd have the built-in audience on my side. What I didn't count on was the writer's strike, some miscalculations by the producers, and the fact that TV can't replicate Terminator 2: Judgement Day every week.
The Terminator films (especially parts 1 and 2) were outrageously successful. But probably only 25% were enamored with the characters, the story, and the twisty-bendiness of time travel. The rest were along for the Bam! Boom! Wow! of the special effects, the violence, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. So, you couldn't count on the other 75% to show up with the rest of us to watch an episodic TV show.
Still, the first season of T:TSCC managed to pack in some razzle-dazzle along with the characters and the familiar T2 vibe. I was so jazzed that the series managed to pick up a second season order. And when the second season started, I was convinced they were on to something. They introduced a liquid metal terminator. Summer Glau and Brian Austin Greene continued to look freaking amazing to draw in the fanboys/girls. Things were looking up.
Then, FOX imposed a mid-season hiatus. And when the show came back, it had the misfortune of coming back with a series of introspective, cerebral episodes with a shortage of "Cameron the sexy Terminator kicks ass" scenes. My interest never faltered, but hopes of getting previously disinterested people involved with the show were dashed. Even pairing the show with Joss Whedon's Dollhouse didn't help ratings. I glumly accepted that one of my favorite shows was doomed.
That feeling hasn't waned, but it has become more tinged with anger. Anger? Why? Because after the string of "Sarah's going crazy" dreary (to some) episodes, the show started to really kick ass. It's not just been good, it's been crazy good. A vanquished terminator had its chip smashed, only to be resurrected as "John Henry," an artificial intelligence computer attached to a terminator body. The liquid metal terminator--disguised as a high technology CEO--is educating John Henry, who has befriended the (certainly dead) original CEO's little daughter. The former FBI agent who was tracking the Connors now works for the CEO. It's all coming to a head, and--the biggest surprise--two major characters of the series were dispatched brutally within two episodes.
Friday's episode almost left me panting, it was so intense. Everything about the show screams awesome! And it's doomed. And Friday's episode is very likely the very last one. I'm pissed. I want more. And the new movie, Terminator: Salvation may very well be terrific. That isn't going to make me happier if the TV show is cancelled.
I can still hope that FOX delays an announcement on the series' fate until after the first couple of weeks of the new movie's returns. Maybe they'll take advantage of the release, and re-run the best episodes of the series (leaving out the introspective ones), and garner some revived interest. Shoot, re-run them on Sci-Fi or Spike. Make it an event. This thing has the potential to bust out. It just hasn't happened yet. Oh, who am I kidding. It's doomed.