Skimming over my Facebook page, I ran across this rant about Science Fiction and women.
In case the status has disappeared or you don’t want to read it, I’ll paraphrase.
Women who like sci-fi are few and far between. Women control most of the spending. Therefore, men did not vote with their money for advertising shown when Firefly was on and that’s why it got cancelled.
I wrote a long reply, but I’m going to expand on it.
I know women who like sci-fi, hell some of us love it. Me, me, me. Fantasy, sci-fi, maybe some paranormal, I enjoy it. I didn’t have cable with Firefly was on so I missed it until after the fact. *sob* I’ve never seen Dr. Who either, but I really want to, I just don’t have a lot of time for TV.
A show has to be REALLY good if it’s going to attract a viewer-ship that is committed to tuning in week to week. (Shows would get more views in the long run if more were available on demand, which I know is an option in the US, but in Canada, options are limited to what networks have on their websites). People are busy with life and friends and work and kids and sleeping. TV lacks interaction, and that is where things are headed. On demand and interactive.
Anyway, back to the Sci-Fi thread, most of the current science fiction shows are CRAP. Current and recent. And what I discovered in picking them apart was it comes down to characters. I need to love them and care about them enough to get back next week and see what they are doing and how they are going to be challenged.
In the original post, Fringe was mentioned as being female centric sci-fi. I loved the first two seasons of Fringe. But it was getting too weird. It was going down the path of Lost, another sci-fi show that held great promise but failed to deliver. I felt like I needed to quit watching Fringe before they really lost me like Fringe. So when Peter ceased to exist, that was the last episode I watched. I never really loved the characters that much anyway. (Tho Joshua Jackson’s dry wit never ceases to draw me in, he wasn’t enough for me).
I liked Merlin until every episode was the same: Arthur or Uther fell prey to some sort of magic, Merlin saves their asses using magic and then has to cover up that he saved them and that he used magic. And then the show ends with Arthur punishing Merlin with some crappy ass servant job even though he should be kissing Merlin’s ass, except Merlin is too wussy to just smite Uther and take over. I was kind of sad to miss seeing when Arther and Gwen finally got together, but meh, the show lost me, because Merlin refused to stand up for himself, even once.
Once Upon a Time held some promise for me, but it didn’t appeal to my husband and from the two episodes I caught it seemed like it had a lot going on. And I didn’t resonate with the characters enough to push for it.
So what do I want from a sci-fi (or any TV) show? It has to appeal to both men and women, most of my TV watching happens with my husband. It needs to be funny and smart, but not overloaded with plot. If I can miss a show and not be completely lost, that’s probably a good thing. And for the love of everything, give me some characters I care about and want to see win.
All of the TV shows I love are loved because of characters: Castle, Republic of Doyle and How I Met Your Mother (but not because I care about Ted, but because Robin and Barney are so cute).