TV Shows Are Dropping Like Flies! Moment of Silence for Caprica.

In what seems to be one of the most lackluster TV seasons in recent memory, it’s not surprising that shows are suffering from low ratings and being outright canceled. Regardless of quality, even well-regarded shows are getting the axe. Thus far the casualties of this season are:

– 18 to Life
– 100 Questions
– Batman: The Brave & the Bold
– The Bridge
– Huge
– Outlaw
– Lone Star
– My Generation
– Party Down
– Persons Unknown
– Caprica

With this list, the one real disappointment is Caprica. Okay, I wish Batman: The Brave & the Bold would have lasted a bit longer, but I get to read the Dark Knight several times a month in comic book form. But I digress. For those not in the know, Caprica is the spinoff spawn of one of my all-time favorite tv shows, Battlestar Galactica. It’s a prequel that was supposed to have painted a clearer picture of the events that led to the fabled ‘Cylon War’ set against the backdrop of two families, the Greystones & the Adamas.

While it is the spin-off of a popular show, highly regarded for its balance of exploration of hot button themes and whiz-bang action, it seems to have never grabbed hold of the old BSG audience as a whole. Caprica is a show that was just as willing to explore topics via its narrative, but it seems lacking, in a sense. Whereas BSG took on timeless topics such as racism and very timely ones, such as abortion and genocide; Caprica seems to have gone a different route. We get to see a futuristic society at its peak, warts and all.

It’s a society of great potential, mired in self-absorption and technologically-aided hedonism. This is fascinating stuff and definitely on par with the topics explored by its predecessor, but it goes one step further in its exploration of transhumanist themes. It ponders the meaning of life, existence and immortality through the lens of artificial intelligence and robotics. It makes me wonder, ‘If there is a computerized copy of me, is it a person?’ This kind of introspective thinking is what I love about smart, well-produced tv but it’s probably also the very thing that scared away a good majority of potential viewers.

Let’s be honest, people love stories about topics they can connect with. They know all about love, death war and timely issues like abortion, censorship and the cost of fame. But what the common person usually doesn’t think about is the meaning of life and how it relates to advancements in technology. My father loved BSG’s exploration of racism and survival, but I think a story about immortality through tech is a bit beyond his ability to connect. Furthermore, in a world of Michael Bay-ish action creeping into television, a show that eschews the grand scale space battles of the mighty Galactica and her crew in favor of robots punching people and driving away in cars is doomed to fail.

I know, this all sounds like I hate Caprica. The fact is that I love it. The cast is full of amazingly talented actors, writers and directors. It’s riveting television, pure and simple. But the reality of the situation is that it’s just not connecting with enough people to make it to a second season. I’m sad to see it go, but it seems like SyFy is going forward with another BSG spinoff that will rectify a great deal of the shortcomings addressed here. They recently announced that a pilot was commissioned for Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome. From the name alone, they are definitely trying to recapture the core audience of the original with name recognition and the promise of violence & big honkin’ robots. Only time will tell how this new show fares in the ratings, but one thing is certain: Caprica has been deleted from my DVR.

2 Responses to “TV Shows Are Dropping Like Flies! Moment of Silence for Caprica.”
  1. mike says:

    Write in campaigns have started. A rabid fan has spoken and is trying to get people organized.

  2. Fernando says:

    I look forward to seeing the New BG Battle & Chrome. Hopefully it has the same drama and excitement it’s predecessor had. BTW…I hope Fringe never gets deleted from my DVR!

    Kudos to your new weekly column!

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