So, last week, after just four episodes, FOX canceled Drive, which was just good enough and fun enough for me to overlook all of the implausibilities that lurked beneath the surface.
Because Nathan Fillion has built up such a reservoir of goodwill with me and was so immediately likable in this show, I was willing to let it unfold and see if there was any good mythology there. But the ratings just weren’t there, I guess, and so FOX wasn’t.
My question is this, if FOX isn’t going to give any of their new scripted shows a chance, why should I? And, more importantly, was the cancellation of Drive a self-fulfilling prophecy: that people stayed away in, ahem, droves because they figured that it was going to be cancelled anyway?
Let me answer that last question first: yes, I think that a lot of people didn’t bother with Drive because they assumed it was doomed.
Here is the off-of-the-top-of-my-head dishonor roll of interesting scripted TV shows that FOX killed before they ever got a chance to find an audience: The Ben Stiller Show, Action, The Tick, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Undeclared, Firefly, Wonderfalls, and now, Drive.
As much as I’d like to, I can’t really put Arrested Development into this category, because they did keep it around for three seasons. Which still somehow seemed like a bit of a fuck-you to its audience.
Occasionally, something like 24 breaks out and becomes a hit, and King of the Hill has deservedly stuck around for a long long time. And The Simpsons is the a direct link to the past, and also an anomaly in every sense of the word. But when you’ve been blessed with what is on the short list of best TV shows ever, it sometimes drags your network by its coattails. Though I will tell you this: I taped every single episode of The Simpsons for years and years because, at first I thought that it would never last, and after it conquered the world, because I’d already taped every previous episode and it had become a thing.
And in the past couple of years, things like Prison Break & House (neither of which I’ve ever seen and both of which other smart people really like) and Bones (which Rox watches, but mostly because she likes David Boreanez) have sustained over a couple seasons, but for the most part, it seems like every time FOX airs a show that is, well, something that I would really like, it dies a young, unnatural and gruesome death.
So I was leery about even trying Drive, but I put it on the Season Pass because of the pedigree, and hoped against hope that they would treat it like Prison Break or House and not like Firefly or Wonderfalls. D’oh!
So this is it, I’m done with even bothering trying any new shows on FOX. Like President Bush said: “Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”