Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The heart of the thing

When I read about the cancellation of Stargate Atlantis the other day, I was disappointed but not surprised. It was listless and really, it had become aimless. And I knew more than anything else I'd miss watching Joe Flanigan and Jason Momoa. And that made me wonder: Was that the only reason I was watching? Flanigan to me has always looked as though he had been drawn and brought to life by a comics artist named Joe Staton, and even as his lines have softened over the years, I've found him fun to watch. Same with Jason Momoa (but who does not look as though Staton drew him). I decided that no, there were other factors, but one drew me in and the other gave me another good reason to watch (actually, I like the other actors too, but that's not my point here). That made me start to think about shows I'd watch. 

The only reason I ever watched the X-Files to start with was the show that led into it, The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., starring Bruce Campbell. I'd watch Bruce Campbell in anything, and because of that, I'm happy to watch Burn Notice now. Couldn't stomach Enterprise, though, no matter how much I liked Scott Bakula. What's the secret ingredient that the other shows had but Enterprise didn't (besides the fact that it was a mediocre show)? 

And that made me think of books and authors. We have authors we will pick up books by unread and unknown, completely trusting that we will not be disappointed. Most of the time we're happy; once in a while we're not, and if that happens too often, that author falls off our list of favorites. In both those shows and those books, something speaks to us, something connects with us.  

The question is, do we really want to analyze what that thing is too much? If we identify it, will the magic vanish?  

Am I overanalyzing the cancellation of a favorite show?