I've mused about this before, but a couple of recent (to me) events have really brought it to mind again.
|Posted: 03 July 2018 at 11:04pm | IP Logged | 1
A little before my time, I've been enjoying watching MANNIX for the first time late night on MeTV and they just switched over, after playing the final episode last week, they just started playing the series again from the very beginning, with the first episode from 1967. The first season is totally different than the last season, with the former definitely a 60's show and all the 70's episodes definitely children of the 70's.
The 1967 Joe Mannix has a very neat close-cut haircut, wears trim-fitting suits, drives a convertible, and works for a big detective agency that has a heavy reliance on its giant computers and with Joseph Campanella as his boss (who gets irked at Mannix's "old-fashioned" maverick ways). The 70's Mannix, on the other hand, works for himself, has bushy hair, wears sports coats, and his almost co-star is African-American Peggy, his equal as a person, and often social issues of the day pop up in the stories. Not only was there a shift in premise, but there was also a shift in the look and feel of the series after that initial 1967 season. And the show lasted eight years. (Not sure if the "square peg detective in the round hole high tech agency" premise would have lasted half that long.)
Likewise, I remember there was a shift in look and feel between the first and second seasons of LOST IN SPACE and probably a few other shows that retooled after their first season.
In comics, if a comic isn't quite working (or if it's just time for an artist and/or writer to move on), it's quite common for a new creative team to come in and totally change the look, feel, and sometimes premise or main thrust of the series. But this is definitely less common on TV.
The TV show SCORPION just got cancelled. I did enjoy the show, but it could get predictable and was perhaps a bit too silly/goofy/lighthearted/dumb sometimes. I have to wonder--if the show wasn't quite working and was about to be cancelled, why not try giving it a "new look" first? If SCORPION was sort of a "Mark Bagley look" show that wasn't working and MIAMI VICE was sort of a "Marshall Rogers look" or "Paul Gulacy look" kind of show, why couldn't SCORPION be shifted and try the Rogers or Gulacy approach for one season?
AGENTS OF SHIELD shifted a bit more in story and look the last couple of seasons, and improved greatly. There was a WAR OF THE WORLDS show years ago that shifted the other way--I liked the first season and original premise, then it got weird and almost unwatchable after that.
So, my questions to you are:
1. Any other TV examples of obvious shifts in quality, tone, feel, look?
2. Any insight as to why more failing shows don't do this?
3. Any other shows (past or present) that you'd like to see get a new "artist"?