CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I'll be honest. I didn't really have much of a column for this week. I was going to write about how it's almost time for the fall season to start and cover the few big network happenings this week.
Then, while I was compiling the weekly listings, I watched last week's episode of "The Glades."
It was the season finale, and it was a HUGE cliffhanger (which I won't spoil for even bigger slowpokes than me). It involved the fate of a major character in the time leading up to Jim and Callie's wedding.
The episode originally aired Monday, Aug. 26. Six days later, on Sept. 1, A&E canceled the show.
I howled with rage when, after seeing the episode, I read the news. It's not that I'm devastated the show is over; I am just furious that it ended -- or rather, didn't -- like it did.
The action was leading up to a wedding; is there a more perfect ending than that? Had it ended that way, I would have shrugged and thought, "Well, it had a good run," but since it didn't, I'm left thinking, "Really?! Four seasons of loyal viewing, and this is how you repay the fans, A&E?"
I understand TV is a business and it's all about the money, so if something's not making enough of it, it's got to go. However, when a show's been on for several seasons, it would be nice for the network to have even the teensiest bit of respect for the viewers.
Sure, the writers are partially to blame since they chose to go the cliffhanger route. But clearly, they must have felt at least fairly secure in their renewal odds, or I doubt they'd have chosen the path they did, especially in this case, where there was such a perfect option for an ending readily available.
Maybe before filming concluded, the network suits could have said to the show, "Hey, your ratings aren't so hot this season. Maybe you shouldn't plan too far ahead." Or, even better, just come right out with it and make a decision with enough time for the show to craft a proper ending -- or at least re-tool what it's already got to make it as satisfying as possible.
I've been extremely lucky in recent years that two of my favorite shows -- "Chuck" and "Breaking Bad" -- have ended knowing that they were done and thus able to go out on their terms. As sad as I am at their end, I am extremely grateful that they weren't just abruptly cut off.
It seems like within the past two years, more and more long-running shows have headed into their last seasons with the knowledge that it is the final season, and I think that's how it should be. Even if it ends up only being a half season, give them a chance to plot a proper exit.