CONTEST OVER – WINNERS HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED! THANKS FOR ENTERING
The final two hours of TNT’s summer show Legends aired last week. We have some answers, but unfortunately, it sure looks like we won’t – ever – get any more.
The Sean Bean show (how many of you keep seeing Rowan Atkinson’s Mr. Bean in your head when you see that?), a mixture of mystery and adventure, wrapped up with the big mystery – who is Martin Odum? – being partially resolved, but leaving our hero out in the cold. Yes, “Martin Odum” had been in Iraq in 2004, not married to Sonya, and not involved in a car accident. But he was basically spying on American mercenary contractor Verax for Britain’s MI6, which explains his British accent, and was actually responsible for the “Raining Fire” incident, where 400 Verax employees and US marines were killed in a friendly fire incident.
So we know the “how” of his memory loss, but not the “who.” And we know the secret behind his marriage to Sonya – she was his guard while he was in the hospital recovering from the attack, and fell in love with him. But even she doesn’t know his real identity. Nor does his boss, Nelson Gates (Steve Harris). He seems to have left behind a small group of friends, including Gates, his handler Crystal (Ali Larter), and new-to-DCO busybody agent Tony Rice (Morris Chestnut), leaving open a wide range of potential questions and story lines for a season 2 that isn’t likely to happen. Legends was one of TNT’s lowest rated shows this summer, only coming ahead of Franklin and Bash, in its fourth season.
For fans of action and spy-themed shows, this was a fairly satisfying, if not brilliant, entry into the summer lineup. Summer used to be TV’s wasteland, filled with reruns, short-lived variety shows, and more reruns. In recent years, however, we’ve seen lots of great new shows turning up during the summer – shows that smaller cable networks use to fill in a rotation of maybe three or four original programs throughout the year. And while the “big 4” networks put their hopes into September and October debuts, these smaller cable outlets have figured out that viewers want new and exciting all year round. So, we get Falling Skies, Dominion, and many other terrific offerings, during the summer. Unfortunately, that means that next-tier shows, like Legends, have a lot more competition for viewers than they might have otherwise had.
What else could contribute to low ratings, in a vehicle with a very well-liked star such as Sean Bean? The Legends website, for one thing. Sorry, Turner Broadcasting – this was the worst show website I’ve seen recently! Impossible to navigate, and without the digital extras viewers have come to expect, there was little to help viewers get involved with the site. The only video extras were debuted before the season began, and there was not extra digital content. Dominion, which I reviewed earlier this summer, had extensive digital extras, and drew viewers into the world. There was very little direct involvement between the show’s cast/crew and the fans, such as live Tweeting during episodes (there were some obviously prescheduled tweets, with a little bit BTS info, but fans would have liked a lot more. CBS’s Intelligence, earlier this year, did a great job of this). All of this helped NBC’s Revolution develop a vocal fan base – I don’t expect them to be successful in convincing any network to pick it up for a third season (the show basically imploded, and the plot became completely mired down – while there were great ideas here, they couldn’t figure out how to pull the boots out of the dullest part of the program, where the stars were stuck, and move into more interesting territory) – but the interaction between show and fan was terrific.
But Legends, despite some poor acting and implausible use of technology (sorry, just never got into Maggie’s character – what was the point of bringing up her nearly-abusive boyfriend?, and Ali Larter could use some personality lessons), the premise was intriguing, Sean Bean and Morris Chestnut had the beginnings of an interesting partnership, and some of the plot points were very current. Can this be pulled out of the cancellation pit? Unlikely, but I’d sure like to see a second season opportunity.
I have two #DontKillSeanBean Legends t-shirts (size M) left to give away! Just enter below – but be quick, you’ve only got two days! Winners will be notified by the end of the week.
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