Kinda sorta in a way an unpopular opinion...
But as someone who read and thoroughly enjoyed the book, I cannot say that I am surprised that they did not push SSC more. If they follow the rest of the book the way they have followed it so far, the seven episodes will cover the book perfectly (and as I have said before, if they don’t keep the ending, I will RIOT), and the book does not really leave any dramatic loose ends to justify continuing the story.
Because of that, I have never fully believed that they would even try to continue into a second season. It would have been a wonderful, pleasant surprise…but with their lack of significant advertising, it just didn’t make sense to me. Why they didn’t advertise it as a miniseries I really don’t know…maybe they were leaving room for the show to surprise them and do well on it’s own…but for a genre as particular as this one, even seven episodes does not give it time to establish itself if it is going to be a long-running show.
I think that keeping it to the seven episodes is a sign that they are doing the book justice. They would have to make even more dramatic changes than they already have, and I don’t know that I would want to see some of the possibilities for the plot twists to keep the story ‘interesting’ enough for Shondaland TV. I don’t mean that as an insult to Shondaland TV at all…I mean that as an indication of how nicely the story is wrapped up in the epilogue of the book. It was not written as a story to keep going on and on…and logistically, that just does not make for good long term television. A kick-ass miniseries? Hell yes, which is what I have total faith we are going to get.
Their mistake here, I think, was not being clear in their presentation of this show. We knew how many episodes were filmed at the start. We knew that they did little to advertise it…but we also looked at it as a show that *might* be long term. Many people are afraid to invest in a show, particularly one that challenges (or altogether shatters) race and gender barriers, if there is a good chance that it will get cancelled early on. Who wants to fall in love with characters, only to have their stories left dangling with absolutely no closure? It’s safer to wait it out, see how it goes, and then watch it once at least a full season arc has been told. I can appreciate the feeling…I’ve been stressing every week worrying that we wouldn’t even get the episodes they’d actually filmed, and I know where my characters are going to end up. Even if the show didn’t air all seven episodes, I still have some closure…but it doesn’t matter. I’ve fallen in love with the representation by these wonderful actors, and I want to see it all brought to life, dammit!
If they wanted this to be a miniseries, then they should have presented it as a miniseries. Had they made it clear from the beginning, we wouldn’t be left feeling like we’ve been punched in the chest. We would’ve known what to expect, and that makes all the difference in the world. We wouldn’t be INFURIATED right now, and this show would have been seen in a much different light. By leaving everything up in the air, setting it up to fail, this beautiful, charming, amazing show is left to look like a floundering mess. This show, had it been properly presented, could have been that truly groundbreaking storytelling that Lashana hoped it would be, because it would have been seen for exactly what it is, rather than tainted by the appearance of failure caused by this horrible uncertainty. It could have opened the door for more challenging stories like it, designed and developed (and freaking advertised) for long, successful run. Instead, how many stories will be shot down for the sake of a “failure” that, by all rights, should have been the farthest thing from a failure?
I hate how much I was expecting exactly this to happen…and I am sincerely pissed that they are making us wait another 2.5 weeks for the next episode.