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March 11 2011

The Summer Glau Curse: Is it more than a myth? AfterEllen.com puts a critical eye to what is apparently one of the more pressing geek topics of our time.

Curses, schmurses. People used to say that Nathan Fillion was cursed. And now Castle is getting a fourth season.

It's kind of like inventing the lightbulb. Thomas Edison had to experiment with something like a thousand materials until he found the right filament to light the dark. Any actor should expect to go through a lot of projects before hitting one that is both critically acclaimed and commercially successful. The key is to keep in the game.
This article is troll-bait (as was the one on i09). Nobody takes the "curse" thing seriously, it's just something trolls say to get a rise out of overly hyper fans. This is silly.
She joins sci-fi shows and sci-fi shows get cancelled a lot. It's easy to explain without going into "curses".
I agree, The TV Obsessed, and that's exactly what I was going to say. It's not a curse at all. She picks projects that may seem great on paper, but end up being poorly marketed and poorly made.

What she needs is a non-science fiction television show for a change, just to diversify. Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin are finding great success doing non-science fiction television.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with being in the science fiction genre...it's just that her latest projects just don't seem to be very good out of the gate. It's never her fault, either. It's really the writing and producing.

[ edited by the ninja report on 2011-03-11 04:46 ]
I call it a curse as a joke, (I also widen it to apply to firefly actors, but quite a number of them seem to have broken out of it) because after Firefly ended, a lot of them had new shows or joined new shows that didn't last long after they did, not that they're to blame, just that it's an extremely unfortunate coincidence. I don't see how anyone really has to make a big deal about it.
The scene with Summer dancing at the end of TSCC: "The Demon Hand" still moves me to tears. Curse? Bah.
There is no curse, only the Summer Glau blessing.
Eric Balfour just tweeted this:
(Some swearing.)

"This article really pisses me off!!! Yes lots of people have said the same thing about me and the fact is no matter how hard you try to ignore the attacks of negative and suppressive people, it really hurts. Also it is unfair. I've met @summer_glau and she is a talented and wonderfully down to earth actress. The truth is most television shows don't stay on the air. That's a statistical fact that has nothing to do with the actors in that program. The only reason people peg someone like Summer a show killer is because she is recognizable and there are lots of negative assholes in the world. You should see what people write on twitter about me everyday. Instead of acknowledging the fact that Summer is an actress who has the talent and perseverance to continue to get herself on television shows, these douche bags focus on the part that the actor has no control of. SO many things factor into the success or failure of a show that are completely out of the actors hands. I'm not close with Summer and have only met her briefly but I think it sucks that the writer who wrote this article can't think of a better angle to work off of... "KellyGrrrl73: @ERICBALFOUR dint they used 2 say this about u, 2?? http://bit.ly/gY4Q3n seems like a good time 2 go 4 that new pilot..."

Nice of him to stand up for her. I hate "curse" articles.
I'm with Pointy.
I think I love Balfour for that little rant. And yes, his show is coming back for a second season this summer. :)
And let us not forget Balfour played Jesse in "Welcome to the Hellmouth" :)
This is the first I've heard of the "curse." Weird. It seems to me that she's often brought onto already struggling shows in order to make them appeal to a wider audience. It seems completely out of her control that the shows still end up being canceled, if they were headed that direction anyway.

It kinda reminds me of Ted McGinley, the king of jumping the shark. I remember reading about all the different shows that his appearances marked the jumping of, and all I could think was, "Man! Must be incredibly nice to be cast in so many shows that he has a reputation at all. Dang, I wish I was Ted McGinley." It's the same here. You don't get to a point where a ton of your shows get canceled unless you get to the point where you're in a ton of shows. And you don't get to that point without considering yourself successful.

Dang, I wish I was Summer Glau.
Anyone else think there's a HUGE element of sexism in this so-called hilarious curse?
Simon, since it's been so widely assigned to Balfour as well, I'm not sure I see it in this case. Paula Marshall is another that often gets this wrap too. Not sure it's a gender thing though.
And as others mention, people also said it of Nathan at one point.

Is the curse more than a myth ? No, because curses don't exist.

Is the "curse" more than a myth ? No, because Summer by herself is neither necessary nor sufficient for a TV show to reach the outcome 'Cancelled'.

Cool, I like a nice easy one in the morning ;).

[ edited by Saje on 2011-03-11 08:39 ]
I've never heard of the Balfour curse, and the Nathan and James ones were more good humoured and gentle than anything else. But there's seems to be a distinct undercurrent of fanboy nastiness in regards to Summer and I can only put it down to her gender. But that's just me.
Can't say i've paid enough attention to any of the "curse" stories to know much about the tone but it wouldn't surprise me, SF&F fandom can be pretty sexist. That said, attractive actresses get more attention full-stop and whenever one part of the fandom fawns over someone another part will often attack them as much to troll as anything else.

From what i've seen the good vastly outweighs the bad where Summer's concerned.
She just likes to portray very hi-concept characters, and since sci-fi shows are one of the few places in modern television where hi-concept characters tend to hang out, that's where she tends to end up. Unfortunately (for her fans' senses of continuity - not her career) her ability to pull off those characters is so much more developed than the typical showrunner's ability to pull off the kinds of shows in which they tend to appear.

All she, and other actors in a similar boat, need do is just keep forging away - law of averages suggests that eventually they'll get lucky (maybe later rather than sooner, but - that's show business for you.)

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2011-03-11 18:04 ]
Summer has been the highlight of everything she has been in, for me, the one who stood out, especially in TSCC. She keeps getting cast in shows because she is that special and probably draws in the most fans to give these shows a chance in the first place.
Dollhouse was axed BEFORE HER EPISODES AIRED! Some "show killer"... more like the undertaker...

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