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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"You can't take the sky from me."
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April 13 2017

Drive turns 10. Co-created by Tim Minear and starring Nathan Fillion, the series about an illegal, cross-country road race turns ten years old today!

...or it would have, had it not suffered from SIDS.
We're gonna be facing the same philosophical question when Firefly celebrates its 15th birthday in September, Sahjhan...I think honouring their short lives is the right thing to do.

Drive was not so great.

A lot of great talent, but not a great result.
Drive was so great. It created mountain ranges in Florida! I wish that it was available thru some legal format to own.
Goodness, ten years already?

I truly enjoyed Drive. NF was having a grand old time as a reformed bad boy who was secretly enjoying the adrenaline charge he got from the race, and the lovely Melanie Lynskey (yes, I have a crush) was great as a housewife who was starting to tap into a long-dormant reserve of badass.

[Trivia: Drive co-creator Ben Queen went on to write Cars2, and develop Powerless (starring Alan Tudyk) for TV.]

It was still finding its legs when it got chopped down. I always thought it should have been nastier or funnier (probably both). Maybe if TM had a full season, the show would have made it to the finish line. Ah well...

[ edited by cjl on 2017-04-14 16:30 ]

[ edited by cjl on 2017-04-14 17:34 ]

I think the difference is, that shows like 'Firefly' or 'Buffy' can "celebrate a birthday and turn [age X]" because they are still very much alive. Ended, yes. Cancelled, yes. But alive. People remember them, talk about them, watch them or even continue them (e.g. via fan-fiction) to this day. That's not the case with 'Drive'.
Don't get me wrong, personally I do miss and remember it (or, to put it more accurately, I mourn what it could have been), because I happen to love the genre of cross-country road races - and there are undoubtly others who do the same - but in general nobody ever talks about that show. It's dead. Hence my comment, which was actually more about my "bitterness" regarding the child-bed-cancellation and less about the necessity of birthday-postings.
It's not surprising it died, though. The premise would not have been sustainable over the long haul. People racing in cars, for whatever reason they were racing, does not have broad appeal. It had a great cast, but I'm not compelled to ever watch it again.
Sure it does. 'The Fast and the Furious' is one of the ten most successful movie franchises, after all. The audience for a show about car-racing is big enough, so it's all about catering to these viewers and doing it well. Whether or not 'Drive' was on the right path regarding this I honestly can't tell. I haven't watched this show in...well...ten years.
It would be interesting to see who "The Fast and the Furious" movies appeal to. I'm wagering that they appeal more to men than women. That's not to say it's a bad or a good thing, but I'm willing to bet that gender is a determining factor in both the success of TFATF and the failure of "Drive."
Here's my fundamental problem with the premise of Drive.

There was one scene where Nathan Fillion's character was racing to get to the finish line against another driver. It wasn't the finish line of the race, just a daily checkpoint. It went back and forth, their faces were very intense, then they crossed it!

That's when they saw that dozens of other racers had arrived before them. The entire competition between them had been pointless.

That was what we had to look forward to in every episode. Yeah, it had flashbacks and mystery, but the racing backbone of the show was clearly never going to matter at all.

Looking at IMDb data, men tend to vote for those movies almost ten time as often as women do - which should be a surprise to absolutely nobody. Interestingly, though, women rate every single movie higher than men do. Ignoring how many people voted for each movie (too much work), women on average rate the films 7,2/10 versus men 6,7/10. If I had to guess, I'd say that's because those women get the same things out of these movies that men do (e.g. cars, action, explosions and so on - which are pretty much the elements I was talking about in regards of "catering to your audience"), but also get to enjoy the sex-appeal of big-muscled men, which most members of the male audience don't care for. They want their action heroes to be larger than life, but they're not sexually attracted to them.

Anyway, (almost) ten to one is a clear statement even though I would've prefered some box-office breakdowns. It was mentioned in a Bloomberg-article that 49% of F6's opening-weekend-box-office came from women (up from F5's 44%), which is quite high. However, people tend to drag their spouses into the movies with them, so I wouldn't take that as evidence that F&F is a 50/50 franchise.

Regarding 'Drive', it's hard to tell whether or not that show would've been able to connect to its audience. It had barely started its engine when FOX waved the red flag. I also don't know what was done in terms of promotion, scheduling, and so on. Obviously these things matter. I do believe however, that a show about a car race would have a fair chance of success on the open market - provided that it operates within the right framework.

There's actually a rather successful show on television here, that's mainly about car chases (close enough), -crashes, fist fights and so on. Funny thing: I don't watch it*, but my mother does. It's been on for over twenty years.

*I haven't seen most of the F&F movies, either. I saw the first one, didn't quite care for it, and only came back for the fifth one because Rocky Maivia was in it. I do love 'The Cannonball Run', though.
loved the pilot! then it seemed to vanish.
I really miss Drive. I'm trying to remember if they even showed all the episodes that were filmed.
They showed the first four episodes over two weeks. Then they cancelled it and put the last two episodes online. So that was handled very poorly.
My Drive anecdote: Whichever intern made the show's MySpace page (which does indeed highlight how long it's been) used the template for 24 and forgot to change the code to allow people to actually "Friend" Drive's page (the link sent one to 24).

I was one of the first 11 people not named Tom to figure out how to adjust the code so I could add the page to my circle (or whatever it was called) and, thus, I showed up in the top 12 on the main page. Within a few days, a friend I'd lost contact with for a few years saw me there and we've been back in touch ever since.
I very much enjoyed the story and many of the characters, and am still a bit bummed that it was cancelled.
The characters were great. I was really glad that Emma Stone's career took off.
It's Drive, OG Curt Connors and reboot Gwen Stacy (from Sony's Spider-man films) played father and daughter.
Drive was available for purchase through the nascent Amazon video streaming service back in 2007. (It was the first streaming video I ever purchased from Amazon.) I just checked my library and the episodes are still there and at least the first minute of the first episode still played successfully.

I can't tell if it is still available for purchase, since I have already bought it. But if you want to buy a legal copy, you might check there.

Interesting side note: it looks like Amazon has conflated this series with another Fox series also called Drive from August 17 and 25, 2008. There are two episodes (unavailable for purchase) from Season 3. It looks like these episodes have nothing to do with the Nathon Fillion series, but have something to do with skateboarding.
I checked Amazon just now, and it's listed as unavailable. But it is listed - possibly if enough people added it to their watchlist, they'd make an effort to put it up. Seems like a long shot though.

I bought the episodes on iTunes, so they're downloaded to my computer, but they're not in the store anymore.

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