This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Because, sir, to be blunt, the last time you became complacent about your existence turned out rather badly."
11973 members | you are not logged in | 03 July 2020


April 30 2004

Tru Calling Season [Series] Finale ratings. 3.6/ 5 "Even so, you have to give credit to Fox for introducing a new scripted hour opposite Friends and Survivor and sticking with it all season. That's the way you program a network."

Hmm, something about that comment just sets me off...

That was a great Tru episode! I really do think that it has the chance to potetnialy draw in new people, if given a second chance. I mean without "Friends" Tru might actually stand a chance. However, due to poor ratings I think what was aired last night was it. Sad to see so many good shows leave this season, but at least FOX allowed Tru to complete its season, unlike with Wonderfalls.
well, personally, i think Tru Calling still has a chance. i know that i would like to see at least one more season to see what they can do with it (at first i didnt like it but its grown a little on me).

[ edited by norman on 2004-04-30 20:17 ]
I have to disagree, Gio. I think it's very possible that FOX will bring it back. Of course we have to wait and see. It just seems like they support only the shows they like and not the ones they dont understand (Firefly, Wonderfalls).

Does anyone know how likely it is that Joss is going to call Eliza the second Tru is cancelled and ask her to be on FTVS? I'm soo crossing my fingers. Not that I want Tru to fail. I just want the opportunity for FTVS if FOX cancells Eliza's show.
"That's the way you program a network."

What the...
It's nice that Fox gave Tru Calling a chance. But, if I had the choice (which I clearly don't!), I would have given Wonderfalls that opportunity over Tru Calling. Grrr.
Cancel this mess. Now.

[Dredging up my kvetch-fest from the archive:]

I have no complaints about the acting. Nearly everybody was in top form last night, especially Jason Priestly, whose off-handed acting style makes Jack a truly fascinating character. But honestly, Jon Harmon Feldman writes like a 12 year-old. He doesn't seem to possess any knowledge about living in the real world beyond that stage. His characters are paper-thin, and it's only through the accumulated familiarity of 21 episodes of prime time TV (and some occasionally decent scripts from Feldman's staff) that I can feel any connection to Harrison, Tru, and the rest of the cast.

The Jealous ex-Husband Cliche? ("Don't mess with me! I'm a plot device just waiting to explode!") Tru RACING INTO THE OPERATING ROOM to hug poor, dead Harry? Jeeeez! What world does Feldman live in?

And the whole idea of Jack as Tru's cosmic opposite is potentially brilliant, but there's been no set-up whatsoever. We've seen absolutely no indication from previous episodes that Tru's rescues have had any corresponding negative, "correcting" reaction. Tru saves the caller-of-the-week and everybody goes home happy. End of episode. Do Jack and Papa Davies have knowledge of a huge, karmic downside to Tru's ability? Do they know (or believe) that Tru's "gift" is more like a curse, passed down from generation to generation? Because if they do, then Jack should, oh I don't know, TALK TO TRU about this knowledge instead of setting himself up as a vaguely sinister Karmic Corrective to artificially inject conflict into the series.

If not, then Jack and Papa are just insane, and I don't find that interesting. (See TV Tome's episode review for a full list of the flaws in this set-up.)

All this pre-supposes that Harmon has thought through his themes. That's pre-supposing a lot. If this is Gail Berman's pet project and it's fated (snerk) for renewal, I hope somebody with a brain at Fox renews it with the proviso that Feldman buys a one-way ticket out of the City, and Fox gives the show over to a writer with some degree of talent (perhaps supervising producer Doris Egan). Then maybe, MAYBE some of the themes introduced in the season finale might have a chance to develop properly.
Tru Calling is a decent ok type show, I think alot of it has to do with Eliza's presense. I basically think she deserves a much better show then this, I wouldn't say I would rewatch Tru episodes, they are not lets say as smart as Wheadon type stories, where every episode feels important and very rewatchable.

A Faith show just would be so much better, cooler, plus it's a great character that with all respect to Tru Calling's fans, she won't be able to top her work on Buffy and Angel with that show.

It must be cool being the star of your own tv show, rather then guesting or sidelining Buffy and Angel when she did, but I think she rushed into tru thing.

I know there's no gurantee there'll be a faith show, but I think she can spent the next few years of her life doing something better.

The finale maybe a good episode, but got to take the season into context, if this show isn't consistently firing on all guns, it won't be sad to see it go, I'm sure everyone feels more angry wonderfalls leaving, look how short that was on, and it made a huge impact, you don't get the same feeling from tru calling, it's not ground breaking and wow enough. If Eliza was in wonderfalls, it maybe would of been a better show for her, canceled or not.

[ edited by SeanValen on 2004-04-30 20:51 ]
Nice comment on Fox. WHATever. I admit to guiltily watching bits of last night's episode, but it felt really forced to me. Ooooh, Jack is her polar opposite...oooh Daddy Davies is an evil S.O.B. You know, if the writers had halfway bothered to built a plot line EARLIER in the season, it would be more believeable. But no, Jason Priestly (who IMO, comes off as a one-note in his acting here) is brought in with all the subtlety of a "ratings hiker". Bleh.

Hopefully, if Tru is brought back next season (no pun intended) some decent writing will actually take place.

But like electricspagegirl, I'd rather have FTVS or some variant thereof. And if Tru is cancelled, I'll be cheering like cjl. Eliza deserves better than this horribly written show. Yeeeuck.
I dont find this show inventive or exciting. I love Jason and I love Zach, but I think theyre both beyond this mediocre twaddle. Eliza is like the wonderbread of tv actors-- no flavor. I don't want this show picked up, and I definitely don't want FTVS.
Again sometime it's not about the ratings as much as the demo they are going after with a show that allows it to survive. Since Tru began it has gotten a surprising high female demo in the 18-34 range - they expected for it to come in 4th in that demo so they sold the advertising according - however, through out the season Tru surprised the network by actually coming in 3rd in that demo for most of the weeks it was on. Also you have to credit to Elizacredit she has been on the talk show circut all year long pimpimg her program which has helped. To bad the Angel cast didn't do this as well they still might be around another year.
I heard everything depends on the finale, if the ratings aren't good enough for Fox then the show won't get a second season.
The thing that I hate most about Tru Calling is the way it assumes I have the brain of a 7 year old. The constant flashbacks to things that happened about 5 minutes prior drive me nuts. And I love how they revealed the "big shock" at the end of last night's first episode about Jack being Tru's "evil leaper." As if we didn't see that coming at least 5 episodes ago. Though I will admit that the twist with Tru's dad at the end was genuinely surprising.

Despite my endless complaints, for some reason I'm still sucked into watching the show. It's partly because of Eliza, partly because some of the plots are intriguing, partly for Harrison and Davis, and mostly because it's just so much fun to heckle. I guess we all need our guilty pleasures.

In my opinion, the right way to program a network is to keep great shows like Wonderfalls and Firefly, and cancel dreck like Tru Calling and The Swan. If Fox was finally going to give a full season to a low rated show, why did it have to be this one?
i didnt like wonderfalls, it wasnt as great as the people on this board make it out to be (my opinion, so dont hate me). i hope Tru gets another season to see what they can make of it, and i also hope there is no FTVS or any variation of because, sorry, the vampire slayer thing has been DONE already!
I'm with you, MindPieces. I can't stop watching Tru either. Well, I did when it was too repetitive but I started watching again right before Priestly entered the scene. I like Priestly's acting. And I find some of it very compelling. Other parts I'm like "Oh, please". It can be very hokey, yes but its better than reality shows. It interests me more than Friends and ER. I don't know why. Maybe because it reminds me of the Evil Leaper in Quantum Leap. Man I miss that show. They should bring that show back and have better special effects and do neat stuff about fate and evil leapers and miracle daughters and stuff like that. I'd watch it. The only problem is, according to Nielson trends, no one else will be watching anything sci fi or quirky.
Jason Priestly's acting on this show has bugged the HELL out of me. He's so.. nonchalant? I'm just going to make sure that NONE of my friends or family watch the season finale. I want Eliza to be Faith again. I don't care if the Vampire Slayer thing has been done already, I'll watch anything relating to the Buffyverse and anything by Joss Whedon.

Tru Calling has had atleast 3 good episodes out of 20 something. That's not good enough for me. And there is so much bad writing and .. it just sucks. Die Tru.
The problem with the show last night is that even though Jason Priestly's character continued to make a valid argument about why he was trying to thwart Tru, she never once doubted her actions. A great hero has self doubt because regular folks have self doubt. Making a super hero self righteous and non-reflective turns them into a cartoon. Faith rocked as a super hero last year because she had self awareness and self loathing.
quantum leap was my favorite show when i was young, but man i cant remember anything about it. especially, the evil leaper *sigh*
Well I think alot of good points have been made. Tru Calling is mediocre tv. I missed a few episodes in the middle when it became repetitive and tuned back in to see if JP could breathe new life into it. I find that he did. Although the plots (with the exception of daddy dearest) were see-through, he added a spice to the show. The last few episodes, the relationship between Tru and Davis has become very slayer/watcher like in its feel. It's not a great show, if I miss it I'm not sad, but its decent enough tv for me to watch if its on. I love Eliza, but I'm not sure how well she could pull off a slayer show. Joss is a genius though, so I'm on board if he is.
I also agree with norman, Wonderfalls never did anything for me. But again, I was willing to stick with it to see where it led. Fox as always, had different ideas.
It wasn't that bad...For a struggling show I am amazed that it hs gotten this far. For Tru this was defientely a great episode. I like the way they set up season 2 (if it happens). I really see Tru turning out better episodes next season, given that the show actually has a "villain" and that Tru will now have some greater purpose, but we'll have to wait and see. Jason Priestly's acting is a little annoying, but again this can be fixed. I really think a Faith show would totally kick ass. I mean a lot of people weren't so sure about Angel, but in time it grew. I think a Faith Spin-off would bring back both ATS and BTVS characters as well as some new ones, and the "Vampire Slayer" thing has been done, but Faith and Buffy are like Day and Night, and with the way Joss and co. write they could definetely pull it off. And if not a full on Faith show happens, then maybe she could just be part of the cast, of another type of spin-off. But whatever happens will probably happen for the better. But I really want to see Faith come back if Tru dies. Also, Wonderfalls was great and I'm sure it would have gotten better if given the chance to grow and form and audience. If you love Tru and are hopeful of its return just remember Fox has the power to cancel any show they desire (Firefly, Wonderfalls, and many others) no matter who watches.
"she never once doubted her actions. A great hero has self doubt because regular folks have self doubt. Making a super hero self righteous and non-reflective turns them into a cartoon. Faith rocked as a super hero last year because she had self awareness and self loathing. "

Vpecoraro, you hit the nail on the head. I've been saying that too. For all we know Jack *is* actually right. And at least Tru should acknowledge that he believes he is right as much as she does, instead of just acting like he's zee evile villain.

And nothing is more annoying than a protagonist that has no self doubts whatsoever. What happens to Tru should have them all wondering about things. What if someone she saves kills a family of 4 next month in a car accident? What if she just saved the next unabomber?

They have the potential to make this filosophically complex and ambivalent, but I have a feeling they're not going for it. Still it has improved slowly since the beginning, and the dad thing was a nice touch. Although I'm sure they'll milk it for the entire upcoming season.

IF there is one of course. And for Fox, these are not stellar ratings. I've checked some sites that kept track and it's been very irregular. But generally it has been like Angel's ratings or quite lower. And apparently the finale didn't really gave it a peak. Plus, for Fox that's probably even worse than it is for the WB, being generally a bigger network.

But who knows, it doing well in the female demographic may give it the push it needs. Still not sure why this gets so much more of a chance than Wonderfalls though. (Which I liked, though didn't love as much as some people). But it had potential to grow. Just not a chance to do so.

As for a possible 'Faith'....I'd love to see it even though the 'on a motor cycle through the country' as a concept didn't set me on fire. But I always liked the character. Come up with something, toss in Lorne, Wes, Spike and Giles or something. But I'll watch anything set in the Buffverse. Course it might be Joss will wait a while even if Tru dies and he has Faith plans. Just to give it all some space in between.
They have the potential to make this filosophically complex and ambivalent, but I have a feeling they're not going for it.

This, to me, is the most frustrating thing about Tru Calling. I want to like it because of ED, and because it's a scripted drama with an intriguing concept. Unfortunately, the probably four (I'm guessing) episodes I've actually watched more or less all the way through, including the finale, do not give me much hope for issues such as these being addressed should it be renewed.

You've got a girl who can save people, and then a guy shows up whose self-explained job is to insure those same people die. What the hell? Who says he's telling the truth? Tru's lack of in-depth exploration of this, among other things, is infuriating from a storytelling perspective. Even Davis doesn't really push the issue, and he supposedly is carrying a torch for her. Wouldn't you ask the tough questions if you were in his place? Everyone seems to be written purposefully dense, (which, after seeing ED brilliantly portray Faith's sharpness and cunning, is something of a disappointment). There just doesn't seem to be any reflection going on, or any real soul-searching about what any of it means, and considering the life-and-death focus of the entire series that's an incredible waste of dramatic potential.

Worse, bringing Jason Priestly as a cardboard antagonist to artifically inject tension into the plotlines smelled like mid-season desperation. Tru's 'curse' should have been the antagonist; watching her struggle with her ability would have been exciting and painful, which would have made me care for her more. And instead of JP's smugly nonchalant black hat shtick, transparent from the moment he showed up, Jack could have played a more complex and conflicted role -- acting as Angelus' to Tru's mostly isolated struggle with her higher calling, a spiritual provocateur who both attracts and repels her at the same time.

*Sigh* Whedonism has ruined the way I watch TV; I can't help but pick shows apart anymore. When something nonsensical, stupid or eye-rollingly predictable happens (as is invariably the case with 99.9% of whatever else is on), I automatically think, "Joss (or ME writer of your choice) could have written that sooooo much better." It's a curse even worse than Tru's, I think.

Can you imagine what TC would have been like if JW had gotten hold of it? Just imagine the ground that would have been covered by now, and the pipe already laid for seasons beyond. And there would have been so much more deep character development for Harrison, Davis, Tru and Jack that people wouldn't have to be wondering if there was going to be another season, because it would have gripped viewers from the start.
Wiseblood, you have just displayed more originality and clarity of thought than the entire writing staff of Tru Calling did in its first (and Fox-willing, last) season.

This thread has been closed for new comments.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.

joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home