Why did "The Expanse" fail to get the attention of mainstream TV viewers?

CmdrShepN7

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Back in 2015 I thought after the long absence of anything set in space after BSG ended TV viewers would flock to a space adventure but it failed to get the attention of mainstream TV viewer.


Did Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead suck out all the hot air out of the room? Or was it the channel? The Syfy earned it's reputation as the shark tornado and wrestling channel. Was the show too "dark and gritty"? Do people demand that space adventure be optimistic?

The Expanse was eventually cancelled but fortunately was saved by Jeff Bezos and Amazon. It now looks even more glorious with all that Amazon funding.


Even with all the Amazon funding it has not gained the attention of the mainstream.

Or is science fiction simply too weird for the mainstream? I remember that back in the early to mid 2010s people who watched doctor soap operas, police shows, and reality shows were considered normal people while BSG fans were thought of as people who lived in basements.

Would it be possible to make a space adventure that is good but without sci fi stuff like warp drives and aliens? A space adventure that would appeal to non sci fi fans.

I found out about this anime.


 
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Vladd67

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Well, Game of Thrones made the jump from Fantasy to general interest so perhaps with the right hype, ordinary viewers can be persuaded to overcome their prejudices and actually give sci-fi a chance. Maybe something along the lines of a Fallout series, or even the proposed Judge Dredd series?
 

Vince W

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Quite frankly, The Expanse series is some of the weakest science fiction I've come across. It's all rather derivative and the characters are very one-dimensional. I tried to read the books and couldn't make it through the first one. I've tried the tv series and it bored me.

The so-called political aspect is unappealing to most people simply because they can't envision a solar war. The detective angle wasn't as interesting as any of the police dramas it was stolen from. The dialogue is laughable at times. It takes itself far too seriously without really understanding why.

When The Expanse was developed in the hopes of having a science fiction Game of Thrones but the material was never strong enough for that.

As much as I'm looking forward to the Mega-City One series, I have very little hope that we'll get more than a single series since Dredd has never appealed to the American audience.
 

Droflet

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Sci Fi has always been the ugly sister to lesser shows. Those who stay glued to reality programs are incapable of anything beyond the mundane. It's a sad reality these days, that the cream no long rises to the top. In an era when reality programs cost a fraction of the money of anything else, I'm just glad that we have any Sci Fi around.
 

BAYLOR

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Quite frankly, The Expanse series is some of the weakest science fiction I've come across. It's all rather derivative and the characters are very one-dimensional. I tried to read the books and couldn't make it through the first one. I've tried the tv series and it bored me.

The so-called political aspect is unappealing to most people simply because they can't envision a solar war. The detective angle wasn't as interesting as any of the police dramas it was stolen from. The dialogue is laughable at times. It takes itself far too seriously without really understanding why.

When The Expanse was developed in the hopes of having a science fiction Game of Thrones but the material was never strong enough for that.

As much as I'm looking forward to the Mega-City One series, I have very little hope that we'll get more than a single series since Dredd has never appealed to the American audience.

I watched a few episodes of the series and lost interest in it.
 

vanye

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I have them on DVD. Read the first four or five books and lost interest after the second, really. Lost interest in the TV show after the first season. But I am sure I‘ll get back to watching it ... eventually. :giggle:
 

Harpo

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If it's down the dumper, perhaps I can revive my space opera novel, which I had to abandon when I realised The Expanse did it first
 

彐ildHunter

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Well, take some of the people around me for an example. I kept recommending this show to them, most of them just don't like SF genre, but a few of my friends who watched was bored by the first few episodes, they were expecting some thing like laserguns and explosion of anti-material engine or something like that. :confused:
 
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Lumens

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the characters are very one-dimensional.
I believe that this is its greatest downfall. I think the story is interesting, derivative or not - but if you don't believe the characters you don't believe the story.

I guess the problem is weak directing because all those actors can't be that bad, can they?
 

Parson

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As usual, I'm contrary. When The Expanse came out on the S.F. network I didn't even bother to look at it, because everything from the SF Network that I looked at was garbage. And the trailer with the guy flying through space in a space suit looked like it was going to be horror, which I hate, so no go. About two weeks ago I gave it a try on Amazon Prime. I was shocked. It beats the heck out of almost any SF on television. The special effects are brilliant, the story is believable, and the characters are memorable. I find it so much superior to Babylon 5. I can't even begin to express it.
 

hitmouse

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Clearly Expanse is a bit Marmite.

i watched series 1 recently with no real expectations, and thought it was terrific.

I have subsequently learned that a number of friends, who I would not usually put down as sf enthusiasts, are serious fans.
 

Lumens

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Well as I said, the plot is interesting. So despite my complaints I have watched the entire series so far. I can understand why people may like it.
 

narrativus

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I'm in Canada and I simply wouldn't have heard about it unless it was on a streaming site or the one science fiction channel on TV, or Syfy counterpart. I found it when I was looking through Amazon Prime. At first, I didn't like it. It seemed messy and chaotic. But I promised to get back to it. Then, when I did, found Joe Miller, I was sold! I bought the first three books too.
 

Parson

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I'm deep into Season 4 now. And my biggest complaint is that they changed the intro. What in the first 3 seasons was mostly very, very, lifelike now looks much more 2D, and the shot over the Marineris Valley has too many space ships to be believed. It looks like a bad Star Wars battle with ships far too close together.
 

Phyrebrat

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I'm rewatching the final season again. Just love this show. It succeeds where so many other glossy SF or SFF fails. That shows like Salvation or Falling Skies, can do better in response to shows that are less about pew pew pew and more about socio-political concerns and social mobility doesn't suprise me - heck, I'm probably the biggest SW fanboy - but I do think it is odd that it's not had more of a buzz.

I follow the actors on Twitter and/or IG and they are in no shortage of work. And surely everyone who's watched it must have seen Shohreh Agadashloo in other things?

pH
 

Bren G

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I couldn't get past the first two shows. DIdn't hook me :(

I'm always looking for deeper themes, esp. with socio-political angles (and wrote my novel with these in mind) but felt that I could see it coming a mile away. Too ham-handed in the set-up in my opinion but perhaps I need to get through a few more episodes and give it a chance.
 
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Parson

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I couldn't get past the first two shows. DIdn't hook me :(

I'm always looking for deeper themes, esp. with socio-political angles (and wrote my novel with these in mind) but felt that I could see it coming a mile away. Too ham-handed in the set-up in my opinion but perhaps I need to get through a few more episodes and give it a chance.
I think you would find yourself enjoying it; if you gave it a bit more of a go. I thought it really hit it's stride about mid-way through the first serason. --- Not to say there weren't some parts that made me cringe, but overall one of the best TV S.F. ever.
 

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