Did They Deserve Better: 666 Park Avenue (2012)

666 Park Avenue based on the book of the same name, debuted on ABC on September 30, 2012. It was cancelled on July 13, 2013, airing one season with a total of 13 episodes. 666 Park Avenue stars Rachael Taylor, Dave Annable, Terry O’Quinn, and Vanessa Williams. The show follows a young mid-western couple who have been hired to manage The Drake, a luxurious apartment building on the Upper East Side in New York City where the residents have been possessed by demonic forces and have unknowingly sold their souls to the devil. Their every wish, desire, and ambition are fulfilled, but the price tag is more costly than any of them could possibly imagine.

My Overview Thoughts: What I liked most about the first five or so episodes of 666 Park Avenue was the creepy atmospheric tone and vibes the episode gave off. That was the unique something that made the show feel special. For the first few episodes, the show is essentially a prime time soap opera, so the creepy atmospheric tone made it stand out from the rest of the prime time dramas I have seen. But then with episode seven to be exact, the show made a striking turn by jumping further into the supernatural undertones the previous episodes had. Once this turn happens, it’s a turn for the better for the show. The show becomes vastly more interesting and compelling to watch. It presents some really fascinating ideas the show clearly had planned to do from the very beginning. The show slowly leaves behind the melodramatic soap opera storylines to fully embrace some suspenseful supernatural storylines instead. It became clear to me watching the latter half of the season that the first five or six episodes were almost just pure table setting for the darker shift in storytelling the writers wanted to do for the rest of the series. I would have liked to have seen more of those episodes because the show was becoming compelling television right before it ended. It’s a shame that when the show really got to become what it was setting itself up for, it was just as quickly cancelled.

Does It End on a Cliffhanger?: No, I believe the show wrapped up as best it could. The showrunners and writers knew a little bit before filming the finale that the show was cancelled. So, they had to rewrite and tighten the scripts for the finale to fit everything they wanted to fit in. It’s a very open-ended ending. A lot of finale feels rushed to answer the most burning questions the audience wanted to be answered. Now it doesn’t answer every single thing you want from a series finale, but I think they did a good job all things considering. It’s not an ending that will leave you sad and frustrated with having no answers, instead it’s an ending that will leave you wondering what the show could’ve been.

Cancellation: 666 Park Avenue had a small dedicated fanbase, but they were not enough to save the show’s ratings. 666 Park Avenue dwindled fast through its first two months on the air. The show premiered with 6.9 million viewers (which was apparently low back in 2012). The ratings consistently dropped each following week with ABC finally canceling the show after its seventh episode aired. Despite the early cancellation, ABC did announce that the remaining finished episodes of the series’s 13 episodes would air as planned.

Did It Deserve Better?: Yes, 666 Park Avenue was never going to be a show where everyone was to be a fan of it. It’s for a specific group of people, people who discover old movies that went under the radar or were written off and turn them into cult classics. 666 Park Avenue is the type of show that would have a dedicated fanbase even if it had one season. Think Firefly or Freaks & Greeks, one-season shows that were cancelled but have a fanbase up to this very day. I believe that if ABC had given 666 Park Avenue more time it would have found its fanbase. Whether that fanbase would have translated in ratings, who knows? But, the show definitely deserved more time to develop and be discovered by people who would have loved it.

Rating: It Had Potential. I think I would have liked to have seen a few more seasons exploring the mystery of the hotel and the characters. I don’t think the premise of the show would have lasted for another five seasons, it would have simply spread itself too thin. However, I do think the show could have done at least another two or three seasons diving more deeply into the demonic forces that were in play. The show creators clearly had plenty of ideas they wanted to tell and they tried to put some of it in the series finale. I would have liked to have seen some of those things happen gradually instead of having to rush it all into the finale. The show had the potential to be the network television equivalent of Rosemary’s Baby with the shared creepy atmospheric hotel and sinister characters. I honestly believe that 666 Park Avenue was just scratching the surface of what they could have done if they had more time.

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