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Why Eureka Will Be Missed

Syfy’s Eureka may not have ever been the most critically-acclaimed show on the network – That is likely Battlestar Galactica – nor the most watched – That would be Warehouse 13 – but the fact that it’s ending tonight may leave the network missing something that it can’t quite do without: A show that just wanted to make you smile.

Eureka was never the kind of show that would’ve satisfied everyone out there; its mix of comedy and drama was often off-kilter in one direction or another, and prevented it from going far enough in either direction for a lot of viewers. Amy Berg, who’s been with the show for the past two seasons and was in part responsible for the impressive in-continuity reboot and retooling of the show at the start of season four, has spoke publicly about how the writers ended up feeling as if the weekly threats to the town and its inhabitants couldn’t be too dangerous – Read, deadly – because that would be too dark for the show overall (Certainly, when Dr. Holly Martin died at the start of season five, the tonal fallout felt uncomfortable, even if that plot’s ultimate destination was somewhere else altogether). But throughout its seventy-seven episodes, one thing that the show never failed to provide its loyal viewers was an oddly welcoming familiarity and sense of community. We cared about these characters, we liked them; the show was never less than likable, and often lovable, thanks in large part to an impressingly charming cast (Colin Ferguson, someone needs to make you into a star somehow).

Without Eureka around, Syfy suddenly finds itself without a show to appeal to, for want of a better way to put it, fans of gentle, comfortable SF. It has a couple that are very close to fulfilling that need in Haven and Warehouse 13, but of those two, Haven keeps wanting to be a darker show – but, frustratingly, never quite getting there, at least in the two seasons so far – and Warehouse 13 is just a little too insular and snarky, I think (That could change; despite the brutality of the finale of last season, I think this show will trend softer as it ages). This particular lack may be intentional – You only have to look at (relatively) new projects like Alphas, Being Human and import Lost Girl to know that “self-aware, slick and snarky” seems to be the target of shows there now (Not a criticism, by the way; I like all of those shows, with the exception of Lost Girl, and consider Being Human to be one of the best shows in the history of the network) – but it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a great idea.

Syfy, as it’s been discovering over the last few years, has to appeal to as many people as possible in order to be a true success. You can see their attempts to meet that goal in shows like Face Off and Hollywood Treasure and the like, but its drama output has been falling into a worrying sameness as the reality output has been ramped up; shows have similar “Normal people and one fantastic element!” set up and, as noted above, a similar tone. Fans who want something more sincere than snark – who might want something unashamed to be nice, and positive, and, just plain entertaining – are finding themselves accidentally forgotten, pushed out by the new material, and that’s a shame. Of all the places where you’d hope that nerds could find somewhere comfortable to nerd out, a channel whose name sounds like sci-fi should be the top contender, right…?

Eureka, as a show, was one unafraid to wear its heart on its sleeve and get goofy in order to entertain. It was entirely inclusive, and didn’t try to do anything more than give you a fun story for the hour you tuned in. I can only hope that we’ll find something else just like that on Syfy before too long.


  • Kunle Adeyanju

    You Will be missed Eureka, I didn’t know about you til march of this year; i watched every episode within 2 week (thanks Netflix) and now your done before your time.  I will miss you, you rocked.

  • Chrisjaken

    Very well put!  Eureka was a show that was fun and something to look forward to.  I am very tired of all the reality shows on what once was SciFi

  • Tomfitz1

    Yes, dammit, it will be missed!

    Where else can you find a town where the laws of gravity can be defied and be funny at the same time?

    Despite the darker serious and somber tone this past season, it still kept that tongue-in-cheek humour right up to the very end with bittersweet sadness.

  • Rcruz61

    Eureka will be missed by the families that wanted to share a sci-fi TV show with alot of heart together.

  • Starleafgirl

    miss Eureka because it was the last bastion of the “optimistic future
    through the power of SCIENCE!” show. I loved the blend of comedy and
    drama, as well as its sincerity and just plain niceness. *pause* And all
    the nerdy jokes, too. I actually found myself understanding and
    laughing at SCIENCE jokes! How often does that happen on television?
    Sadly, not often enough. And with the cancellation of Eureka, perhaps never again.

  • AndrewCosby

    Thanks for the kind words… and for tuning it. It’s been a wild wide.

  • AndrewCosby

    Oops… I meant a wild “ride.”  Guess one more Eureka typo won’t kill anybody.  ;-)

  • Dana Kyle

    Wonderful article. Really describes exactly why Eureka was so important to so many of us. I love serious, intense sci-fi. But that’s become the norm on tv. And there’s so much room for *fun* in science fiction. And Eureka walked a fine line of having lots of laughs and usually not being too cheesy or quaint for an audience of the 21st century. The cast, the writing, the tone – it was one of those beautiful combinations of chemistry that just *worked.* You did a wonderful job of pointing out why this show, which is not the usual cult-following fare, still had a ton of ardent supporters.

  • scottus

    I LOVED EUREKA but I found it one of the most heartbreaking show ever.
    When Henry had to sacrifice the future with the woman he loved (and Carter with Alison)
    to save the world and then only he and Carter remembered it. Then finally Henry wipes
    Carter’s memory of it leaving Henry all alone to deal with the heartbreak.

    Happy endings don’t change the pain of getting to them..

    A much deeper show than its given credit

  • CraigM

    Shame on Syfy for putting an end to a great series.I watched Eureka faithfully & it felt like saying good-bye to an old friend as the finale drew to a close.I will definitely miss this quirky show w/all its crazy characters 

  • Cirquelar

    I love Eureka. I mean LOVE Eureka, but I disagree partly with your assessment. Yes, Eureka was the ‘nice’ sci-fi,but the tone went way too dark the last and previous season. And the whole militant tone the past season kinda crushed that good feeling you get watching the show. Mixing drama and comedy is good, but they were swinging those extremes way.too wildly last season IMHO.

    Alphas is not slick or self-referential at all. It’s the only show that has potential to be awesome one SyFy though with a more serious tone. Haven too for that matter in its Steven King-esque appeal. Sorry but Human Beings w done far better by the Brits. Lost Girl has appeal too and is the epitome of that slickness. Warehouse 13 while OK is a bit too juvenile though I like the characters and the actors playing them. All the reality crap is mostly a waste of time,but FaceOff is watchable.

    Like every other excellent scifi show that SyFy makes, they’re killing it off way too early (cough, Farscape, cough)

  • Rich

    You might want to remove the remark about a character’s death in the text.  I, like many others, watch this show on Netflix Instant and haven’t seen Season 5 yet.  You just spoiled a major event in a post when it wasn’t necessary.

  • Ben

    Perhaps Syfy lacks the confidence to compete with hits like ‘The Big Bang Theory’ – despite such shows international success.

  • Akkadiannumen

    Very nice eulogy. Requiescat in pace. :(

  • Jay

    The impossible almost happened. I almost liked a Graeme article. Then he had to make a comment about Lost Girl(which is better than Alphas((boring)) and Being Human((boring AND a pale imitation of the original series)) put together) and keep his track record at being the worst reviewer Spinoff Online has, and that is a very overcrowded race right there.

  • Janice

    I was just wondering with the way they ended Eureka why are they not planning to make a Eureka 2 or a Eureka 2.0 or what ever now that they own the place they could  do anything if every one would stay? You know with all the things in peoples lives going in to the dumpster and worse it really hurts when the only family you have are your T.V. family and they just keep falling away too. Is it at all possible to be able to hang on to anything any more? I lost my parent I lost my husband I lost my 20 year old cat my 18 year old dog, and 2 of my favorite soap operas after close to 35 to 40 years and now this it is just getting to be to much. Can any one help!!!

  • sandwich eater

    I really liked this show in it’s earlier seasons, but I haven’t really enjoyed the last 2 seasons.  I also think the reboot was pretty pointless.  The show used to be a sci-fi comedy, but it’s been pushing into soap opera territory in the last couple seasons.  It’s just not funny any more, so I think ending the show now is appropriate.

    Also, I miss Nathan Stark, he was hilarious.

  • MonikkaMarie

    so, what differentiates cable from network?  Network TV is free, so you understand the urge to appeal to as many people as possible & the lowest common denominator programming.  But we pay for cable, and SyFy isn’t basic, but the next step up. More upfront cash. We pay for cable in order to see shows which haven’t been homogenized for the masses, yet it seems that cable has become like free TV in its demands.  ‘Torchwood’ left SyFy for STARZ, and I wound up subscribing to yet another premium channel to see it. Even though ‘Miracle Day’ is long gone and new ‘Torchwood’ isn’t even written, let alone in production, I’m still subscribed. People are like that.  I would LOVE to see ‘Eureka’ move to a pay cable.  Of course I’d rather it were one I already have (like HBO, Showtime or STARZ), but I’d subscribe to any which decided to carry it. Or make a miniseries, like ‘Torchwood’.

  • Campinrich

    i will miss this show Ive seen every episode and loved every one of them good bye Eureka 

  • Brandyn

    The cancellation of Eureka is truly a sad day for the entertainment
    industry. Years ago we strove for quality, family acceptable, and
    educational programming. Now we go on and watch whatever is put in front
    of us. Eureka was one of those rare jewels it was put in front of us
    and it held what so many of the programming on television anymore lacks;
    heart, passion, education, and most importantly the thing we need more
    now than ever imagination and something to make us wonder ‘what if’.
    Shows like Eureka make us ask questions and strive to stretch the
    possible, plausible, and even the impossible. I hope Eureka can come
    back one day when once again we are ready to stretch our imaginations
    and maybe even our wallets to help make sure quality programming stairs
    on the air.

  • MeggieK83

    I love this show so much! I discovered it on Netflix and am so depressed that it’s over! :(

  • Jamie

    Please vote to have new episodes of Eureka made on Netflix.. This show must go on.. :D… Without this petition and your vote, you never know.. Long lost shows already have been remade.. Tell your friends!.. And get them to tell theirs!

  • Sparky

    So many of the networks seem to forget many of us like these shows because it is like having one of your friends show up to visit for a while. We learn to like the cast and their antics and the writers of this show make the characters honorable, honest and kind. These are the kind of people we have as friends and that is why we like this show. It becomes a weekly visit from close friends. Sadly there are not very many shows that can make this kind of claim. Stargate SG1 was the same type of show to me. It was a different kind of show, but it had great people who put their friends first and they were all the kind of people we would like to be around and have as friends and family. It is not just the SCIFI aspect of the show, but it helps.

    I would like any kind of show with these kind of people who interact with each other as friends. I am sick and tired of contentious relationships on TV, heck I see enough of that nonsense in real life. I do not want or need that kind of relationship as entertainment. We are in kind of a null and void period because there are no shows to replace these at the moment. Now with the cancellation of Warehouse 13 we will not have anything on the Scifi channel to bother watching. Their absolutely useless Z movies are the laughing stock of the SciFi world. I have never understood that tangent at all. They are so bad I can not make it through 5 minutes of one of them without barfing. I would rather watch golf.

    Most of the scifi channels good shows run a few years and develop a good fan base like Eureka, Stargate SG1, Stargate Atlantis,, Warehouse 13, I’m sure Haven will be next because the SciFI channel does not think the show makes enough money so they dump it. I was told the SciFi channel wants to make a very high profit margin or the ax the show. I cannot remember how much Stargate and Warehouse 13 were making at the time of cancellation, but to someone like me it was a staggering amount. Most of them were cancelled when the actors were up for new contracts. I figure that pretty much says it all. One cannot blame the actors for wanting more money when the show is making more money and has gained in popularity. Go figure.

    Oh well, I wish we as the people who watch the shows and pay for the show out of advertising would like to think we count some what, but as far as I can tell, it is not about the fans, but the bottom dollar. Well, i have said my rant about loosing Eureka, but it makes me sad to see such a great feel good show removed. They could have run the show several more years and still made a good profit and I know their fans would have continued to enjoy Eureka’s antics. I think back to the animated Christmas show, What a wonderful show I will never forget that one. It was things like that show that separated the OK shows from the awesome shows. It is a rare thing to see the writers, actors and producers get it together like they did on Eureka. It is going to be missed a whole bunch. Cheers all! Thanks