FX and Kurt Sutter have sentenced “The Bastard Executioner” to death, ending the fantasy series after an expensive, low-rated single season.
In an unusual move, Sutter decided to announce the decision via an ad released to the Hollywood trades, in which he admitted, “The audience has spoken, and unfortunately, the word is 'meh.'”
Sutter also gave several interviews to the trades, including a long and typically candid one with Hollywood Reporter's Lacey Rose, where he acknowledged that the numbers simply weren't there for his follow-up to “Sons of Anarchy,” and that he was working himself so hard (and delivering script pages at the last second, David Milch-style) that he couldn't continue his usual practice of directing his show's season finales.
I didn't enjoy the show's first three hours, and between other viewing options and the bonus length of most episodes, I never felt particularly eager to try to catch up. Social media (at least the corners of it I visit) also wasn't saying much about the show, which gibes with the steadily dropping ratings.
Sutter told Rose it was probably a mistake to jump straight from “Sons” into such a complicated and ambitious new show without a break, and that if the much-discussed “Sons” spin-off about the Mayans gets off the ground, he'd be a producer but not a writer. Taking some time off would probably be very useful for a creator who puts so much of himself into his work, and who's been working virtually non-stop for over a decade (counting his work on “The Shield”). As I noted in that early “Bastard” review, Sutter's a gifted writer who has certain stylistic excesses that build up over time. This show wasn't the fresh start he needed to scale things back, but maybe in time the next show will be.
Did any of you watch “Bastard” all the way to the end? If so, will you miss it, or do you agree with the decision to call it a day? And what would you like to see Sutter do next?