FX is looking at two more seasons of Shogun: Are they needed?

FX and Hulu are looking at expanding Shogun for another two seasons. They don't need to happen. Let limited series stand on their own.
“SHOGUN” -- "A Dream of a Dream" -- Episode 10 (Airs April 23) Pictured: Tadanobu Asano as Kashigi Yabushige. CR: Katie Yu/FX
“SHOGUN” -- "A Dream of a Dream" -- Episode 10 (Airs April 23) Pictured: Tadanobu Asano as Kashigi Yabushige. CR: Katie Yu/FX /

When Hiroyuki Sanada made a new deal with FX, it was clear that it meant potentially more Shogun. This is despite the series originally being billed as a limited series. It’s time to allow limited series to be just that!

Not everything needs an extension. The worst thing is that Shogun is potentially getting two more seasons rather than just one, according to Deadline. FX and Hulu are currently working wit James Clavell’s estate to arrange for more seasons of the story.

Shogun works as a limited series

There isn’t much more to tell in the world of Shogun as it stands. The series was developed from one book, and it told the full book. The ending to the series is beautiful. Of course, we know that stories go on, but that doesn’t mean we have to see those stories continue.

When a show is crafted as a limited series, it is crafted with a beginning, middle, and end in mind. When it’s crafted on one book, it means that it’s crafted with that whole book storyline. There is no room to expand it with the source material. Expanding it further means that it ends up losing some of its meaning.

Some people will tune into a series because they learn it’s a limited series. It takes the worry away of it being canceled abruptly and ending on a cliffhanger. Knowing that it’s a limited series means that there will be closure for characters. If you keep taking this away by suddenly renewing something because it’s performing well, you’re going to start losing people as they don’t know if they can trust the “limited series” billing.

The quality of the series ends up being compromised. Instead of being remembered as a great one-season series, it ends up being remembered for how it started to fail and drag on.

Make Shogun an anthology instead

There is one way that I would be happy for two more seasons. That would be to bring us an anthology instead. There are other works in the Asian Saga by Clavell, and some of them do go back to Japan. King Rat and Gai-Jin are the two places to start, but Tai-Pan is a favorite for many, which is set in Hong Kong.

We could see those works adapted. Each season could be a different story with the same actors coming in for different roles. It will be a little like American Horror Story and THEM.

In a way, I hope that Clavell’s estate sees how damaging extending the story of Shogun could be and encourages an anthology series instead.

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