Why Are People Asking If There Will Be a Shōgun ‘Season 2’…?

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FX’s adaptation of James Clavell’s doorstop of a novel, Shōgun, met — and for some, surely surpassed — any expectations, given its stellar cast and high-level production values.

The 10-episode series, which also streamed on Hulu and wrapped on April 23, covered the beginning, middle and end, and many key moments in between, of the 1,200-page novel that Clavell first published in 1975, building to a finale that was beautiful, poetic and largely satisfying.

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TVLine readers, for one, gave said finale an average grade of “A-,” while the season overall earned a rare “A+.”

So while it’s understandable to see fans of the FX series clamoring for “more,” isn’t any “Season 2” talk a bit, well, silly? A case of, as foundation-less TV adaptations have taught us before, “be careful what you wish for”?

The Shōgun story has been told. There is no “second novel” involving any of these characters to adapt. Several major characters didn’t make it to the end, to live on in any form. And we know the sad destiny of one of the leads who did survive the finale.

It’s one thing for, say, HBO to look at the mantel full of Emmys that Big Little Lies — originally a closed-ended “limited series,” remember! — amassed and nudge that adaptation’s EPs to return to the well. But by most any metric, that follow-up season did not measure up to the first.

Any stab at a Shōgun Season 2 fashioned from whole cloth would seem destined for an even steeper drop-off in quality. Yet people are out there, prompt-prompt-prompting the TV series’ showrunners, the husband-and-wife team of Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo, to roll the dice and do their best to emulate Clavell.

Marks and Kondo, thankfully, do not seem eager to take the bait.

“[It’s] not even [about] topping the book, but, how do you even equal the roadmap that Clavell laid out? And I don’t know if it’s possible,” Marks told our sister site THR.com. “I don’t know if Clavell could have done it either. That’s probably why he moved on to other books too, right? He knew what he had done.”

Speaking of those other books in Clavell’s Asian Saga, Marks said that he is in the middle of reading Tai-Pan (“a great book”), which Clavell penned nearly a decade earlier.

“I’ve been telling Rachel about it as I’ve been reading it and saying, ‘Well! He did it again.’ But it’s completely different” — not any sort of prequel or sequel to Shōgun, Marks noted. “It’s about Hong Kong in the early days, a totally different world, so it’s not just ‘playing the hits.’ He’s conjuring new vivid characters that stand 75,000 feet tall all at once.”

Are you relieved to see Marks and Kondo hesitant to tackle a Shōgun Season 2 based on nothing? And would you actually like to see a Tai-Pan miniseries instead?

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