Top 5 TV shows that were canceled too soon
This decade has seen some great TV shows – unfortunately, networks don’t seem to know how to handle them correctly. Many a fantastic show has suffered due to network and audience idiocy. Sometimes I worry for the future of American TV. Read below the cut for my top 5 picks of TV shows that were canceled too soon!
1. Firefly: This is the show that never fails to cheer me up when I feel sad. Joss Whedon (who is a genius, btw) created this 14-episode masterpiece western space opera in September 2002. It is brilliant, funny, action-packed, heart-breaking, original and pushes the envelope of science fiction, combining it with western and drama threads. It is set 400 years in the future in space – with no aliens! Whedon originally made a two-hour pilot that explored the back stories of the nine main characters, but he was forced to cut it down to an hour – the first of many factors resulting in the cancellation of this wonderful show. Fox also gave this show the “death slot” during it’s run (Who watches TV on Friday nights anyway?). The show was canceled in December 2009 after only airing 11 of the 14 episodes. Luckily, all 14 episodes are available on the Firefly dvd for old fans to view and new Browncoats to discover. A movie based on the series, Serenity, was also released in 2005, but there is little talk of another sequel.
2. Freaks and Geeks: This show about adolescence is set in ’80s suburban Michigan, but it transcends time in its ability to represent teenage life. It excelled at presenting teenage cliches and stereotypes in painfully awkward ways. It is hilarious, moving and uncomfortable to watch at times. The show was canceled in July 2000 after 18 episodes, although executive producer Judd Apatow went on to have a successful movie career. The DVD has only recently been released due to web fan list of 40,000 people requesting it. Way to go, fans!
3. Arrested Development: Arrested Development received critical acclaim, awards and a cult fan base during its three season run. The show follows a dysfunctional family in its post-wealth stage in a bunch of absurd adventures. It is arguably the funniest show ever to air on TV. Unsurprisingly, Fox seemed to have something in for this show, as it refused to air it during Sweeps but aired it during Monday Night Football and the winter Olympics. Luckily, along with having all three seasons on DVD, including Arrested Development season one, a movie based on the series with the original cast is in the works, set to premiere in 2011.
4. Veronica Mars: This is another brilliant show that won many awards but never gained the ratings to continue past three seasons. It stars Kristin Bell as a teenage detective solving mysteries in a rich Southern California neighborhood. She makes the show as a smart, charming yet vulnerable main character. The show pushed the envelope by covering on abuse, abandonment, rape, murder, and drug use without sensationalizing the issues. Veronica Mars TV aired on the UPN and the CW, which may have contributed to its early demise.
5. Pushing Daisies: There isn’t a show quite like Pushing Daisies out there. The show tells the story of Ned, a pie-maker that can bring the dead back to life – but not without consequences. Presented in a colorful fairy-tale-like setting, this show’s narration by Jim Dale often sounded more like quirky poetry than dialogue. Ned’s romance with childhood sweetheart Chuck is one of the most adorable and yet painful relationships to watch as they cannot touch and must invent other ways to show their love.
Honorable mentions (a.k.a still on my Netflix queue): Deadwood, Dead Like Me and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Did I miss anything? Feel free to say so in the comments!