This week’s Monday Listicle is “10 shows that got canceled too soon.”
I don’t know. I’m picky about my TV. This is not to say I haven’t watched my share of crap (“Zorro and Son” comes to mind). But I find that most of the time, shows drag on far longer than they should. I like it when a showrunner has a story to tell, and tells it. Which is why I stopped watching shows by J.J. Abrams.
However, there are some shows that didn’t get a chance to show what they could do–or were just beginning to build an audience, and got canceled anyhow.
1) Homicide: Life on the Street You look at that page, and you think, “There were 7 seasons. What’s the problem?” Well, they weren’t all full seasons, for starters. And I think that their first cast was the strongest. But even when some of the newer characters annoyed me (how they developed some of the original ones did, too), this show was one of the smartest things on TV. Which is probably what killed them, because they were canceled as punishment for not beating “Nash Bridges” in the ratings.
2) Firefly. Mr. Sandwich introduced me to this show when we were dating, and I still think it’s wonderful. I never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so this was my real introduction to Joss Whedon.
3) Dollhouse. Speaking of Joss Whedon . . . Actually, I found this show very problematic. It focused on the wrong character (Sierra and Victor were much more interesting than Echo). It depicted a very disturbing approach to sexuality. But it was just starting to turn into a really interesting show with a dynamic plot arc and it got canceled. They were able to show us where they were going, but it had to be very rushed.
4) Deadwood. At least the first three found ways to give us a little more–Homicide with a TV movie, Firefly with a big-screen movie, and Dollhouse with a handful of epilogue episodes. But Deadwood wasn’t done with its story when HBO canceled it. We were promised two follow-up movies, and seven years later, WHERE ARE MY TWO MOVIES???
5) Boomtown. This examined the same events from different points of view and featured complex and compelling characters. So, naturally, NBC decided that the second season should do none of that, and then aired the final episodes in unpromoted clusters so that you couldn’t find them. Stupid NBC.
6) Southland. Again with the NBC. The first season was so good, and then they dropped it. Fortunately TNT picked it up, and the excellence continued, but it won’t be coming back next year.
7) Freaks and Geeks. You know, I’m getting mad at NBC all over again.
8) Pushing Daisies. I have never seen anything like this show. It was like tasting colors. It was like hearing the scent of a thousand fruits and spices.
9) Arrested Development. I haven’t caught the Netflix season yet, but this show had more life in it. And it also had Jason Bateman in it.
10) Terriers. Mr. Sandwich was more into this show than I was, but it had some interesting characters and was different. I think the name confused people, and I’d say their loss, but Donal Logue was terrific and I think it’s my loss, too.
Bonus Round: Mr. Sandwich has some entries.
Brimstone. “I’m a bit of a soft touch for cop shows and scifi/fantasy.” It was moving from an episodic format to longer-range stories, and he guesses that the whole thing just wasn’t speaking to enough people–but it spoke to him.
Farscape. “If Star Trek is a ‘wagon train to the stars’, then Farscape is a really fast getaway car in space, but the bank robbers all rob different banks and no one can agree where the safe house is. It was canceled precipitously, and although there was a pair of follow-up TV movies, they felt rushed and inelegant.”