>> Saturday, January 10, 2009
In my blog about the best TV romances of all time, I commented that My So Called Life would lead up my list of best TV shows cancelled too soon. But, I decided I was wrong on that fact. And since several people have asked what that list would look like, OK, well, maybe not several, just one. Me. OK, I inquired about how that list would go. Leave me alone. It is not wrong to talk to yourself, my mother says it is eccentric.
Here is my list, with the surprise number 1.
1. Veronica Mars.
While doing research for this list I stumbled across some YouTube clips from this gem of a show, and remembered why I loved it so much, and still have a Series Recording set up on my DVR just in case some blessid channel decides to air the reruns. Some of the best writing for a "teen" show ever to grace our airwaves. And you know what the worst thing is? It was cancelled in favor of "Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search For the Next Doll." Can you fucking believe that? I miss Veronica.
2. My So Called Life
We all know, this show was too real. Blah, blah, blah. Bullshit. Claire Danes just refused to blow the producer or something. That is the only logical reason I can think of for this show to be cancelled. Seriously. Someone made a mistake. Someone screwed up. I just want to know what happened. Did her dad cheat? Who did she pick, Brian or Jordan? I need Answers.
3. Freaks and Geeks
Look closely, tell me how many people you can name in this photo. I will give you a second.... Ok, got it? Yeah, in front there, thats John Francis Daley, if you watch the show "Bones" that is why you reconginize him. Sitting on the rightside table, that is James Franco, yeah, you might know him from all three "Spider-Man" movies, or maybe you caught his award winning performance in "Milk" (which IS amazing by the way). On the left side of the table, maybe you see Seth Rogan. How about "40 Year Old Virgin." How about "Knocked Up." Maybe "Zach and Miri Make a Porno." Oh, that obstructed guy in the middle on the table, that is Jason Segal. Yeah, Jason Fucking Segal. Does "SLC Punk!," "Knocked Up," "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," (personal fave) strike any bells? How about "How I Met Your Mother?" Come on, this cast alone, not to mention the rest of the regulars, should have gotten this show at least 3 more seasons!
4. Joan of Arcadia
This may be a little high for you, reader. But hear me out. This show was not only cancelled early, but it was given a horrible death. Limes disease? Fucking Limes Disease! Oh, its OK Joan, you are not really talking to God, you were just bitten by a Tick, no worries. I am so angry at this ending that it automatically gets bumped up three spots on this list. I make the rules.
5. Pushing Daisies
Damn writers strike. If not for that void of TV writing, this Emmy Winning show would still have a shot. Too much time past between season one and two. It has not been able to sustain that power that it began with. Out of all town fictional towns that have ever existed in the tv-sphere, this is where I would choose to live. Makes me super sad this show did not get the respect it deserved.
OK, I will admit, I was a bit biased about this show. I liked it before it even aired. I mean, anyone who knows me, knows that "Perks of Being a Wallflower" was the most impactful (real word) book of my life. "What does that have to do with a dumb TV show?" you ask. "It's not dumb!" I respond. But, to answer your question, the author of that lovely book was the writer and executive producer of this fine show, and yes it was a fine show. Yeah, that plot was a bit convoluted at first, but they worked that all out, and the show only got better. So good in fact that it may get a third* life. The CW has purchased the rights of Jericho and will be airing its reruns in place of its cancelled crap. The word is, if it does well, the show may have a shot at redemption.
*The show was cancelled after the first season cliffhanger. But over 20 tons of nuts were sent to the studio to help revive the show. The nuts were in reference to the final word of the season one finale.
7. Arrested Development
The little critically acclaimed show that could not. This multiple Emmy winning show just could not hold an audience. Including me. I discovered this gem on DVD. Not because I did not know it was on TV, or because I did not realize how well reviewed it was. Not even because I had something better to watch, I do not really know whyI didn't watch it. I regret it. We all should. We are the only reason this show is not on the air. But, good news reader, a feature film is in pre-production with the whole cast, excluding Michael Cera who is too cool.
Judd Apatow's second foray into television and this list. If you watch the show "Greek" that is currently running on ABC Family, then you have "Undeclared" to thank for it. If you take the Greek System out of "Greek" you would have this exact show, just not as funny. Again, Apatow sticks to who he knows, he brought Seth Rogan and Jason Segal over to this underrated comedy.
9. Kid Nation
I made a silent vow to myself not to include reality shows in these TV lists, but, "Kid Nation" was the best reality show ever. Ever. The show was about 40 kids, between ages 8 and 15 creating a town all on their own. No one was eliminated, although they could ask to leave at town meetings, there were no plot twists, it was just good old (new) fashioned reality television. The kids would compete to be assigned stature in society for the week (Wealthy, Merchants, Working Class, *i am forgetting one class*). At the end of each week, the kids would vote on who helped lead the town the most for that current week. That child was awarded a Golden Star worth 20,000 dollars. It was wholesome, it was riveting, it was damn good. The show was cancelled after one season due to the controversy surrounding it.
10. The 4400
This is a personal favorite. I did not miss a single episode, not even the damn cliffhanger that became the last episode. I may be in the minority on this show, and I know that. But it was damn good. Well written, well acted, well missed. If you are a fan of the show "Heroes," as I am, you may not be aware of the connections. So, I will answer this question for you. Yes, they are recycling the storylines from "The 4400." The whole, injection to give people powers, does not work out will, just advance warning. This is another show where I need answers. It was another casualty of the Writers Strike. There was no intention to cancel, but, due to the strike, the show was off the air for over a year (it was on a cable off-season schedule) and just could not survive. Angry.
11. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Like "Jericho," I came into this show already a fan. In my opinion, "West Wing" is one of the best shows of all time. So, how could I not be excited when the same creative team, and a integral member of the cast, created this dandy of a show. Yes, it was over written. But look at that cast. Yes it was pretentious. But, look at that cast. I loved this show. I thought the dialogue was sharp, I thought the concept was unique, and I thought the cast was top notch, obviously.
12. The Unusuals
A veteran detective that refuses to take off his bullet proof vest, even while sitting at his desk, who only owns plastic, inflatable furniture, and can barely do his job, all over a fear of dying at age 42, like his grandfather and father did before him. And all that, doesn't have anything to do with the real plot of the show. He is just a sub character. Now, with depth of writing like that, it is a crazy surprise this brilliant little show failed.
13. The Black Donnellys
Too violent. Too real. Wrong network. I 100% truly believe if this show was created on TNT or A&E or even one of the premium channels it would still be gracing our presence with its awesomeness. This show was gritty, it was well acted and cinematically shot. This show was a triumph. If you watch "House," you may recognize 13 in this photo.
As always, I do not know more then you do. I just take the time to write what I do not know down. Tell me how I am wrong.