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April 04 2008

"Gone but not forgotten" -'s favorite cancelled shows. Do you even have to ask which shows are on the list?

Do you even have to ask which shows are on the list?

No... certainly no surprises... but the three shows I would nominate are missing - 'My So-Called Life', 'Joan of Arcadia' and 'Square Pegs' (soon to get an R1 DVD release!)
I would also add 'Wonderfalls'. That's definitely a show that should have lived much, much longer.
They also provide a link to that great site Whendoneque, must be the fansite of that guy Josh Whendon I've heard so much about.
Whendon's OK but I prefer Joe Sweden, that guy has the gift fer sure.

(and i'd add 'Journeyman'. Well written, well acted and adult, chopped down at 13 *sniff* ;)
I second Journeyman for a place on the list.
Also glad to see the Jericho love, highly underrated and maybe a tad uncomfortable for the average U.S. viewer with head firmly in the sand re. the precarious precipice on which we're poised. :)
Futurama and Veronica Mars shouldn't have got cancelled. Also Dark Angel SHOULDN'T have! I can't believe they left off Jessica. God I miss Dark Angel.

No... certainly no surprises... but the three shows I would nominate are missing - 'My So-Called Life', 'Joan of Arcadia' and 'Square Pegs' (soon to get an R1 DVD release!)

I just started watching JOA on E4, it seems great, I didn't even know it had got cancelled.
Yep, at the end of season 2.
Joe Sweden really has the gift, didn't he write that amazing series about IKEA workers adding a secret ingredient to the meatballs turning everyone into Vikings ?
The ABBA music in the musical episode almost made me tear up.

No love for Thief or Smith ? Both series with a lot of unfulfilled potential in my book.
I'm not sure it makes sense to call a show "cancelled" if it lasts four or five seasons -- I'd save that for "Firefly," "My So-Called Life" (best show not written by Joss) and other early casualties of a slow start, a weak slot and network executives who just don't get it. Sometimes there are turnarounds: "Star Trek" was a back-from-the-dead success story, and "Cheers" was almost an early casualty. I'd add "Robbery Homicide," the interesting Tom Sizemore crime vehicle, and "Thief," the Andre Braugher mini-series that might get a second shot somewhere down the line.
Joe Sweden really has the gift, didn't he write that amazing series about IKEA workers adding a secret ingredient to the meatballs turning everyone into Vikings ?

'Doublewood Warehouse' you mean ? Masterful is the only word to describe it.

If a show is axed despite the creators, main actors and studio wanting to continue then surely it's been "cancelled" ? So 'Angel' (5 seasons), 'Farscape' (4 seasons), hell even 'Stargate:SG1' (10 seasons) qualify IMO.
Saje, of course you're right -- there's a huge difference between "cancelled" (Angel) and "wrapped" (Buffy). I guess I'm thinking of the premature burials.
Yeah, when it happens so early and feels like such a loss another term seems appropriate.

"Murdered" maybe ? ;-)
'Doublewood Warehouse', yes that's the one, remember the episode with the cameo by Sven-Göran Eriksson coaching the Womens Soccer team ? What a moving expose of social dynamics and teambuilding that was, even if they had to cut 10 minutes for graphic content.

mark, for Dark Angel count me in the club calling it a mercy killing, that ship was sinking rapidly in S2.
Talking of premature burials- Dark Angel. Know I've already mentioned it but it only had two seasons and ended on several cliffhangers.
John McNamara's Profit and Eyes are worth a mention. Particularly Profit. Although, Eyes had Billy Howard in it and who can't love that?
Sadly Sports Night is neglected again.
I do mis Veronica Mars, Joan of Arcadia and Dead like me. Great shows IMHO. Never cared that much about Angel.
What can I say? I've got to throw in that other Sci-Fi Western: The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.
I've a secret love for Threshold. It was a bit hokey but it was getting there towards the end. Also cauliflowers made out of human ears, what's there not to love?

Also The Inside.

Best Tim Minear show outside of Angel.
mark, for Dark Angel count me in the club calling it a mercy killing, that ship was sinking rapidly in S2

People always say that but I just don't see what was so bad about S2, it was just as great as one. Anyway, it doesn't matter how bad a show is or isn't you shouldn't cancel a show with such big cliffhangers. Like where's sandeman? What's the breeding cult up to? What do the tattoos mean? Who was renfro? Will Max and Logan ever get together? Etc...
YMMV about Dark Angel S2 but it left me with the impression that they lost their way and no one of the people behind the show was able to or interested in coming up with satisfactory answers to the questions you listed.
Sometimes I believe TV writers only work hard on creating the questions cause thats what they have to pitch to get picked up by a network, nobody worries much about the answers, just the viewers but we dont count, you already know that.

ETA: Unless you are a Nielsen viewer, then you count a lot, which brings us back to the eternal question, why does Nielsen viewers never like the shows I like ?

A big yes for Profit on the list.

[ edited by jpr on 2008-04-04 16:35 ]
Arguably you shouldn't cancel a show with such big cliff-hangers but then, networks are businesses at the end of the day and do it all the time (for this reason i'm not that big a fan of end of season cliff-hangers unless the creators are sure the show's coming back). Fewer people watched the season 2 finale of 'Dark Angel' than watched a CSI re-run that same week i.e. viewers had left in their droves so clearly they saw what was bad about season 2 and to the network it's the numbers that matter.

Must admit, I only ever watched the odd episode here or there and that at least partly for the shallowest of reasons - Jessica Alba being teh hotzor ;).

What a moving expose of social dynamics and teambuilding that was, even if they had to cut 10 minutes for graphic content.

Only ten minutes ? Sven must've been under the weather that day.

(Buffy Henriksdottir saying '"Coaching" ? Is that what the kids are calling it these days ?' is one of the highlights of the episode for me ;)
I'd add Wonderfalls to that list. And also The 4400.

[ edited by missmuffet on 2008-04-04 17:02 ]
"Only ten minutes ? Sven must've been under the weather that day."

Bah, this was Swedish Tv, they only cut the boring scenes, if I remember correctly this episode was banned in the US, after several religious organizations declared it "the work of the devil and harbinger of the apocalypse".
In response Ingmar Bergman himself called the scene with the blonde twins playing strip chess with death, "A true metaphor for a changing society, wish I'd thought of that".

Deadwood is on the list but should probably be labeled suicide, another series with great potential where IMO the inner workings of the show led to its early end, ie. Milch lost interest.

[ edited by jpr on 2008-04-04 18:30 ]
The Groosalugg, I completely agree with your "Sports Night" comment. I recently rewatched the whole series twice, using the captioning option the second time to make sure I caught all the great dialogue that was flying by!
I feel like I've seen this before already.

Veronica Mars getting cancelled still stings a bit. I remember when it happened I tried to justify that it had three seasons, which was more than some shows get (Freaks and Geeks and Firefly came to mind), but I pop in episodes of the second season every so often and three seasons was still not enough.
Alas, Norway has been having a torrid love affair with reality TV for some years now. I have missed many of these shows. I recognize the names but have never seen most, as they were on very late.

Joan of Acadia was intersting the few times I managed to watch. I think I would have liked Freaks and Geeks. I loved Aressted Development, but never got to watch it much. They had Angel slotted in at 12:45, sometimes later. Drove me nuts. I remember feeling devastated when I discovered it was cancelled long after it had actually happened. Now that I think of it, they are still showing Veronica Mars, but as with most of these shows over here, never at regular times. Sigh.

[ edited by MysticSlug on 2008-04-04 19:26 ]

[ edited by MysticSlug on 2008-04-04 20:04 ]
I don't know. I agree with Veronica Mars & Firefly (of course), but where's the love for Tru Calling? Yeah, it struggled a bit in the first Season, but when S2 came around, and we discovered that there was a Yang to Tru's Yin, that was awesome. Does Tru ever find out that her father killed her mother? Does her brother go over to the dark side? Is what she's doing (saving people) actually benefiting mankind, or are there consequences (like on White Noise 2, perhaps)? What happens if the Yang starts to agree with Tru and we have no balance??? Will the earth spin off it's axis and plummet us into MORE chaos?

Well, we'll never know now, will we?
‘Tru Calling’ is a good call. It was definitely on an upward gradient when it got cancelled and, the ratings not counted, it at least deserved to be given a full second season run.

My favourite show of recent years is ‘Point Pleasant’, but while it was a shame it got cancelled, I actually think it works very well as a self-contained 13-episode story. It doesn’t particularly feel like it’s missing something. On the other hand, I really wish ‘Joan of Arcadia’ had gone into a third season because I think it was set up really well for the story to move forward at the end of S2.
I think my list would have Surface. The last episode of that was really exciting, and I think the series definitely could have went places. And even moreso than that one, Carnivale. The visuals and mythology of that show were really amazing, but sadly the tale was never finished.
Dark Angel made a strong start, Point Pleasant was steadily intensifying, Surface had engaging characters, Sports Night was brilliant. Thanks everyone for recalling all these great short-lived shows.
I wish Wonderfalls had gotten its own section and not just thrown in as a note with Dead Like Me. It's such an under the radar show (except in certain circles) compared to most of the shows that make these lists and it's sad that not very many people know about it. But I guess that's what happens when you only air 4 episodes.
Along this topic...

Anyone know what happened in Twin Peaks???

I was watching it with a movie group back in New York, but I moved after Season 1... and have been dieing (I'm dieing a lot today) to know what happened. It seems the DVDs of this show are nearly impossible to get, and twice as expensive. Can anyone satisfy my hunger with this? Who killed her???
pssst. korkster I'd be happy to tell you...

There are, however, complicating factors in the "who." Do you want to know? I guess I could spoiler it for you:

I recently re-watched the series courtesy of Netflix. That might be an option for you.
Firefly and Farscape are a given. Briscoe County Jr. was an absolute gem. Veronica Mars went down the tubes as soon as they had Veronica and Logan hook up, almost as bad a Buffy and Spike hooking up. What silliness.

Surface and Dead Like Me deserve a mention because they were just so damn delicious. Point Pleasant and John Doe were also pretty good serious that got canned way to soon.
korkster, ... just look at k8cre8's comment. That's about right. They kept trying to explain, but it was never clear to me who was lying or not. I never quite understood. I do remember that it just got really bizarre and the [...] got really creepy. That show terrified me so much that it is the only show I have watched from behind a pillow.

It got cancelled? That's why it disappeared? Not that I'm complaining or anything.

[ edited by MysticSlug on 2008-04-05 09:13 ]

[ edited by MysticSlug on 2008-04-05 09:14 ]
Oh gosh, where to start. "Angel" and "Firefly" are a given, think we know where we stand there. I still have not forgiven HBO for the way they treated the fans of "Deadwood".

Guess the one that breaks my heart is, "Dead Like Me". I sorta' miss Georgie's snark-inations. They were so excellent.
George will be back in a Dead like Me movie :D Ok it's not the same but it's better then nothing.
korkster, k8cre8 and MysticSlug pretty much said it. I will also say that the show takes a dip in quality in the middle of the second season - basically, it just gets weird for the sake of being weird - before coming back incredibly strong for its last half dozen or so episodes. It's definitely worth it to watch the entire series all the way through; just know that it does tread water for a bit there.

(Whatever you do, don't watch the movie Fire Walk with Me before you've seen the whole series - it's a better film than it's been given credit for, but without the full background of the series, you'll be hopelessly lost in places.)
Agree with you, Roland. Interesting that Twin Peaks appears in this thread; Lynch's next shot at a TV series, Mulholland Drive, was created as a 2-hour TV pilot that ABC refused to pick up as a series so it didn't even rate as "cancelled." According to Tad Friend in a '99 New Yorker article, ABC was thinking about running it as "a stand-alone two-hour TV movie that set its plot lines in action and then abruptly stops. Lynch dreads the broadcast." Lynch was able to get back the footage, create an ending (although not tie up all the plotlines he set in motion), and release it theatrically -- where it launched Naomi Watts' career. I think it's great just as it is.
Can't these d**n websites just do a montage page? Not everyone in the world has time to click link after link *grin!

I have no real taste, the short-lived cancelled shows I liked were things like OK Crackerby, My Mother the Car, etc. It burns me up that Bearcats was cancelled before I even saw an episode. Then again, I did like My Living Doll. Which was not just cancelled but burned.

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