This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Shoot me. Stuff me. Mount me."
11944 members | you are not logged in | 25 July 2014












December 05 2008

TV Without Pity honors "Firefly" in list of Shows Cancelled Too Soon. The show is number six in the top ten list, followed by Veronica Mars (which included a Joss cameo in season two) and Wonderfalls, which had two episodes written by Tim Minear.

The fact that "Veronica Mars" was cancelled still hurts. In my mind, that show is easily, easily the number one of the list.
I'm not sure it was the number one on the list, but I did love me some VMars. Of course, I love most of the other ones on the list, too. I'm with Dan on the Sorkinfreude, too :).
For the record, it was "My So Called Life", with "Arrested Development" close behind.
U.S. tv needs a Network of Misfit Shows to buy what other networks cancel and let the slow burn of brilliance go longer.
zeitgeist, I love me some VMars as well. Little vixen. "Wallace, if I ever die, go on Oprah & tell the world that I loved kittens."

We're watching it (again!) now, and I bummed because we're in Season 3. I'm curious, though... does anyone know WHY they cannceled VMars? They took the new direction, blah, blah, but why??

My wonderings on the Season 4 clip was that she would be the only continuing character, yes? I mourn for the others, but that seems to make the only sense to me. It's not like she can take Neptune with her to the FBI... but then, why would she want to?

Sunfire, I have felt that need/desire for a Collection of Misfits Network to take my Joss in. Even pondered if fandoms alone could sponser a cable channel. Maybe as the TV era changes, we'll finally get our haven.
Sunfire -word, bro. (Sorry... a Fred Moment attacked me there.)

My list would go Firefly, Veronica Mars, Wonderfalls... and then I need to watch several of the others some more (only seen the first eps of both MSCL and F&G).

Edit because I can't resist an opening for VM discussion - I'm not sure exactly who would have been in a season 4. (I still need to psych myself up to watch all the extras on the discs, so some of this may have been covered, mind.) I'm sure Keith would still show up a lot - I mean, you couldn't lose Keith... but maybe the rest would fade into the background. That said, VM is my favourite show ever for bringing back characters and making it like a real world where you do occasionally bump into people again, and I'm sure a few of them would come back. A personal imagining of mine involves the FBI having to investigate some slightly dodgy business in which Dick Casablancas has a stake... no?

[ edited by skittledog on 2008-12-05 22:55 ]

[ edited by skittledog on 2008-12-05 22:58 ]
"My So-Called Life" is fantastic. One of the best of all time. Never saw "Arrested Development." Right now, I'm in the middle of "Freaks and Geeks," which also rocks. And you gotta love "Firefly." But can any of them crack V-Mars status? I'm not really sure that anything outside of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" or "Angel" can.
Never saw Deadwood but I agree with the rest of the list. A lot of those cancellations still smart a little. Especially Firefly, Wonderfalls, and now Pushing Daisies. *sigh* (And Studio 60 did have some problems, but I thought it was hilarious.)
The same shows keeping popping up on these "killed too soon" lists. I concur with the idea that we need a "second chance" channel that lets these shows live a bit longer to gather their audience. Heck, there probably will be something like that in the future what with all this cool technology stuff that keeps growing.

The one show that belongs on these lists, but just doesn't get mentioned anymore, is Max Headroom. Another brilliant, quirky, futuristic and unique show that had a life span, and network messing with, similar to Firefly.

I still miss Maaaaaaaaaaaaaxxx!!! And there is still no "official" DVD set! WTF?!!

Are all shows that pants the TPTB doomed?!
No Threshold :(. It was my guilty pleasure and seasons 2 and 3 sounded really intriguing.
Are all shows that pants the TPTB doomed?!

Additional data point: The Dana Carvey Show.
For Veronica Mars Season 4, here's the clips that are on my DVD. And that are also on youtube- not my doing.

Anyhoo, when you watch Part 1 and Part 2, there doesn't seem to be much room for Neptune comfort. That's what I took away with it.

Seemed to being going on a partner/partner basis (sort of like the centering on Booth & Bones).
... does anyone know WHY they cannceled VMars?

VM never did very well in the ratings really, simple as that korkster. It pretty much only lasted as long as it did because it was critically acclaimed (and on UPN/The CW who, in fairness, gave it every chance to find an audience).

(and I could easily see Mac as a recurring character in Veronica Mars: The FBI Years. It strikes me that - textually - because of her background and - metatextually - because it'd be pretty dull otherwise, Veronica would never be a conventional Fed and unconventional Feds have hacker buddies they ask for favours every 3-4 episodes. This is a known thing)

I'd stick 'Journeyman' on there, for a few reasons that show really struck a chord with me, it's not 'Firefly' levels of cancellation disappointment but it might be in the same ball-park, or the same league at least.

Liked 'Wonderfalls' but I watched it as an already cancelled show so it was never really alive to me (plus it got a semi-resolution), 'Studio 60' maybe wasn't quite as bad as the article paints it but I still didn't miss it in any way by the end (and the pilot was more than 'fun', it was one of the better pilots in years IMO). Various love for some of the others but no heart-break.

[ edited by Saje on 2008-12-05 23:43 ]
... does anyone know WHY they cannceled VMars?


Elements of the fandom actively campaigned against its renewal. In the grand scheme of things it didn't matter. In terms of fan wank, it was glorious.
Wow. Well that fandom totally sucks.

Yeah, I really liked Journeyman. Even the opening theme music was cool. That's on my list. I guess it'd replace Deadwood.

BTW, since they were going to jump ahead a few years on VM and have her in the FBI as a "trainee" they could still concievably bring the show back... in actual years ahead. And yes, she should track down Mac and make her do hack-ery like things on her behalf.
Ya'll know that whispers of a VM movie is out & about. Rob Thomas & Kirsten Bell got together in August to discuss it. Made me happy.

If we did get a movie, the "answer" so to speak of our TV "questions", I think they should sum up the secret society of rich dudes in the last arc of Season 3. And whether or not Keith got made sheriff. That jazz. :)
Oh, man. These things really depress me. VMars, Arrested Development, Firefly. Now Pushing Daisies. What other place am I going to get to hear Jim Dale say "bad-ass?" WHERE!? Ugh. I'm gong to go cry in a small but personable corner.
Simon... huh? There was fan campaigning against the V. Mars renewal? I sort of remember something more along the lines of sending Mars Bars screaming "PLEASE RENEW!" and death threats to the PTB. But really? There were people who *wanted* it cancelled?
There were people who *wanted* it cancelled?


Yes. There was an active LJ "anti" community who may have been small in numbers but attracted a lot of attention. Punched above their weight so to speak. Something which is not uncommon in fandoms. Those who stamp their feet the most and scream and scream till they are sick will always get heard first. Anyhow I digress. There were fans who distrusted The CW and who can't stand what Rob Thomas did with season 3. And so in order to keep season one "sacred and dear in our hearts and not to sully its memory yadda yadda yadda", some fans actively posted about why there should not be a season 4 and causes much kerfuffle.

Interestingly elements of this can be found in our fandom but that's a story for another day.
Pissed that Deadwood got cancelled, pissed that Firefly got cancelled, pissed that Freaks and Geeks got cancelled, pissed that Arrested Development got cancelled, and ABSOLUTELY FURIOUS that Studio 60 got cancelled. That show, I don't care what problems it had, was in my eyes the best show on television when it was on. For me it's the number one. I cried when it was cancelled.
For me it's also Profit and Brisco County Jr. Yeah, yeah. I should let it go...
TurboFist911 - It was unintentionally the funniest show on TV at the time, I'll give you that :).
Highlander: The Raven. Without a doubt a show that needed a second season to prove itself. The first year got off to a slightly rough start but by the halfway point it was really starting to hit it's stride. Especially when they "outed" Nick Wolfe as an Immortal in the final episode. Like we didn't see that coming right from the point they mentioned that he had been adopted as a child. Still, a real pity that it was axed.

Farscape also ended a season too soon. Okay, we got season five in reduced form as The Peacekeeper Wars but I can't help watch the mini-series and wonder what we would have seen in the other sixteen episodes Sci-Fi had orginally promised.

Oh yeah, and that Firefly show too. ;)
Highlander ... I agree about Farscape and I'd add Angel to the list ... even though it got 5 years it still wasn't enough for me.
I agree that Brian Fuller is a misunderstood genius. I hope now he's got his canned trifecta of shows out of the way he'll have more luck on his next one. (Actually, I just hope he GETS another show!)

I know it didn't make the list due to it's (relatively) successful 5 season run, but losing 'Angel', just when it was starting to push the boundaries, still hurts WAY more than anything on that list. I don't think I'll ever see TV quite the same way, actually.
11thHour said:

I still miss Maaaaaaaaaaaaaxxx!!!


Did you know that Max was brought back -- greatly digitally aged -- to explain the switchover to digital TV in the UK? Yes, using Matt Frewer!

As for the topic --

Of late, I'm ticked about Pushing Daisies. As silly as it was, I was starting to get into Dirty Sexy Money. And as hopeless as I found My Own Worst Enemy, its cast was irresistible.

Historically, it's all about My So-Called Life, Brisco County Jr. (although it kinda got to end), Titus, Bakersfield P.D., The 5 Mrs. Buchanans, Sweet Justice, Lucky (about a professional poker player and it was canceled mere weeks before the huge TV poker craze blew up), Joan of Arcadia (because it had just started a brilliant storyline with Wentworth Miller as, well, Satan), Moonlight (because the current Twilight madness makes me want to gag and this show *was* Twilight--but for grownups!), Sports Night (because I wanted to see what the new boss had in mind), Cupid (which I haven't watched the last episode of yet in a major denial that it's still just on hiatus), Relativity (which snuck in a blazing lesbian kiss before being booted off the air--with Cuddy, if you're a House fan), and Once and Again (although it was so close to my own life in spots it sometime actually hurt to watch).

And I still miss my Friday night Moment of Zen--or as you might call it, the theme to Firefly.
Nice to see Everwood on this list; a wonderful show that never got enough credit.
I agree about Cupid, Valsadie, altho you could say its soon-to-be revival this winter is redemption for Rob Thomas. No, not that Rob Thomas, the other Rob Thomas. ;)

Instead of Once and Again, though, I'd say Now and Again, one of my favorite first seasons ever. :( I <3 Glenn Gordon Caron for that, for Moonlighting, and for Medium. (I'd add Remington Steele but I never actually watched it. :P )
Brimstone, Max Headroom, and Titus are the ones I still cry about to this day. Sigh. I even had a fansite for Brimstone like five episodes in. LOVED that show.
I still miss Firefly... Its so disappointing that Fox didn't give the show a chance
I watched Angel, Firefly and VMars on DVD after they were cancelled, but VMars was the one that hurt the most for one simple reason -- when I watched the last episode, I didn't realise that it was the last episode. The thing is, the final DVD on the season 3 boxset was all extra features; so I watched the last episode (with its inherent cliffhangeriness), put in the next disc eager to find out what happened next... and nothing. That hurt.

Angel got a good five seasons, which is something, while still depressing. Firefly was annoying, because watching it, I can see the arcs being slowly built... and they didn't get a chance to pay it off.

I also need to mention Eli Stone, since it's only just coming out in Australia at the moment, and I'm really enjoying it. I really need to stop getting into cancelled series. ;) I never seem to learn.

I really hope, though, that a year from now we're not seeing Dollhouse on a list like this.
To be honest, I disliked VM's third season quite a bit, and wasn't all that bummed that it was cancelled; more bummed that it ended on what I considered a rough year. I probably would have watched season four, especially if Mac was in it, though. (Still in love. Sigh.) Still, while I was certainly not fond of season three, I think the idea of actively campaigning against a show because it's no longer enjoyable or artistically satisfying is absurd. Unless a show is in some way deeply offensive or otherwise damaging to viewers, what could possibly motivate someone to try and destroy a show that other people do enjoy? (I'll probably give season three another chance some day, with a little distance and a little patience. Maybe it'll surprise me.)

Anyway. Firefly and Arrested Development are two of my favourite shows of all time (on some days Firefly is the favourite), and I fully plan to check out the rest.
The worst thing about VM Season 3 IMO was that towards the end (and especially the final episode) it was great again - left me wondering why they couldn't have done that all along. Or maybe they hadn't written the last ep. when they heard they'd been canned and thought "Screw the network notes, let's roll how we roll" ?

... Bakersfield P.D.

I loved that show but people (especially in the UK) have hardly ever have heard of it. Cheers for the reminder Valsadie ;).

... but VMars was the one that hurt the most for one simple reason -- when I watched the last episode, I didn't realise that it was the last episode.

I think i'd have picked that out of a line-up at 10 yards ;). V walking off into the rain, Logan's last, wonderfully uncompromising hurrah, all the cast back and getting decent scenes (this might not have shown so much on DVD but due to budget cuts they couldn't afford to have all the main cast for large parts of the season so you'd go weeks with maybe no Mac/Wallace or only little 30 second scenes here and there) - had to be the last.

(if you want to imagine a world of hurt, I watched 'Firefly' on a Sci-Fi UK marathon and then, when I went online to find out when series 2 was on, discovered it was cancelled. Youch, felt that one for a while ;)
I agree generally that VM s3 was not quite at the same level of greatness, but I still loved it more than anything else on tv. And I never quite felt the 'return to form' that others have from the final episodes - but maybe it's because I didn't feel the lull before it, either. *shrugs* It's fair enough to say that s3 was the first season I watched in real-time and was aware of others' opinions about, so it was the first one where other people's negative opinions really impacted my viewing enjoyment (I'm too much that way, which is why I'm not really an active member of any fandom and I may well back off here when Dollhouse comes out). That said, who knows what s4 would have been (and indeed they could go back in a few years' time and make it work. Come on, network for quirky shows). And Mac would so be in it, yeah.

Thankfully with Wonderfalls and Firefly I watched them after the fact and knew they were cancelled (ouch, Saje) so the pain was lessened.

Angel would be on my own personal top 10, just not right at the top because at least they knew in enough time to make the finale satisfying (and boy) as a finale.

And woah, I totally forgot Profit. Yeah. That too.

[ edited by skittledog on 2008-12-06 10:59 ]
Damn, that must have hurt, Saje. I had the same benefit as skittledog in that I was well aware Firefly had been axed before I had chance to watch it. Still didn't stop me going online looking for that second season though. In fact I'm still looking today because I know in my heart that no network, no matter how short-sighted, could really axe such an amazing show and that the whole thing was just a little joke that FOX wanted to play on the Whedon fanbase.

Okay, FOX, you got us! Joke over! Bring on season two!

No, seriously!

Dammit...
Have you checked down the back of the sofa ? I lost six seasons of MASH for ages and that's where they were all along - it's always the last place you look.

(can't remember which comedian it was that said - roughly - "Of course it's always in the last place you look, why would you keep looking when you've found it ?". Good point that ;)

And fair play, searching for news on 'Firefly' was when I stumbled onto this place which showed that sane fandom has a few scattered redoubts (before that i'd stuck my head in the door of a few sites and - figuratively - seen bedlam then run a mile ;).
I think it was when Angel was axed that I started paying attention to the online Whedon fandom. The Save Angel campaign eventually led me here, although it was many years after that I finally got around to giving up my lurker status and joining up, largely due to missing every single time before then that the registration was open.

Getting back on topic, another show I remembered that ended way too soon was Earth2. That show was the Lost of it's day, only on another planet instead of an island. ;)
I think the only one I really, really mourn the cancellation of there is Firefly, although I did know it was cancelled before watching it.

I loved My-so-called-life and Freaks and Geeks and Arrested Development, and if there'd been more of any of them I would have watched, but I never had that same sense of stories left untold, and a universe I was never going to get to watch unfold. I'm OK with stories ending, and all three of those shows actually "finished" on a perfect note I thought. I felt that way with Angel too. Satisfied. But Firefly... oh man, it was just getting off the ground! You could feel the character arcs waiting to happen, the mysteries lurking in the background. Heartbreak.

I also thought season 1 of VM was fantastic, found myself a little disappointed by season 2, and then caught a few episodes of season 3 on television and didn't bother to watch any more. But hearing people talk about how it ended on a high note, maybe I should track down the rest of the season.
Oh! But watching those clips of the never-to-be season 4 (thank you korkster) I had my first pang of real regret for VM. I loved the sight of Veronica whipping out a gun. *sigh* It looks like it would have been a lot of fun.
Those clips of the potential season 4 of VM seemed pretty silly to me--but to each his/her own.

Saje, I feel somewhat the same, except that the uptick in quality happened for me about...halfway through the last episode. The (spoilers for those who haven't watched it!) sex tape business didn't really work for me, and Jake Kane's involvement in some kind of cabal felt like going backwards, exploiting the emotional resonance of Duncan and Lily without earning it. But the last half did work: Wallace, Weevil, and Mac all doing their part to help V, Logan's last hurrah, Keith giving up everything for his daughter, Veronica walking out in the rain.... Definitely my favourite 20 minutes of the season.

Catherine, I do agree that Arrested Development, while absolutely deserving of another season, ended well. A big part of the thrill of the (underrated) third season was watching the writers basically let the show go off the rails, with a knowledge that it was all ending--like the brilliant "S.O.B.'s", with its hysterical gimmicks, and the crazy metatextual appearance of Jason Bateman's sister. In some ways it's similar to Angel, which certainly ended too soon, but which played for keepsies in the last run of episodes in a way that I doubt they would have otherwise. (OK, mostly just Wesley--but still, "NFA" had so much more impact as it was, knowing that it was the end.) Firefly is the worst cancellation story I've ever run across, though, because the world was opening up so much episode by episode, and nothing was resolved. But hey, we found Serenity, even though the fact that that was it was indeed a bitter pill to swallow.
Valsadie ~

Thank you for those links to the resurrected Max Headroom! So cool that the original creator and Matt Frewer came together to create these ads. On one hand, it's very funny that Max, a digital person, looks older, but heck... it seems a bit extreme. Matt Frewer has aged far more gracefully than Max. Maybe Max has been through a lot of hard virtual living after losing his show? Hmmm... that might explain it.

On the other hand, he's a digital character and the beauty of that is... he can always stay beautiful! Still, the ads are a hoot and very creative. Possibly this renewed attention might stir up some new things for Max? A show resurrection is probably too much to hope for (and so much of what they predicted has already happened), but how about an official DVD set? With tons of extras? That would be awesome, totally.

Yeah, and the ironic timing of FX canceling "Lucky" right before poker was everywhere on TV. I really liked that show, different, creative, fun. Seems to be the built in formula for falling in love with a TV show, only to get one's heart broken when the show is axed.

Hurry up technology and new business models... we NEED a new way for brilliant shows to survive and be free of the impatient, tampering, short sighted, axe happy ways of the current system.

Joss got it started with Dr. Horrible, we need more!
Wow Television without Pithy likes Firefly, perhaps those nazis have a few redeeming qualities after all *g*
And that's the last time you post your trollish comments at the end of a thread, Pumps.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home