Top Five Television Heartbreaks

Yes, I felt the need to blog about the best shows that were canceled before their time.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to get all butthurt fanboy on you.  I just want to take a moment to remember these gems that were sadly never given the chance to shine.

1.  Firefly

Like Arrested Development, the world just wasn’t ready for Firefly.  I mean, it’s a Western.  But it’s in space.  That had never been done before.  OK, so I’m a little cynical right now (I just finished watching Cowboy Bebop and was blown away. It was definitely the best anime I’ve ever seen – which is saying a lot – and I HIGHLY recommend you watch it), but oh well.  But this show was great, and I still catch myself wondering how amazing it could have been if given a chance.

2.  Pushing Daisies

The facts were these: this show had a ton going for it.  The always-endearing Lee Pace.  The enormously talented Kristin Chenoweth and Ellen Greene.  The versatile and bad-ass Swoosie Kurtz.  The fantastically dead-pan Chi McBride.  Not to mention puns – my guilty pleasure – alliteration, frequent references to other awesome things, morbid humor, 50s fashion, and super-saturated technicolor!  It was loved by critics, nominated for awards out the butt, and considered the “next LOST.”  Then the crap hit the fan.  After that, the first season was shortened to nine episodes, and the second to just 13 – three of which aired months after the rest and barely managed to wrap up any dangling plot threads.  Luckily for us all – and mostly me – there is hope.  So if you ever want a show that will make you smile like a dope the when you’re not sighing lackadaisically or empathizing with poor, poor Ned, while thoroughly entertaining you with sharp wit and quick dialogue, THIS is the show for you.

3.  Arrested Development

Dang this show was good.  I remember seeing part of an episode in high school and thinking “WTF just happened to me? Can I get that minute of my life back??”  Clearly I wasn’t ready for it.  And neither was anyone else apparently.

Now it’s hard for me to say this show was screwed by the network, because it lasted for three seasons.  I mean, I doubt it was treated well, and the emphasis on ratings in today’s world is shameful.  But I would have to say this show was mostly just screwed by people.  It was – to be blunt – too intelligent.

But this show was amazing.  The dialogue is sharp as a knife, even when the characters are so stupid.  The situations are ridiculous, the parody and satire is brilliant, the characters are outrageous, and it’s all wonderful.

4.  Veronica Mars

OK so I was gonna use a promo shot with the whole cast, but let’s be honest.  Those two are all I need.  Technically that’s a lie, because I like all the characters and especially Mr. Mars, but yeah.

Now, normally, I’m a big fan of this trope – and I mean a really big fan.  Buffy for instance: sorry Riley.  You may be perfect and the only functional relationship Buffy had, but you’re not Angel.  Sam/Dualla: Not Lee/Kara.  And you get the point.  Veronica Mars, however, pulls a TOTAL bait-and-switch, and it’s AWESOME.

Other things that are awesome about this show: 1) Kristen Bell. Ummm she’s short, she’s sassy, and she’s smokin’.  The three S’s.  2) Excellent character synergy. 3) It’s NOIR.  AKA my new obsession.  It’s like classic noir perfection.  4) Each season is it’s own arc.  Except the third season. You should watch it.  And when you get to the last season, try to remember that the network abruptly chopped a few episodes out of the run, forcing the last arc to be aborted and turned into pretty crappy stand-alones.  Oh what could have been.

5.  The 4400.

Technically I haven’t finished this show, so it’s hard to gauge.  I’ve heard it gets really epic, so I’m taking that on faith.  It’s got a really awesome premise, and some solid characters.  It’s got some dumb ones too, but that’s somewhat unavoidable.  But I mean c’mon – 4400 people suddenly return from being abducted by “aliens” as far back as the 1920s, not aging a day, and with crazy powers?  That’s a great idea.  I hope it pays off.

Besides, what else was I gonna put here?  Jericho?  HA.  That show also had a sweet premise but BORED ME TO TEARS.  Dollhouse?  Meh.  The more I think about it, the more I wonder if it was really that great.  I mean…the handler being the Big Bad all along?  I call shenanigans.  But the epilogue episodes are pretty great – especially the first one – except for the whole “my true love will live with me IN MY HEAD BECAUSE HIS BODY IS DEAD.  That…is just creepy.  Denny/Izzie/Tumor anyone??

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