Friday, August 15, 2014

Cancelled Television Shows That I Wish We Had Back Today.

Most people know me as a film critic. I attend movies all the time and write about them. I have a hard case of insomnia, which sucks at times, and is great in other ways. I am able to keep up with Hollywood and Independent films, but also keep up with a good number of television shows. There are a ton of shows out there that don't deserve to be on TV anymore, but still go season after season.

The sad thing about TV is that it has all been done before. There are tons of unfunny sitcoms on the air that had a great idea in the beginning, but have run out of ideas. If the ratings and money are right, a show lasts a lot longer than it really should. I'm looking at you Two and a Half Men.

Even with Fox having lots of animated shows that air every Sunday evening have lost steam, or frankly, are only copying The Simpsons and ride on that show's heels. Family Guy? Yeah, not as good, nor ever will be as good as The Simpsons. I feel that it is popular on the only fact that it is more crass than The Simpsons. They might have different characters, but if you look at both Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson, they are both dumb, sarcastic, and spit out "life lessons" that no one in life should ever follow. The Difference, Homer Simpson came about in 1989, and family guy happened almost twenty years later. Just saying. I have found myself to laugh at certain things in Family Guy. I just don't think it is this great work of comedy that is fresh. It's definitely in your face, but sometimes, in your face gets old pretty quick. I am not meaning to totally bash Family Guy. I just used it to compare original and differences of style.

The sad thing is, there have been great television shows that people adored that aren't on television anymore. I will talk about my three favorite shows that are currently off the air.

Number 1: This show will always be my number 1 when it comes to cancelled television shows.


It may have been created by the creators of The Simpsons and have the same styled world that The Simpsons have, but Futurama was special. It took characters, some like characters on The Simpsons, but in different ways. Fry was stupid like Homer Simpson, but Bender had the in-your-face attitude of Homer Simpson. The show aired on Fox, and during that time, The Simpsons was starting to go downhill, a problem that the creators of the Simpsons have been able to fix as of late. True, The Simpsons isn't as good as it was from seasons 3 through season 10, but they went through a slump and worked their way out of it. Anyway, I promise, I am not meaning to write a love letter to The Simpsons, but I feel that it is required when talking about other animated shows. The fact is that while The Simpsons was starting to go downhill, Futurama came about and was very fresh and hilarious. It's episodes started at good and got better, even while its sister series, The Simpsons was starting to decline.

Futurama also had outlandish creatures and characters that you can't get on any other show. It was a dream show for geeks, especially for Star Trek, Star Wars and Doctor Who fans. The science fiction comedy was in a situation to do anything possible. Want to make Richard Nixon jokes years after his presidential and after years, put his head in a jar, and bam, there they are. It also boasted consistent writing, winning several Emmy Awards for writing. You want to see some incredible writing and care for a television show, watch the Futurama episodes "Roswell That Ends Well", "Jurassic Bark" or "Luck of the Fryish". Those episodes go down in my person book of best episodes of any television show ever.

After a couple of seasons, Fox cancelled the show. However, Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming added syndicated episodes of Futurama to its line up. Sales in Futurama Season DVD sets started selling like hot cakes, and so Fox made a deal to make 4 DVD straight to home video films, which sold super well. Those 4 DVD movies got cut up into pieces and aired on television in episode formats. All performed super well, and Comedy Central brought Futurama back to life. Right before that, Family Guy did the same thing, and now it is stronger than ever on Fox. Futurama did two seasons worth of episodes, over a couple of years time. They would release 13 episodes during the summer, and then 13 episodes the next summer clamping it all into one season. It's final episode aired in 2013 on Comedy Central with an incredible episode. All creators and voice actors involved want the show to return, but hasn't had much talk recently, except that they are going to do a crossover episode with The Simpsons this coming season on Fox.

It amazes me that this unique, hilarious and smart television show is off of the airwaves when we have American Dad or Bob's Burgers. There is always hope that it could come back. It has a fan base, but who is willing to take the risk by putting the show back on television after two different cancellations? Honestly, I don't know what Comedy Central was thinking with the show having the best ratings on any  show on that network. Here's hoping.

Next up on my list is probably the best thing to happen to television in a long time, only to be cancelled after two 13 episode seasons.

Pushing Daisies aired on ABC Televison close to six years ago. The show had a beautiful production. The story was original and funny while dealing with the subject of death. It was a crime show in a fantasy world. Here is what the show was about.

Lee Pace, who you may know from The Hobbit and the evil enemy in this year's film, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ronan.  He played Ned, an incredibly gifted pie maker who owned a shop called "The Pie Hole". He was known for his pies being the freshest pies in the city. His secret, when he was a young boy he found that he had a gift. He could touch someone or something. like a piece of fruit, and bring it back to life. However, with his touch came a curse as well. He could bring people back to life after they had passed away, but after sixty seconds, something else in the vicinity of equal value to that spirit had to die. Also, the person would live for sixty seconds, but if he touched them before the sixty seconds was up, the person would die again and would not be able to be brought back to life.

In comes a girl named "Chuck". He brings her back to life, but kind of falls in love with her, so he let her live while someone else died. It was a choice that weighed on Ned, but what happens next is sad. Chuck and Ned fall in love, but if he touches her again, she will die and never be able to come to life again. Some of the fun creativity from the show was Ned and Chuck finding ways to show each other physical attraction without actually touching each other. However, Ned is also loved by one of his employees who isn't dead and brought back to life, Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth's character, Olive. She was great and the show made use of her singing talent.

The other aspect of the show was there was a private detective that was hard up for crimes to solve. His name was Emerson. Emerson and Ned would go to morgues looking for people who had been murdered. Ned would touch them, bring them to life for 59 seconds. The deceased person would tell them what happened, and then they would scope out the crime scene, solve the murder, and get paid well for doing it. It was so original and funny. One of the show's creators, Barry Sonnenfeld, producer and director of The Addams Family films and the Men in Black films, was a producer and used his wisdom behind pulling off macabre in a sweet and fantastic way. Pushing Daisies was bright, full of humor, awesome sets, original stories, and fun. It was a show I could not wait for every week.

The show didn't struggle so much in ratings, but the production value it cost needed more fans to watch the show. At the time, it was ABC's most expensive show to produce. Lower ratings than what were needed killed the show. It even left huge, gaping questions to  the characters and storyline. ABC and creators of the show promised a comic book idea that was perfect for the show to continue on in some other format and answer all of the questions the show left hanging. It never happened. I own season one and two on DVD and get them out, watch them and feel thankful that I at least have 22 episodes of the show, but how I yearn for more. To leave this one on a positive note, however, the show creator, Bryan Fuller did an interview and said that he would love to bring Pushing Daisies to the big screen or in the form of a Broadway musical. I would love either one, although I think that maybe with a film, people could want the TV show to return. Either way, I want more, and I hope it will come in any format. Personally, comic books would be super awesome. Either way, I want to follow more adventures of Ned, Chuck, Emerson, and Olive. Hopefully it will happen.

My last show I wanted to talk about, but actually am breaking the rule of this article is I wanted to talk about a show that I loved to watch that was able to run its course, but wish we had one more season to fix the up in the air feeling.

I remember the first time I heard about Chuck. I read that it was brought about by the people who made The O.C., a show I wasn't particularly a fan of. I wasn't too interested in Chuck until my mom called me up and asked me if I had watched it. I said that I hadn't, and she proceeded to tell me that it was really funny and charming in a strange way. I remember watching season one, loving it, and then there started to be rumors that they wouldn't continue with the show. But with the fans writing in, Chuck was able to survive for five seasons. Of course the nerd spy show was fun, but my interest was always a "Are Chuck and Sarah ever going to end up together?" The show answered the question in the end, but it was strange and open-ended. I think the show, as far as the spy comedy it was, ran its course and there didn't really need to be anymore "Intersect" story lines. The show started to go downhill as far as the spy stuff went when the intersect was something that almost anyone could get and turn into. I just wish we had one more season to find out where the characters were going to go, especially in the "Are they together or not" department. It gives me the same feeling that a tied soccer match gives me. Who the heck won? I don't know, but it's an ending.

Also, this is kind of a cheat, but wanted to mention one more show. Said above that Chuck would be the last show I brought up, but I have to include 24.

I am really glad that Fox brought 24 back to TV. I loved the show during its run on Fox for eight seasons. Also in the middle of the series, was a made for TV movie to air during the end of the summer to set up the next season of 24. I watched every season every year without fail. It was great to have Jack Bauer back kicking some trash. It only lasted half of the time that a normal season lasted, but 24: Live Another Day  delivered making it one of the best seasons of the show. Everything was action packed, and the drama between the big action sequences raised the stakes of the situation. There were twists and turns, and it was a heck of a lot of fun to watch. I am sure that Fox made the season a kind of ratings "test" to see if it could draw high numbers that it once did. It was successful, so here is also hoping that Kiefer Sutherland  and company will return with another season of action packed drama.

Anyway, those are my shows I wish I had back, even just for a little bit. Let me know what shows that have been off of the air for a little while that you would love to see return.

No comments:

Post a Comment