They say time heals all wounds, but first of all, who are "they"? Second of all, "they" are dunces, because we all know that time does not heal all wounds. At least not when it comes to TV series we devoted countless viewing hours, break room discussion time, and daydreams to. You know, TV shows so excellent we had no choice but to give them our hearts, only to have them smashed by TV executives with sledgehammers and Excel spreadsheets. We all know television is a business and low-rated shows just don't reap enough rewards for the networks who produce them. But you know what? We'd like to live in a world that is just and fair and in which TV shows stay on the air because they are GOOD. So let's daydream for a moment: Which unjustly canceled TV show(s) are you still heartbroken over after all these years? Here are some of ours:
Considering Party Down looked like it was filmed on a budget of about $50, I still can't believe Starz didn't see fit to make ten seasons of it. Although many of the cast members were on the cusp of superstardom, they seemed more than willing to keep the party going. But beyond the seeming ease of production, Party Down was consistently funny through both seasons, and its overarching storylines were only just heating up. Did Henry ever make it as an actor? Did he and Casey ever make it work? We may never know! (That is, unless the long-rumored Party Down movie ever happens, but I'm not exactly holding my breath.)
My So-Called Life's cancellation remains, for me, the most painful of all canceled shows. This classic mid-'90s Claire Danes drama lasted only 19 low-rated episodes on ABC. Seriously, 19 is such an awkward number! They couldn't have just gone ahead and made the other three? Or maybe just one more episode? ONE? I mean, did Angela and Rayanne ever become besties again? Did Jordan Catalano end up being the dream boyfriend Angela always wanted? You know, if there had been a WB or CW at the time, My So-Called Life would have been on for about SIX seasons. Ugh, I'm getting so mad all over again!
This foul-mouthed HBO drama will always be known as one of the great series of our times, which we all know is nothing less than the Golden Age of Television. So we're talking good TV here. However, after its third season wound down, fans were shocked and dismayed when a fourth season never happened, and then not even the handful of TV movies HBO promised to tie up the various loose ends. Now we'll probably never learn what happens to Hearst, Swearengen, Tolliver, Bullock, and the rest of the filthy c---suckers of Deadwood, South Dakota.
Before he created the similarly canceled-too-soon Pushing Daisies, executive producer Bryan Fuller created this even quicker-canceled dramedy about a small-town girl who starts following the orders of talking trinkets. Wonderfalls had one of the most distinctive tones of any network TV show, a perfect distillation of quarterlife ennui, magical realism, and touching character moments. Although its one and only 13-episode season is relatively self-contained, it's hard not to imagine where the show could've gone if it had a full-season (or more!) to continue pushing the boundaries of unusual TV.
Most Arrested Development fans can't help but feel satisfied that we got THREE seasons when it seemed we wouldn't even get a full ONE. Call it S.O.B. exhaustion, but it was hard to complain too much when the Bluth family finally rode off into the sunset, and at least creator Mitch Hurwitz had enough warning to craft a suitable, satisfying ending. But that doesn't mean we can't wish there was more of it! Call me selfish, but I could watch twenty seasons of this thing. And while rumors of possible new episodes and/or a movie DO excite me, I can't help but think it'll never happen. Sorry, I definitely have some unresolved issues here. Maybe I should bring them up with my analrapist.
Here's another heartbreaker. Produced by Judd Apatow and created by Paul Feig, Freaks & Geeks perfectly captured the highs and lows of the average suburban teenager, but managed to make the show practically sparkle with optimism and good intention. What a bunch of completely likable people! Even a young, grouchy Seth Rogen comes across as a charmer. Most of these kids (and creators) are superstars today but it's hard not to daydream what would've happened when Lindsay returned from that Grateful Dead concert.
All right, it's probably a stretch to say that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was canceled unjustly after seven seasons (on two different networks), but I think it's safe to say that Buffy fans weren't necessarily thrilled about the manner in which the show ended and would have preferred a proper Season 8 to the comic book version released in 2007. But that disappointment was nothing compared to the intense ongoing agony that Firefly fans continue to feel. Cut entirely too short by Fox after the network manhandled the episodes it did air, an incredible number of loose threads and potential storylines were left hanging, which the feature film Serenity only partly resolved. And then there was Dollhouse. You know what, let's also just throw in any future shows Joss Whedon ever makes. THOSE were canceled too soon also. WHERE is the justice in this world? Someone should call The Avengers!
Now it’s your turn to weigh in with your own choices, or to defend or support my selections above: Which unjustly canceled shows are you STILL heartbroken over?