Monday, September 20, 2010
I had so much fun participating in Alex's Dirty Dozen of Film over the summer, that I jumped at the first chance to join in for this TV-based blog-hop. Actually I was the 11th to jump at the chance. Last time I did my top-10 favorite guilty pleasures to be a little different from the rest of the pack. This time I will do my top-10 favorites, but I will do something just a little different once again. Mind you that these are not my all-time favorite shows but my Top-10 Favorites Shows that were prematurely canceled. Here they are in no particular order:
A beautiful and popular young woman is murdered in a small town and the FBI is brought into work with local law enforcement to uncover her murderer's identity before he strikes again. However, this murder is not going to be so cut and dry as there are supernatural elements at work.
David Lynch's venture into television with his murder mystery series was way ahead of its time. It became a pop culture hit before the buzz died off during the season's second half. The last episode contained ten minutes of the scariest scenes I have ever witnessed on network television which concluded on an enormous cliffhanger:
Some years later, Lynch directed an incredible motion picture prequel, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, that explained some nuances of the original series but nothing pertaining to the continuing story which was a far more important topic.
After being bitten by a werewolf, college student Eric Cord travels the country to kill the head of his bloodline and free himself of the curse. Making that an even harder accomplishment is a bounty hunter hot on his trail. This series was made in the make and model of other series' like The Incredible Hulk and The Fugitive. Eric travels to the town, gets in trouble, wolfs out to escape and just missing being caught by his pursuer Alamo Joe.
Eric finally kills who he believed was the head of the bloodline, only to find that his true target, Remy, was a werewolf in a whole other league. Unfortunately there was never any closure with the series finale as a standalone episode and a ridiculous way to end the story. The lack of a larger audience wasted some great acting by the late Chuck Connors and Brian Thompson as the baddie wolfies!.
Detective Eli Stone is murdered and sent to hell, but makes a deal with the devil to return to Earth in exchange for tracking down and killing 100 damned souls that escaped from hell. Their only weakness was to puncture both eyes and kill them.
Peter Horton was good as Stone, but John Glover really was the real scene-stealer as the lord of darkness.This show followed the "villain of the week" formula, with Stone tracking down and killing a particular underworld escapee. One nice touch was revealing that Stone's love interest, and a main "good guy" character, was the head demon who led the escape from hell and was trying to take Stone out of the equation. It would have been good to see how storyline ended.
It was given the famously dreaded Friday night time slot on FOX, so Brimstone only lasted maybe 8 episodes before being axed. I remember reading post-cancellation interviews with Horton where he was devastated that it was never given the right opportunity to succeed and I don't blame him. He was extremely proud of the Brimstone world he created.
After a woman is murdered, her old high school friends try to figure out who the killer is. Sounds very vanilla but it is a lot different than you might think. A cool concept of this show was that every episode told the story of each character in events that transpired over a one-year period since the group's high school graduation. For example, the first episode contained flashback of events during 1986. Then the next episode was 1987... and so forth. The final episode was going to take place in our current year (2006 at the time) and reveal the killer. In the meantime, the audience tried to piece together clues and solve the mystery for themselves because each year always made suspicious of her murder.
FOX canceled the show more than halfway into the season and aired a huge cliffhanger concerning one of the lead characters. And the worst thing - they never revealed the killer! So if you were one of the loyal viewers who invested about ten hours or so of your life into this show for some well-deserved payoff - you were S.O.L. The producers finally leaked the killer's identity on the internet almost a year later, but by that time no one cared anymore. I didn't at least.
Tru is a college student working at a morgue who has the power to be given one chance to travel back to the previous day and and save the dead.
This show adopted a Quantum Leap-like formula with the heroine saving people from their doomed fates. The difference in this series is that she did not always save everyone, which presented a shock and dramatic factor.
In my opinion, Eliza Dushku was at her hottest in this show, but the funniest thing is that Zack Galifinakis plays the straight man and nothing like what his persona has become nowadays. Once the network added Jason Priestly as Tru's brother, ditched the original supporting cast without explanation and added with Tru's family being evil, this series started to fall apart fast. It still had entertainment value, should have never veered off the series' original path. And in the end, a large deal of major plot lines began without closure.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Taking place in a somewhat alternate Terminator universe around the time of T2, Sarah Connor continues to protect her son John from more time-traveling cyborgs. Luckily, the John of the future sends back a hot female Terminator to help them even out the odds.
Season one was fun, even with the groan-worthy comedic lines. However, Summer Glau as the hot female Terminator was great eye candy and Lena Headey was extremely effective in the title role playing the character very differently than Linda Hamilton. Thankfully the lame comedy got ditched but the producers did double trouble by bringing Brian Austin Green and all his plot lines that took focus off the main story.
After some standalone episodes, Green's character got killed in one of the biggest WTF? moments ever in my TV experiences. Coincidentally, or not, the series headed back towards the greatness of season one. Too little, too late. The Sarah Connor Chronicles ends with an enormous cliffhanger as John time-traveled to the war-torn future. Would have loved to see where the series went after that.
A new form of sea life emerges from the ocean's greatest depths and is discovered by three individuals in seperate parts of the country. Meanwhile. the government wants to keep this new species identity under wraps and try to stop our protaginists from getting their stories out to the public.
A great storyline from beginning to end that never had a standalone episode or felt like it was dragging along. The three main characters had their own individual stories that were followed week after week, all leading to a meet-up. Well the three finally united in the season finale for ten minutes, the big secret was finally revealed about the species' agenda and the audience was left with no answers.
NBC hyped this show much like they did Heroes in 2006, but gave up on it way too fast. It was a smart sci-fi show that didn't try to depend on the FX and I never thought the ratings were bad until I read about the cancellation a month about the season finale. This one is a real shame because there was a lot more story to tell and all those hours invested in watching the program were for naught.
The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.
A cowboy bounty hunter seeks to avenge his father's death by tracking and taking down his killers, the Bly gang. Every week, Brisco and his friend Lord Bowler would take on some random villain, who always seemed to possess some futuristic gadgetry and elements in this alternate Old West universe.
First and foremost, Bruce Campbell and the late Julius Carry (Sho 'Nuff from The Last Dragon) were the series leads. Just for that fact alone, this series should have never been canceled. This show was ahead of its time and right before Campbell's cult status erupted. A few years later, we could have had many more great seasons of Brisco instead of watching Campbell on Ellen DeGeneres' series like a fish out of water.
Battlestar Galactica ('78)
In another galaxy, the rest of a humanoid civilization are relentlessly pursued by an evil cyborg/lizard race, as they search for Earth with the hope of relocating their species.
This show was not only heavy on story, with even religious undertones at times, but the acting was a nice mix of veteran and upcoming talents. Due to the timeframe of the show's release, this was considered a Star Wars knockoff. Nothing could be further from the truth because they are two completely different universes. While the effects might seem cheesy in this day and age, back then they were considered award-winning. One of the main reasons for the show's cancellation would be due to the price tag of $1 million an episode...in 1978!
Battlestar is another show that had a lot more story left and just as many seasons needed to tell it in, but the show sadly lasted one season. The show was re-worked into an abysmal program called Galactica '80, which is only worth noting due to learning the sad fate of Starbuck (Dirk Benedict).
Freaks and Geeks
Judd Apatow's series about teenagers who were basically freaks and geeks, but it was a lot cooler than I just made the premise made it sound. The audience is basically given life from the perspectives' of two totally opposite crowds.
The cast included James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel and Busy Phillips before they all broke out. Nice move, NBC. Hell I think Jonah Hill was even on this show. There is really not much to say about this show except that it was a lot of fun, seriously underrated and I urge you all to get the DVD of the first season if you have not been fortunate enough to see it yet. Even if you aren't into people like Rogen or Apatow.
Maybe it was geared towards my generation, but for whatever reason, the show was critically acclaimed but yanked by the NBC execs without so much as a slight hesitation. In retrospect, it might have been for the best as most of the main cast have gone on to some solid careers.
R.I.P. My Fallen Franchises
Well that does it for my Top-10 TV Series that were canceled too soon. Hope you enjoyed my part in the blog-hop and cannot wait to stop by and read some the entries on your blogs! Thanks again to Alex for coordinating this 'hop.