Yes I know it’s Friday, but hey, the listicle is still accepting entries 😉 This particular topic is “10 Shows That Were Canceled Too Soon”, in our humble opinions. I thought about it, and realized that while shows capture and lose my interest, this list, which spans from the 80’s until a few years ago, is almost all FOX shows (channel 5 in NYC). I have always been a fan of their offbeat programs, I don’t know why. Married with Children and the Simpsons owned the top ratings back in the day, but more often than not, there was a rotation of complete barrel bottom dreck. Apparently I love(d) it.
No sorry I didn’t provide any still images or links, you will have to IMDB them.
1. Werewolf – a young college student, Eric has a friend who confesses he is a werewolf. Eric manages to kill his cursed friend, but is bitten. Just before dying, the friendwolf tells Eric that he has to kill the alpha werewolf, an old man named Skorzeny (Chuck Conners!), in order to be ‘cured’. The episodes take us through Eric’s trek across the country as he helps out people along the way and hunts Skorzeny. Sort of like the Hulk and A-Team. Eric kills Skorzeny in the season finale, but finds out that there was an even more powerful werewolf! There was no second season, dammitall.
2. Get a Life – Chris Elliot plays a 30-something paperboy (named Chris) who lives with his parents. Somewhere around the second season (yes there was one!), he moves out of there and with a friend (Brian Doyle-Murray). Basically it’s about his clueless, idiotic existence complete with obscure references and running gags. I was in awe of its ingenious stupidity; I actually found an old VHS tape with one of the funniest episodes I have ever seen (S.P.E.W.E.Y. the alien) which yes I watched again. I heard that the show was put onto DVD, but there was NO mastering, and managed to look like it was off someone’s VHS that they pulled out of storage (déjà vu?). Meh – that makes it like a joke that you have to explain.
3. Brimstone – an NYPD cop (Ezekial Stone) kills the man who raped his wife, and a few years later, Stone is killed, and his soul goes to Hell! While he laments that the rapist is in heaven (or at least not hell with him – despite his sin, he was murdered with malice), a group of 100+ condemned souls break out of hell (did they cut through the screen door or something?!). The devil makes a deal with him – bring back the souls and the Dark Lord (no not Vader) will bring him back to life (if you can trust anyone to uphold their deal, apparently it’s the Devil) Even the reviews said the show wouldn’t last, and of course it didn’t.
4. Keen Eddie – Mark Valley plays a NYC cop in the UK. It lasted a complete season (I did get the DVD set as a gift, some epsiodes I can’t really recall!) and while I hoped for a second season, Valley went on to Boston Legal and other shows – the actors know when the well is dry! (
4a – Mary Valley would later star in “Human Target”, which in itself was a remake that had already failed on fox in the 80’s. It lasted 2 seasons – even a star cast couldn’t save it.
5. Dark Angel – Jessica Alba’s breakout role. A bunch of rowdy brats, who were genetically modified with various animal DNA, break out of the super secret guv’ment facillility. At some point before or after this, terrorists EMP the USA, making us a 3rd World Nation PDQ. It lost the original focus in the second season (yes there was one), as subplots started creeping in. There was a season finale, which half-doubled as a series finale.
6. Futurama – Yes it gets reboots every once in a while but it was never given proper respect. Back in the day, it was pre-empted by Fox’s Sunday football games post game show, even if the game was over, which they timed so that ‘King of the Hill’ was still shown. Bobby Hill vs Bender?! C’mon.
7. Cavemen – yes the show that was based on the GEICO cavemen. I knew the life span of this show would be measured in minutes (I half-expected it to be canceled in the middle of an episode), and so I was insistent on watching it. I was berated by family and friends, who tried their best to distract me from watching it. The show lasted about a month I think, but it’s now a faded gag.
8. Alien Nation – A TV series based on the 80’s movie, it was about two LAPD detectives, one human, the other an alien. There was always that underlying theme of prejudice and other social class struggles. While it was cancelled after a few seasons, public demand had several more TV movies made through the 90’s which tied up many loose ends.
9. V – A great movie/ mini-series in the 80’s, it was a freaky show for a kid like me. I recall that later seasons seemed more open-and-close plotlines, as headway in the struggle was not clearly defined. Eventually some sort of truce was arranged – with a twist, which they never got around to figuring out. I did not watch the remake from a few years ago.
10. Terminator: the Sarah Conner Chronicles An incredibly dumb title for a show, but hey I like those wacky killin machines, so I was game from the first episode. Summer Glau played a waifish terminator, but even her appeal didn’t bring the ton of Firefly fanboys. Bringing in Brian Austin-Green and Shirley Manson (of the band ‘Garbage’) didn’t boost either. I think that the movie “Terminator: Salvation” which was pretty underwhelming, may have been the final nail in this.