I have a problem.
I love cancelled TV shows.
The quickest way to get me to watch a show is to tell me it was cancelled after only one season. Better yet — midway through the first season. Sure, sometimes the show is a bomb, but sometimes, the target audience was just too niche. And whatever that niche is — Nerdy romance writers? People who love Star Trek and Pride and Prejudice equally? People who think Lee Pace is brilliant? — I’m part of it.
This is especially true of the slightly (and not-so-slightly) supernatural shows. I know you’re all thinking of Firefly, right? I’m right there with you. Cancelling that show was a tragedy. But my other favorite cancelled shows have a speculative fiction flavor, too. Pushing Daisies and Wonderfalls (my personal favorite) are some of the most brilliant television I’ve ever seen.
What is it about these shows? They’re all well-written, unique, clever, funny… Some of them didn’t even make it a full season before they got yanked. It’s enough to make a nerdy romance writer despair.
Then again, if I’m being honest, I might like the fact that these shows were cancelled. Finding them makes me feel like I’m part of a club. When I discover someone else who’s found one (or all!) of these gems, I want to cheer, then discuss every last detail of every episode, lament the show’s untimely passing, and share in some good-natured gloating that we’ve discovered what the rest of the world missed.
Plus, I can’t help but wonder if any of these shows would be as good if they’d gone on for seven seasons. We’ve all seen series that start out clever and unique, but end up fizzling out and growing stale, victims of their own success. Maybe cancellation was a blessing in disguise, letting these stories stop when they’re meant to stop, instead of forcing the dramatic and romantic tension to endure long past their natural resolutions.
What about you, unbounders? Is there a canceled show you hold close to your heart? Why do shows like these get the ax?