In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments.
What canceled television series do you miss most?
I know what you’re thinking. Law and Order was on for twenty years. Compared to House (8 seasons) or Fringe (4 1/2 seasons) or Firefly (14 episodes) or Wonderland (8 episodes; only 2 aired)…does it really count as a “canceled” series? But I honestly miss it daily. And specifically this team
led by Thomas Wayne and the wonder that was Jack McCoy as DA.
The real issue (as I’ve mentioned) is that it didn’t have a series finale. It hurts me. But at least the series didn’t end on a cliffhanger, like Hellcats which I will NEVER GET OVER –
(And speaking of Aly Michalka, I also miss Phil of the Future)
aka Doctor Who Junior
– or Alien Nation.
I was the same age as Emily Francisco and I completely identified with her. I had a crush on her bad boy big brother. I obsessively shipped Matt and Cathy. I loved this show. I was thirteen years old and I wanted it to be real life.
I watched the post-series TV movies and I read the books (Passing Fancy is my favorite)…I got more closure here than I did with Law and Order. But when I suggested this question for Q&A, Alien Nation was why.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is not a show that I really expected to enjoy. I’m a huge fan of the original Terminator movie, but increasingly less so of the sequels. The first film is an elegant little time travel paradox (it might not seem that way because of all the explosions, but underneath it really is), and the more you try to add to that, the more you risk wrecking the whole thing. So I didn’t think the franchise was a great candidate for a TV show.
TSCC proved me wrong though. Partly, it did so through an amazing cast — Lena Headey before Game of Thrones, Summer Glau and Thomas Dekker and Brian Austin “When did he get that hot?” Green as her improvised family unit. Antagonists included Richard T. Jones, the super-creepy Garrett Dillahunt and Shirley Manson (?!!). What I enjoyed most about this show, though, were the week-to-week stories. The ongoing story arc of each season was interesting enough, but in a fascinating way, these characters who were so determined to fulfill their mission and ignore the world around them kept getting pulled into the world of people around them. The show never forgot that these other lives were just as real and important as the intrigues surrounding the heroes.
This show was cancelled way before its time, and it also happens to have one of the best cliffhanger endings I’ve ever seen. So much potential, so many stories we’ll never see. I miss this show!
Sigh. Veronica Mars, how I love your quick-witted, bashful and seriously ass-kicking self.
I miss this show so much, especially since it did not get the ending it deserved. I remember reading somewhere that the creator had [SPOILER] purposefully ended the show as a season finale, with Veronica walking away in the rain (to this amazing song), so that it would sway the network in giving them an additional season.
Needless to say that never happened, and we never got closure about anything. What happened to Keith, Veronica’s dad? Did he get elected as sheriff, or did he get locked up for tampering with evidence? Who did the marshmallow herself end up with, Piz or Logan? What about Wallace? His last scene wasn’t worthy of the epic goodbye between friends that shouldv’e been.
Ultimately, I’m glad that this show existed. It’s the first show that made me love a bad boy (seriously, I pick Angel over Spike any day – actually, I just pick neither), that presented a loving and hilarious father-daughter duo and a that had a murder storyline that kept me guessing up until the very last scene (Lilly Kane was amazing, wasn’t she?).
I’m due for a re-watch.
(Oh, and in case you’d like to see what a fourth season would have looked like, check these out).
I have mixed feelings when it comes to canceled television shows–on the one hand, it’s annoying (and sometimes heartbreaking) to be deprived of a show that you have become really invested in, but on the other, if a good show ends up running for only one or two seasons, those seasons are usually pretty damn near perfect. After all, only the good die young. Sometimes it’s easier for me to think back wistfully of the one and only really terrific season of a show than to watch a series I love die a slow, painful, hokey, jumping the shark death (thinking about seasons eight and nine of The X-Files still stings).
With this in mind, some canceled television shows I love, like Freaks and Geeks and Firefly, belong in the first category of single breathtaking seasons. I was devastated to see them go, but these are two shows where every episode is great. There are no throw-aways, no “WHY DID THEY DO THAT”s. Their short runs are bittersweet, but beautiful.
Still, this doesn’t mean that some shows aren’t brutally murdered in the prime of their lives, hacked off of the air as fans release blood curdling screams of horror. In this category fall shows like Arrested Development (although I do have high hopes for the Netflix continuation later this year), Pushing Daises, Wonderfalls, and Dead Like Me (if you are a fan and haven’t already, don’t watch the made-for-television movie wrap-up. It’s painful.). These are shows that keep me wondering what happened to their quirky characters, and I will probably never get over any of them being cancelled. Topping this list might be the show Rome, the HBO drama that recreated Ancient Rome in an engaging and original way. I’m still sick over that one. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS. I mean, technically I know what happens, because, you know, history, but still. I need to see it on HBO with scantily clad men running around engaging in political intrigue.
I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as a morbid person, but I definitely have a thing for shows that put a quirky spin on death. That’s why I feel great shows like Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies did not deserve to be buried (see what I did there?) after only two seasons.
Yes, I know that they continued in some capacity with a direct-to-DVD film and a mini-series, but still… there was just so much potential!
I want to say Doctor Who, because I really wish that the Cartmel Plan had happened and Ace had become a Time Lord. But it’s a good time to be a Whovian, so I’m not going to whine about what could have been, when we’ve got a lot of awesome things that are still happening.
I loved The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Pushing Daisies, and Dead Like Me, which have been mentioned. I mourn the end of my favorite soap, All My Children (coming back soon in a new format!). But a show that still makes me sad everytime I see it scroll by on Netflix is Earth 2. Oh, Earth 2, you were ahead of your time.
It was Firefly meets the New Caprica arc from Battlestar Galactica. It had a surprisingly deep internal mythology, and a great ragtag cast of characters that built to a pretty strong ensemble led by a female character (pre-dating Star Trek: Voyager by a few months).
Earth-2 brought a lot to the table, from strong female characters, to crazy conspiracies, to cool aliens, it ticked off a lot of my boxes for what I look for in a science fiction show. It’s currently streaming on Netflix (hint hint).
So, my first answer was the same as Gabby’s. But, she did such a great job describing all my FEELS, I’ll leave it there. Thank you, Gabby. You spoke for all us Martians!
I guess the show I would say that I miss the most is Justice League Unlimited.
Can you look upon all these heros and not flail? I think not. Epic. Even the title sequence was epic. Chills down my spine.
What. A. Show. Funny, smart, heartbreaking. It was not just a cartoon. It was not just for children. It was not just anything but an amazing show.
Baby Justice Leaguers are offended at the implication that their show is for children.
It could have gone on forever, but the way it ended could not have been any more perfect. For me, JLU was an extension of my love of Batman: The Animated Series and of Batman Beyond. Bruce Timm is flaw free in my eyes. To have the most epic animated series in the history of DC end in a way that brought my childhood full circle? I cried. Cried a bunch and, when I rehydrated, cried some more. To see Bruce and Terry connected like that and all because of The Wall? Phenomenal doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Ugh. The Wall. She is so kickass!
(I’m being deliberately vague because I do not want to spoil those of you who have not watched this series and will obviously want to after reading my blurb about it…uh. Right.)
Also, I dare you to find a more terrifying villain than Joker in JLU. Freaking nuts doesn’t say enough.
So, as much as I would welcome (read: jump up and down screaming like a banshee) more JLU, it had the best send-off I could ever imagine a beloved show getting.
So what about you? What canceled television series do you miss most?