In the big ocean of television networks and on-demand services, it is becoming increasingly difficult for new shows to find their footing with audiences. Only a small number of shows about to debut this fall will survive their first season – some deservedly, some without any fault of their own. Here are 10 comedies that were cancelled too soon…
In many ways, September is my favourite time of the year. The smell of decay as leaves turn yellow, red, and orange isn’t the only thing the crisp autumn air has in store: it is filled with so much potential for great television as a wide array of new shows await their debut during the fall season. Personally, I am most looking forward to Time after Time, a show about real-life sci-fi author H.G. Wells, who, in pursuit of his one-time friend “Jack the Ripper”, travels to the 21st century after the notorious serial killer escapes with the time machine Wells had built.
Unfortunately, in the big ocean of networks and on-demand services, it is becoming increasingly difficult for tv shows to find their footing. Only a small number of shows about to debut in the weeks to come will survive their first season. In my many years of being a tv addict, I have lost many shows that I was completely invested in, some for reasons that completely escape me, some for obvious but easy-to-fix flaws. Therefore, I have put together a long list of shows that, in my humble opinion, were cancelled before their time. I have sorted them according to genre and will be posting them over the next couple of weeks, starting with comedy series. Enjoy!
1. Underemployed (2012)
For fans of: Awkward, Post-Grad, Girls
Life span: 12 episodes à 43mins.
Cast & Crew: the nosy Scream Queen‘s boyfriend, the shadiest guy on HTGAWM, Tai-San from The Tribe, Inbar Lavi, Jared Kusnitz, Sarah Habel.
What’s it about? A group of friends struggling with the harsh reality of post-grad life.
What works: It’s an honest portrayal of the millenial generation’s struggle to find employment and themselves.
What doesn’t: The show isn’t to blame for it’s short life span. MTV has never really managed to establish itself as a serious network that produces great original television programmes.
2. Friends with Benefits (2011)
For fans of: The film Friends with Benefits, No Strings attached.
Life span: 13 episodes à 21mins. Incomplete story-arch.
Cast & Crew: the promiscuous bitch from One Tree Hill, Veronica Mars douchiest schoolmate, Michael B. Jordan’s ex-wife in That Awkward Moment, Zach Cregger, André Holland.
What’s it about? Casual sex between two friends.
What works: The “Mindbanger” episode is so on point it is worth watching the entire season.
What doesn’t work: The viewer never really clicks with the characters. Probably because they aren’t all that likeable.
3. Veronica Mars (2004)
For fans of: Nancy Drew, Shirley Holmes, iZombie, highschool dramedies, witty dialogue.
Life span: 22 episodes à 43mins.
Cast & Crew: NOT created by the frontman of Matchbox 20; starring Dan Humphrey’s voice-over, the clueless police officer from The Originals, the girl who invited three complete strangers who once banged her mum to her wedding, Jessica Jones, and the douchebag who dumps Emma Stone for speaking her mind about segregation in The Help!
What’s it about? A highschool student working as a private eye. For more information see my post “How Veronica Mars became a cult phenomenon”.
What works: Veronica is the most compelling female lead of the new millenium: witty, ballsy, clever, sexy and kind; in short, she is both the perfect role model and every guy’s wet dream.
What doesn’t work: Everything works. Nobody who watched this show understands why it got cancelled after three seasons.
4. Pushing Daisies (2007)
For fans of: modern fairy tales, iZombie, Tru Calling, The Fall.
Life span: 22 episodes à 43 mins.
Cast & Crew: Created by the guy who made cannibalism aesthetic; starring an elf, a Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Glinda the good witch.
What’s it about? Romance, murder, mystery ,and pies. For more information see my post “A show that will help you let the sunshine in.”
What works: it’s witty, fast-paced dialogue, the gorgeous art direction and the hopelessly romantic tale of star-crossed lovers Ned and Charlotte.
What doesn’t work: This show was a beautiful cinnamon roll too good for this world.
5. Manhattan Love Story (2014)
For fans of: Katherine Heigl RomComs, New York City
Life span: 12 episodes à 21mins. Incomplete story-arch.
Cast & Crew: Not America’s next Topmodel, the sharpest drug addict working for the FBI, one of the horsemen of the apocalypse.
What’s it about? The ups and downs of dating in New York City. For more information see my post “The perfect show for fans of romantic comedies.”
What works: The back and forth monologues that give insight into Peter and Dana’s different perception of their story.
What doesn’t work: Dana is too self-absorbed, too quirky and neurotic to be truly likeable.
6. Coupling (2000)
For fans of: Friends, Sex and the City.
Life span: 28 episodes à 30mins. Ends on a cliffhanger.
Cast & Crew: Created by Steven Who?; starring Orlando Bloom’s rival for the hand of Keira Knightley, Kate Isitt, a Prince of Persia, a guy working for the oppressive government from V for Vendetta, Kate Isitt, Sarah Alexander, Gina Bellman.
What’s it about? Six friends living and dating in London.
What works: Jeff’s out of the box analogies, like the giggle loop, the relationship between the friends.
What doesn’t work: It’s very British, so it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
7. The In-Betweeners (1999)
For fans of: Misfits, foul-mouthed teens, crass Britishness
Life span: 18 episodes à 22mins.
Cast & Crew: Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harison, Joe Thomas.
What’s it about? A group of guys desperately trying to get with any girl who will let them
What works: The banter between the lads
What doesn’t work: I can’t think of anything, actually
8. Ten Things I hate about You (2009)
For fans of: Awkward, angry feminists.
Life span: 20 episodes à 25mins. Incomplete story-arch.
Cast & Crew: A Pretty Little Liars girlfriend, the mean-girl from Camp Rock, Ethan Peck, and the replacement jerk from The Secret Circle.
What’s it about? It’s based on the 1999 teen movie of the same name.
What works: Ethan Peck’s charisma.
What doesn’t work: Anything involving Bianca and Joey.
9. Beaver Falls (2011)
For fans of: The In-Betweeners
Life span: 12 episodes à 43mins. Incomplete story-arch.
Cast & Crew: Sam Robertson, John Dagleish, Arsher Ali, Natasha Loring.
What’s it about? Three British guys working in a US-summer camp.
What works: Summer camp stories always work.
What doesn’t work: Ret-conning the attraction between Flynn and Rachael.
10. Perfect Couples (2010)
For fans of: New Girl, Happy Endings
Life span: 13 episodes à 21 mins.
Cast & Crew: the hottest guy New Girl‘s Jessica Day has ever dated, Angie Tribeca’s partner and lover, the hot economist from The Newsroom, Mary Elisabeth Ellis, Nicolette Robinson, Christine Woods, Kyle Bornheimer.
What’s it about? Perfect Couples revolves around three couples at various stages in their relationships, yet facing similar problems.
What works: Olivia Munn. As per usual.
What doesn’t work: The characters aren’t equally intriguing.