A sad day today. CBS has announced its Fall line-up, and Jericho isn’t on the schedule. Crikey. As I mentioned last week, some of the most fun I’ve had yelling at the TV during this past season has been at Jericho and its scrappy hero, Jake. In fact, in honor of the show’s passing, I shall henceforth make any future references to actor Skeet Ulrich as “Jake, from TV’s tragically-cancelled Jericho“. I’ll never use the words “Skeet Ulrich” again, unless I am asked by doctors to give a scientific name to a newly-discovered affliction of the gall bladder.
UPDATE: Oh, thank my shiny spoons and forks! Jericho will be back for at least seven episodes!
With Jericho‘s demise near-death experience, and the on-the-bubble equally-tragic ‘cancelled’ status of Veronica Mars, I got to thinking* about other geek TV shows that ended before their time.
10. Buffy The Vampire Slayer Y-e-e-e-s, number 10. I can’t, in good faith, rank it any higher than that. Sure, it was a sad day when we all enjoyed our final, brand-new episode of Buffy. But let’s face it, by the time the end of Season 7 rolled around, Buffy had run its course on TV. Once Buffy had died (twice), defeated a god and “The First” evil, and caved her entire town in on the Hellmouth… where could we go from there? (Well, to comic books, apparently.) FYI, any goodwill that David Boreanaz created in the classic second season of BTVS has been squandered on Bones.
9. Jake 2.0 The little show that couldn’t. A concept doesn’t get much geekier than this: A somewhat-dorky computer analyst fuses with microscopic nannites, which grant him enhanced abilities. He saves the world on a weekly basis, thanks to the government spy agency that sends him on missions suited to his new technologically-driven powers. Esoteric? Yes. But it also had its charm. Jake kicks ass, but never loses his awkwardness with girls.
8. Push, Nevada Didn’t even survive an entire season. Invented the concept of revealing storyline secrets through “easter eggs” strewn throughout the show. (You’re welcome, Lost.) TiVo’s Instant Replay had never been so useful… until the Janet Jackson incident.
7. Deadwood There’s probably going to be a couple of made-for-TV movies, but the show was cancelled after three seasons. Each season was better than the previous. Makes you wonder if Gerald McRaney (also of tragically-canceled-Jericho fame) carries some sort of curse.
6. V When it comes to television miniseries in around the early-1980s, Baby Boomers probably think of Roots. My generation thinks of V. Apparently the original writer and director, Kenneth Johnson, is working with Warner Brothers to get a new series on the air. The question is… will it be a Rocky Balboa, or a Star Wars: Attack of the Clones?
5. Battlestar Galactica 1980 As with so many other shows with striking productions (including sets, costumes, special effects, and ensemble casts)… production costs helped to sink this one. At least the new series will make it to season 4.
4. Arrested Development When was the last time so many genuinely funny people (Jason Bateman… who knew?) got together on a show with such an original voice? If you say Desperate Housewives, go away from this blog, and never return again. We don’t serve your kind, here.
3. Freaks and Geeks Sigh. What was I saying about funny and having an original voice? I’m just glad all the kids (except for perpetual-second-rate-show-guest-star John Francis Daley / “Sam”) seem to have found their way to bigger-and-better things. Seth Rogan owns Summer comedies. See: Knocked Up, Superbad, and The 40 Year-Old Virgin.
2. Carnivale Two seasons… too expensive for HBO. How to describe? Ah, yes… as the French say, it had a certain… super-awesomenicity. Not many shows develop the fanatical fan-following that Carnivale had. Not many shows, except for…
There you have it.
“But GWS, but GWS! What about Angel and The Screen Savers, dude? If we were chatting on IM, I would totally rag you out with a ‘super-frustrated’ emoticon face!”
But nothing. Angel jumped the shark in its early seasons, and The Screen Savers ran its course once our favorite faces departed, starting with Leo Laporte and Patrick Norton.
Oh, and about Wonderfalls … I just wasn’t into it. “Boring” strikes me as the right word.
What do you think? Did I miss anything?
* “I got to thinkin’.” Nice. You can take the boy out of the South, but…
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