Your responses to my recent post about SGA’s final episode got me to thinking about some of the shows I’ve enjoyed that ended too soon. I thought it might be fun to compile a list of My Top Ten Crushing Cancellations, those show’s whose premature demises left me alternately bewildered, disappointed, and frustrated. So I sat down to compile a list and discovered that, with the exception of three obvious selections, I was having a hard time coming up with some names. Either the series had ended on its own terms (The Sopranos), had been cancelled well after I’d discovered it on DVD (Firefly), or had deteriorated so badly in quality by the end that I had checked out well before that final episode aired (too numerous to mention). In the end, I was left with a grand total of six!
This was one of the first serialized shows I remember watching, a mighty controversial (for its time) spoof of steamy daytime soaps that proved well ahead of its time. Every episode ended on a cliffhanger, and the season finale was no different. Did Chester kill Danny and Annie after discovering them in bed together? Did Jodie ever become unhypnotized? Was Jessica really shot by that South American firing squad? Alas, we’d never know. And what made this cancellation particularly galling were the rumors that the show had been cancelled, not due to ratings, but because certain advertisers were uncomfortable with its suggestive content.
This one makes the list on the strength of a solid first season that had me tuning in every week to unravel the mystery of who killed Laura Palmer. By the time it was cancelled after its second season, it was a pale imitation of its former clever self, mired in meandering storylines and replete with annoyingly weird touches (what the hell was the deal with the kid with the creamed corn?). Still, I loved Agent Cooper and thought the show’s final episode an incredibly depressing end to his story.
Ah, now this is the one that immediately comes to mind. Before Game of Thrones there was Rome, a rich and incredibly engaging period series that – well, it seems proved too damn expensive to produce past a second season.
Okay, maybe I’m being greedy. Ten seasons is an awful long run. But, in fairness, the cast additions and shift in storyline that marked the show’s eighth season reinvigorated this series. Rather than feeling like the tenth season of a long-running series, it actually felt like the second season of a few series. And then we got word of the cancellation. Disappointing because I still feel there are so many more stories to tell…
And the same applies here. Unlike SG-1 that at least had the opportunity to go out on its own terms, Atlantis never got that chance. Going into those last few episodes, I’d heard the chances of a sixth season pick-up were 50/50. Then, after looking into it further, it looked more than likely we would get that sixth season order. And, suddenly, we were cancelled. WTF?
This one was the toughest because we only had two seasons. We knew the odds were stacked against us and things looked grim – until we heard word, from a couple of sources, that we would be back for a third and final season. We would get one more year to wrap up the story of Destiny’s crew. And then, out of the blue, we didn’t. We were cancelled. And then certain players stepped up and made a stalwart 11th hour effort to save the show. Only to be shut down. Ouch. This one still smarts.
So, do I have to ask? What were your top Crushing Cancellations?
Oh, by the way, the repairman swung by today, on time, and fixed the oven. I feel the need to point out that he wasn’t a Maytag repairman but a repairman sub-contracted by Maytag to do the job. So let’s call this one a push.