Failed Television Series 2008-09 Edition

What happened toyou Whedon? I thought you were cool.

What happened to you Whedon? I thought you were cool.

Well, another network television cycle is slowly winding down and instead of talking about the shows that succeeded, here are the shows that either failed to entertain me or simply failed, canceled-wise.

These opinions are mine and are irrefutable.

Dollhouse – Likely to be cancelled.

Joss Whedon and Fox’s new baby, successfully delivered after having aborted Firefly, came into being with a whole lotta bad press. Things like reshooting the pilot and executive tampering, etc. Still, even with all of that, I was confident Joss could pull it off. After all, half cocked Joss is still better than most everything else on TV.

So why did this show start off so terribly? The ‘new’ pilot was monotonous, dreary and, most sinfully, boring as all hell. There were no ‘Joss’ characters. No one was likable and it’s hard to relate to the ‘Dolls’ seeing that they’re empty shells and what not. Things only got worse from there, with episodes of Echo, Eliza Dushku, being a back up pop singer, a blind girl infiltrating a cult, etc. This is all unfortunate because at the episode six mark, “Man on the Street”, the series finally found its humour, its drama and its kickass action.

Too bad by that point the show had become a ratings sinkhole that it never got out of. Hell, Fox even cancelled the planned airing of the show’s 13th episode, which is as it stands right now the likely series finale.

More obituaries (FYI – this is a long article) after the break.

Screw you America, I'm too good for you.

Screw you America, I'm too good for you.

Terminator: The Sarach Connor Chronicles – Definitely cancelled.

This show had everything going against it for geeks. It’s based on a beloved science fiction series, only it had none of the actors, writers or producers of the movies. It was to Terminator what Smallville is to Superman.

And you know what? This show is, was, good. Sure, it was heavy handed and a lot of writing was awful, but the action was decent and the plot, despite the bad dialogue, was intriguing. But nobody watched and I was shocked to see it go for as long as it did. Too bad going this far only meant it petered out on a very tantalizing cliffhanger that we’ll never get see resolved.

Southland – Just an awful, awful show.

It’s a streetwise, rugged, cop show about cops being cops. Only this time, it’s personal. And it has Ryan from The OC. I loved The OC and screw you if you don’t, either. And because I know you don’t like it, screw you. This show is awful. It’s every fucking cop show cliche, only wrapped in a two feet thick layer of pretension. Do yourself a favour and stick with Law & Order: SVU. That’s a man’s cop show.

Kings – So good, but sooo cancelled.

I never in 48 years would have figured that a prime time TV series based on a Bible story, only set in an alternate universe, would ever be good. Kings proved me wrong. This show is damned engrossing, with extremely high production values and great writing and acting. The new take on David and Goliath works surprisingly well, though if you’re a staunch anti-religion kind of person, you might want to pass checking this out. The allusions are plentiful and simply unavoidable.

Unfortunately for this cool little show, NBC for some reason chose to stick it on Sunday nights, where unless you’re a cartoon or a dysfunctional housewife you won’t be getting very many viewers. Hell, the show did so badly in it’s throw away Sunday slots that NBC is scheduling the remaining episodes for Saturdays – AKA, the day nobody watches prime time television. Not exactly good tidings for a renewal.

My Own Worst Enemy – Cancelled.

It’s a Christian Slater split personality spy drama, and it was surprisingly well written. Unfortunately, the majority of America simply couldn’t get over the fact that the show does, indeed, star Christian Slater.

I. Am. Awesome.

I. Am. Awesome.

Boston Legal – Murdered by ABC.

This was easily in my Top 10 Best TV Shows of All Time list. This show had everything a TV viewer can want – copious amounts of comedy, serious drama and two main characters that are entirely in a league of their own. Alan Shore and Denny Crane are gods amongst us puny men. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are hundreds of lawyers in a few years who were inspired to get into the field because of either of these two.

And ABC had to go and shut down near TV perfection. But Boston Legal had the last laugh, creating a series finale so off the wall ludicrous and fourth wall breaking I was surprised it was ever greenlit to be produced. It is, unto itself, a minor popculture masterpiece.

Denny Crane.

Life on Mars – Cancelled.

A mediocre remake of a mediocre (screw you LOM diehards, the show was garbage) British series. This show was towing the line of average the entire way and it was unceremoniously cancelled and swept under the rug. As if it never existed at all.

Why won't anyone love him?

Why won't anyone love him?

Castle – Probably won’t survive.

Why can’t Nathan Fillion catch a fucking break? First Firefly (arguably Joss Whedon’s masterpiece) was butchered by Fox, and now that he’s finally hitched himself onto a mainstream series, the people simply don’t care. This guy is damn good and charismatic as hell.

Now, it’s not like people aren’t watching Castle. It’s just that fewer and fewer are tuning in each week after an admittedly stellar premiere. Please people currently attached to Nielsen terminals. Tune into the show. Not only will you be supporting an awesome actor, you’ll get a decent procedural to boot.

Everybody Hates Chris – Likely cancelled.

A decent diversion and currently what I interpret inner-city black neighbourhoods to be like (you know, filled with wacky hijinks and not murder and dope slinging). The show’s funny, family friendly and, unfortunately, likely to be cancelled. Really, how can the black community can come out in droves to support shit like Tyler Perry’s abortions and not this?

Scrubs – Cancelled, kind of?

Now, I’m not a big fan of Scrubs myself. I sort of despise it, actually. But I know a ton of people enjoy this crap and this is the crap’s final season. Maybe? Apparently there’s murmurs of another network picking the show up in a move similar to what NBC is doing with Friday Night Lights (the best TV show not called 24 currently still in production). Whatever, Zach Braff’s ugly.

Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone – DOA.

I have to admit, I had a soft spot for these two shows. DSM because it was so sleazy and Peter Krause was the main character. Eli Stone because it was so stupid and light hearted fluff, it always brought a smile to my face. Sad to see them go, but they could never be considered ‘good’ shows, so it’s understandable.

And finally, the biggest failed series is…

Really? Aren't you just beating a dead horse now?

Really? Aren't you just beating a dead horse now?

Heroes – Renewed.

Yep, I’m doing another Heroes’ post. No complaining, y’hear?

This season has been, to be gentle, the very worse drop off I’ve ever seen a TV series fall. It was akin to finishing season 2 of The Wire, only for the show to come back and it’s Southland, only with a title change.

Everything was uniformly terrible. The ‘actors’ looked as if they were reading from teleprompters. The ‘suspense’ was things like Claire hiding from Sylar in a fucking closet. The ‘plot’ was, well, there really wasn’t one.

I realize that with Bryan Fuller’s involvement, the series really did begin turning things around with the episode “Cold Snap”, but by then it was already more than 3/4’s of the way through the season. A little too late to save what had come before it. I have confidence Fuller can, to a realistic degree, turn things around next time ’round, but season 3’s gonna be a write off.

Well, that’s the 2008-09 edition of Failed Television Series. You can expect another one..Hmm. Not sure.

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10 Responses to Failed Television Series 2008-09 Edition

  1. Hectorius the Glorious says:

    I like this article. It only has two shows I actually watch and you agree with my opinion on both. Kings and Castle. Huh…weird, Kings and Castle. A

    nyways, I LOOOVE Castle but I feel that it’s not different enough for people to care. It’s your straight up procedural that most shows are with not enough of it’s own thing. Bones is by far one of my favourite shows EVER to the point that I won’t even consider watching shitty CSI. I feel that Castle only really has Fillion to make up for it’s unoriginal format.

    Kings, I just love too. I hate religion in every way possible. Since this isn’t a show to teach us that Christianity is right or anything and only to tell us a good story FROM the Bible, well then I’m ok with it. Then I watched it. Ian McShane is the man and I fell in love with David 5 minutes in. I’d hate to see it go.

    Here’s hoping for Caprica.

  2. Sang says:

    I’m iffy on Caprica. It just seems that after BSG, it seems like a step backward (pun intended) to be making a prequel series with no war.

  3. morghus says:

    Kings is just fucking awesome. Everything about it is laudable and crazy high on quality.

    Heroes has kind of come back in the last 4-5 episodes, hasn’t yawned a single time, and with the icewoman episode I was really excited.

    Scrubs is awesome, and a lot of people think so too, so they’ll probably continue it in some fashion, even though actors are leaving.

  4. Dave says:

    Please post your evidence for Sarah Connor Chronicles being ‘definitely cancelled’.

    • Sang says:

      Just using common sense. It’s obviously an expensive show to produce, and it’s also Fox’s lowest rated show averaging only about 3.5 million viewers. It doesn’t matter what the web chatter is, it’s the ratings that TV networks look at and Sarah Connor has among the very worst of primetime.

      It makes no financial sense to bring back an expensive ratings sinkhole.

  5. Thumbu says:

    I’m with you on ‘Kings’ and ‘Southland.’ It’s hard to stomach the fact that NBC has invested so much on the latter (giving it the ER slot) and throwing the former on Sunday nights. ‘Kings’ was definitely miles ahead of any other NBC drama, I can think of; and if the story sometimes petered, the performances by Ian McShane and Brian Cox should’ve been enough to get the ‘Deadwood’ diehards to tune in. But alas, ‘Southland’ survives and ‘Kings’ is gone til June.

  6. randy Johnson says:

    Castle I like, I gave up on Heroes long ago. None of the rest do I watch.

    • Sang says:

      I swear something must have happened to the Heroes staff. Something dark and sinister, because a series as good as it was does not go bad that damned fast.

  7. Arnspiger says:

    I swear something must have happened to the Heroes staff. Something dark and sinister, because a series as good as it was does not go bad that damned fast….

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