Shh shh shh. It’s ok. I know. There are those shows, those nuggets of television gold that are taken from us prematurely, leaving us with not anger, just, unease. Works of art torn from the fabric of our weekly couch/blanket sandwiches. But why? There must be reasons for such injustice, though to what end, I do not know. If you can manage it, forlorn viewers, please walk with me in remembrance through THE TOP 10 SHOWS THAT WERE CANCELLED TOO SOON, YO.
10. Studio 60 on The Sunset Strip (2006 – 2007)
This was Aaron Sorkin’s sassy-pants behind-the-scenes portrayal of a live sketch comedy show. At the same time, Matthew Perry’s so-close-but-just-not-quite era of a comeback. Think SNL but mostly backstage, and dramedy at its finest. The show follows executive producers of the show-within-the-show Matt Albie (Perry) and Danny Tripp (Bradley Whitford) as they write, agonize over, and produce live tv. This is Sorkin’s only series to date that was not picked up for a second season. Chalk it up to wrong place, wrong time, wrong attitude.
9. Baywatch (1989 – 1999)
Yeah, I went there. Deal with me. This action/drama series known better as soft core porn introduced many a pre-pubescent male teen to the inside of his right hand. The original cast only lasted a year, though I think we can all say that was enough of the bathing suits so high waisted we’re not sure where the crotch ends and our tits begin.
Also, you’re welcome.
8. Twin Peaks (1990 – 1991)
Watch with a partner, this shit’s eerie. Created by Mark Frost and David Lynch, we follow FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle Maclachlan (Dr. Trey MacDougal, people)) as he unravels the mystery of homecoming queen Laura Palmer’s murder.
I will admit I’ve never finished the show. Mostly because I’m a wimp about scary things and also because I spent a good amount of viewing time with my hands covering just enough of my face so that I could see and not see when needed. Accept me for what I am and let me know if you finish it. What I saw, I loved.
7. Happy Endings (2011 – 2013)
I don’t/didn’t watch this show, but people keep saying I should. And Damon Wayans Jr. is pretty funny in addition to being a sexy black man. Vulture cited the 3rd and final season as one of the ‘worst tv decisions.’ I think it’s worth a look based on that claim alone, right?
Bed/blanket sandwich I wouldn’t be mad about getting involved in…
6. Carnivàle (2003 – 2005)
This show was awesome. Similar to Twin Peaks but great depression traveling circus style. Lots of mystical whatnot and the right amount of gratuitous HBO sex scenes. It’s about the fight between good and evil… needless to say some cray cray stuff happens. Really, it’s worth watching based on aesthetic beauty alone.
5. Undeclared (2001 – 2002)
Judd Apatow was down on his luck, once upon a time. After Freaks and Geeks, he created this follow-up show displaying the trials and tribulations of a group of college freshmen making their ways towards, what else, a major. Fun stuff, good times, totally worth the one-season-watch.
And, EARLY SETH ROGAN, YA’LL.
4. Flight of the Conchords (2007 – 2009)
Cute New Zealand boys with both musical and acting abilities. SEXY.
HBO killed this series after only 2 seasons but, like, after 10 Emmy noms, it was obvi time to retire. Way cooler to leave the party at the height of the festivities anyway.
The show’s about this 2-man-band looking for success and sometimes love in NYC. Bret and Jemaine play fictionalized versions of themselves trying to make it as a legit folk group. It’s fun and silly and there are songs to learn if you like participation.
If anything, watch the Bowie episode only. It’s onesie-tastic.
3. My So Called Life (1994 – 1995)
Flannels. Young Claire Danes. Teenage angst. All the things. For those of us who grew up in the ’90’s, this show is a must-see.
Here are a few fun pics of Jared Leto in his dudebro prime, take a moment.
… aaand one of these. Throwback quiver face.
2. Arrested Development – (2003 – 2006)
Revival doesn’t count lets be serious here.
This show is pure magic. One cannot tire of the Bluth family. I have seen the series more times than I can count and am still finding hidden gems that make me cry out to loose seals everywhere. There is a reason this show came back to us. It may not be what it once was, but who can recreate such comedic genius? I do not blame you, Netflix, for trying. My heart will always be with you, banana stand.
1. Freaks and Geeks (1999 – 2000)
I’m sorry, if you do not know that this is the Pangaea of modern comedy then get out. No, wait, let me educate you.
First of all, James Franco in his prime.
God hang on I need to wipe the drool off my keyboard.
This is where Judd Apatow, Paul Feig, Seth Rogan, Jason Segel, Martin Starr, and Linda Cardellini launched their careers. Isn’t that enough for you?!
After only one season, this show was truly taken from us too soon. It is the most genuinely funny, heartfelt, well written single season I know of. Damn you, NBC.
I implore you to watch this show immediately. Seriously, open up Netflix in the next tab and find out what you’ve been missing.
Thanks, lovers, for sticking with me through this heartbreaking top 10. Thank goodness for internets and streaming and full access to all things off the air.