Carnivále: (2003-2005) Drama
“Carnivále” is a drama with fantastic elements set during the Great Depression. It follows the adventures of a traveling carnival, specifically focusing on Ben Hawkins. Hawkins is picked up by the carnival after his home is destroyed and his mother dies. In conjunction with the story of the carnival the show also focuses on Brother Justin Crowe, a minister who believes he is on a mission from God to create a new chapel in his town. However, certain events unfold throughout the show, and Hawkins and Crowe are both shown to be gifted with certain abilities. They both are eventually revealed to be prominent players in a conflict between Heaven and Hell. “Carnivále” only lasted for 2 seasons, primarily due to its sometimes overly confusing plot. However, the acting is fantastic, and the story is outstanding, provided you could keep up with it. The cancellation of the show left many questions entirely unansared, and it shall be sorely missed by its fans.
Deadwood: (2004-2006) Western
“Deadwood” is set in the late 1800s, and is centered around two men who come to the town of Deadwood, South Dakota, and are caught up in the crime and corruption that run rampant throughout it. The show is gritty and dark, and paints a very disturbing picture of the west that some found off-putting. Other viewers who did not watch the show expecting Spaghetti Western material like John Wayne or Clint Eastwood movies are in for a treat, however, as the show’s characters and story are incredibly moving and memorable. Sadly, there was not enough interest for the show to continue, and after three seasons HBO cancelled it, leaving much of the characters fates open, and the story unfinished.
Firefly: (2002-2003) Sci-Fi Drama
Whenever underrated or cancelled shows are mentioned, the first that comes to many people’s minds is “Firefly.” Joss Whedon’s sci-fi show only lasted one season due to conflicts with Fox showing the episodes out of order and people having trouble following the plot. However, the world that Whedon had created is incredibly in-depth and for those who truly watched the show, it is almost unmatched. From the smugglers to the Reavers (cannibalistic space pirates) to various factions and individuals encountered throughout the show, every aspect is riveting. The show specifically follows the travels of the starship Serenity, a smuggling craft as it travels through space doing jobs. The crew of Serenity are all incredibly personable and are a joy to watch. This is in part due to phenomenal acting and in part due to the show’s writing and direction. The show eventually spawned a movie, “Serenity,” but the story is still far from over, and many are hoping that it shall eventually be revived.
Jericho: (2006-2008) Sci-Fi Action
“Jericho” is a post-apocalyptic show about a town attempting to survive after a nuclear attack is made on the United States. There is quite a lot of action and drama to be had in the town, as the various people living there have to figure out how to survive in a world that is quickly becoming much more dangerous. While the show was cancelled after its first season, it was renewed for a second one after outraged fans sent some rather substantial complaints to CBS. Many people enjoyed the tense atmosphere and the survival elements that are a part of the show, and it has even been rumored that it might be picked back up by Netflix. Whatever the case, “Jericho” is a fun show to watch, and is a must see for any fans of the apocalyptic genre.
Terra Nova: (2012) Sci-Fi Action
“Terra Nova” aired on Fox a couple years ago and only lasted one season. While the acting in the show is merely passable, and the stories are often quite cliché, the setting is interesting. With the finale of the first season audiences are left with a huge cliffhanger that is never resolved, and many want to see this series return. The show follows a colony of humans who travel back in time to a prehistoric earth in order to ensure the survival of humankind. Earth is dying in their time, but through this new colony they plan to survive. Various conflicts ensue, including another colony being discovered. The largest point of interest in this show is its special effects, however, as the dinosaurs are incredibly impressive visually. These fantastic effects eventually lead to the show’s downfall, as the 4 million dollar cost per episode was too much to sustain with the show’s relatively small population of viewers.
Heroes: (2006-2010) Drama
“Heroes”, at its beginning, was a fantastic show. By the fourth season it was a joke, but the first season is a masterfully told story of people discovering they had superpowers, and learning how to use them. The show is a little difficult to follow, due to how many primary characters it had, but it still held a solid community of viewers for its four year run. It was finally cancelled due to poor ratings and poor writing. Sadly, the writers strike of 2007 irreparably damaged the show’s quality. Many clamor for the show’s return, and it has recently been announced that a continuation/reboot of the series will occur sometime in 2015. Hopefully this time the show will have a longer, and more fruitful life.
Dead like Me: (2003-2004) Comedy/Drama
“Dead Like Me” follows a young girl named George who discovers that she is dead after being hit in the head by a flying toilet seat. She is then recruited to become a grim reaper, marshalling death to those whose time has come. However, she does not like to follow the rules given to her by her boss, Rube, and causes lots of trouble for the other reapers. The show’s premise is a bit ridiculous, but it is both funny and well thought out. It only lasted two seasons before being cancelled, and according to many there is a serious drop in quality after the first season. This was most likely due to the show’s creator leaving after a debate with the producers. While the second season is not fantastic, the first season of the show is amazing, filled with wit and intelligence, and it shall be missed by many.
Freaks and Geeks: (1999-2000) Comedy/Drama
“Freaks and Geeks” is a show about a couple different groups of teenagers during high school in the 80s. It gave commentary about parenting styles, and the various conflicts teenagers went through on a daily basis. It is also incredibly funny, not because it mocked the teens, but it showed them living their lives, and the ridiculous things that they did to try and be a part of something. The show only lasted one season, but it launched quite a few actors into stardom, such as Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jason Segel, and John Francis Daley. The show shall be missed by its fans, but it left a substantial impact on the careers of these actors, and has lead them to much success. While Freaks and Geeks certainly had its good and bad episodes, it is very entertaining, and is missed by its fans.
Arrested Development: (2003-2006, 2013) Comedy
“Arrested Development” follows the Bluth family as they deal with life after the family business goes bankrupt and the patriarch of the family, George, is sent to prison. The other members of the family are incredibly dysfunctional, and it is up to George’s son Michael to keep everything from falling apart. The show is incredibly funny, as it highlights and exaggerates elements of dysfunctional families. The show only lasted for three seasons before it was cancelled, and many considered that a real tragedy. Thankfully for those fans, in 2013 Netflix picked the show back up for another season, and it looks like they may continue to produce it for the next couple years.
Pushing Daisies: (2001-2009) Comedy/Drama
“Pushing Daisies” is an odd show, featuring a pie maker who also has the ability to momentarily bring the dead back to life. He then, with the help of a very cynical detective, a waitress looking for the love of her life, and his old crush that he brings back to like, went to solve their murders, and make pies. While the premise is quite weird, the show itself is funny and heartwarming. Sadly, the show’s ratings were not good enough for the network’s standards, and it was cancelled after two seasons.