May 11, 2018
To paraphrase Sixers head coach Brett Brown, it’s an incredibly empty feeling when something you love comes to an end.
He was talking about the incredibly entertaining 2017-18 season that came crashing to a halt in Boston the other night. However, that same vibe can be applied to those ruing Thursday’s announcement regarding the cancellation of a television program called “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
I cannot relate to those sentiments – at least not precisely – as this wasn’t a television program that I’d deem worth fighting for, as many others have.
However, many television programs have been brought to a far-too-early demise, and are/were worthy of mourning. Two of them were just canceled on the same day as "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." The other eight were sent to the glue factory in past years.
Here are 10 shows worthy of the level of outrage currently being applied to the Fox sitcom:
You may better know Kaitlin Olson as Sweet Dee from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” Fans of this just-cancelled program know her as Mackenzie “Mickey” Murphy, a wild child of a woman co-opted into taking care of a niece and two nephews when her estranged loaded sister and her husband fled the country after getting arrested on fraud and tax evasion charges. It was a dark comedy, and one that left me thinking, at certain points, that it topped "It’s Always Sunny" on a couple-episode level.
TV adaptations of psychological-horror novels or movies aren’t exactly light fare, nor do they often work. As a “Silence of the Lambs” enthusiast – best movie ever imho – I was concerned that Mads Mikkelsen wouldn’t be able to acceptably breathe new life into the character of Dr. Hannibal Lecter. I was so wrong to worry. This show was so dark, it didn’t feel like it belonged on TV. But it did. And when it went away after season three, I felt as if someone had eaten my liver with some chianti and fava beans.
Angela Chase. Jordan Catalano. Rickie Vasquez. Rayanne Graff. To think that this show – vastly superior to most looks at high-school angst – lasted just one season (1994-95) is nothing short of tragic. It’s a mashup of "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Gossip Girl," hold the cheese.
Remember how Guns N' Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” video not only announced their presence on the world stage but spoke to dreams both taking people to, and destroying people in, Hollywood? Yeah, "Party Down" wasn’t exactly like that. It was a hilarious two-season look at actors moving to Los Angeles for their big break – working as caterers. Many a side was split watching this show. (NSFW video below)
This was the buoyantly quaint story of Ned, who has the special gift of being able to revive the dead with the power of his touch. He put these skills to use helping solve crimes. The caveat? He brought his childhood sweetheart back to life, but if he touched her again, she would die. It was lovely escapism – Seussian, in a way – that should’ve lasted beyond two seasons. This show needs to be brought back almost as much as “Hannibal.”
I’m biased. There was a time when I really connected with this show. You see, Earl’s last name is Hickey (as is mine) and he was comatose after getting hit by a car (as was I, though I didn’t lose a winning lottery ticket when I did, like Earl.) I took it as a personal affront when it got nixed after four seasons. Top-notch cast. Top-notch parable of trying to right wrongs after major life events. Top-notch hilarity.
Carrot cake is the devil's food.
It’s not easy to laugh at apocalpitcally themed fare. Will Forte’s show enabled us to do just that. This helped ease the lingering pain of reading “The Road.”
Think “Idiocracy” meets “Best In Show” meets “Arrested Development” meets “Office Space.” Sure, it wasn’t as good as any of the aforementioned works, but it was fine in a diversionary sense for two seasons.
Twelve words: "James Van Der Beek in the role of James Van Der Beek.” Ratings got so bad that ABC just streamed the last eight episodes instead of airing them. Those ratings make me question humanity.
Some could argue that six seasons is a worthy run for a TV show. I argue that I’d watch Raylan Givens, Boyd Crowder, Ava Crowder, Dickie Bennett and the mesmerizing Winona Hawkins for another 60. Sure, the plotlines got contrived in the later seasons. But the characters created by the great Elmore Leonard had so much potential. I still get sad on Tuesday nights when I turn the TV on and "Justified" isn’t in the listings.