You ever just sit down on Netflix on your day off, find a good show, and decide you’re going to marathon it, only to discover it ends right as it’s going great? No? That’s just us? Well, regardless, here are our picks for shows that got shut down way ahead of their time. Obviously, the occasional spoiler will be included.
Possibly the wittiest, if not the only, show featuring an animated elitist film critic there has ever been, The Critic balanced cynicism, snark, and the ability to parody its own subject matter fantastically. Jon Lovitz voiced Jay Sherman, a snobby film critic whose show “Coming Attractions” is seemingly minutes away from cancellation itself at any given time. Surprisingly, this show got two seasons on two different networks, but if you check out this or this, you’d be surprised that it didn’t last, especially with how prophetic it turned out to be about modern Hollywood.
Rather than an image, I figured this collection of gags from the show involving the great Orson Welles would serve well to give an idea of what the show was like.
Check out this show if: You like film as a subject, want some satire as witty as South Park without the vulgarity or violence, or enjoy high-brow humor.
The Devil’s in the details, and this dark comedy is certainly not lacking. Featuring an ensemble cast, this show mainly focuses on Sam, a man who finds out his soul was sold to the Devil, played by an endlessly charismatic Ray Wise. After this information is sprung on him, he is pushed into a job he definitely doesn’t want as the devil’s bounty hunter, collecting souls that have escaped from hell. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, be it the touchy subject matter, the dark plotlines, or what have you, this show only made it through two seasons (one of which is half the length of the other), leaving us fans stuck on a terrible cliffhanger… We’ll hope and probably one or two of us will sell our souls, but I think the closest this show will get to a conclusion is the reunion from earlier this year.
Check out this show if: You like horror, sci-fi, and comedy mixed together, or are a fan of 50’s or 80’s monster movies. Or you like this clip. Because that clip is essentially a microcosm of the whole shebang.
Better Off Ted
Imagine a sitcom about working for OCP, Weyland-Yutani, and Cyberdyne combined. That is essentially what Better Off Ted is about. Starring Jay Harrington as Ted Crisp, a VP at Veridian Dynamics who must negotiate between serving his overtly evil boss and the company, impressing/romancing his optimistic coworker Linda, and dealing with the day to day oddities of the R&D Department, Better Off Ted is a clever and subtly (and sometimes overtly) dark comedy. Like the last two, Better Off Ted was compressed into a miniscule two seasons, and left off on a romantic cliffhanger that could really use some resolution.
Check it out if: You like Dilbert comics,but think they could use more depth, whimsy, and a touch of sci-fi.
The Tick is not an easy to describe show. The closest I could come is “the zany adventures of an amnesiac superpowered Patrick Warburton and his accountant buddy/sidekick/hetero?-lifemate Arthur”. And that made very little sense. So, I’ll simplify. The Tick is a brightly colored, colorful parody of the superhero genre, especially comics made in the Golden Age, before comics required heroes to have 38 pouches and guns the size of a car (lookin’ at you, Liefeld). It’s just some good old fashioned goofy fun. Unfortunately, this show barely got a complete season, with only 8 episodes that were aired out of order (and are still out of order on Netflix).
Check it out if: you’re a fan of Patrick Warburton and/or Venture Bros, or just like poking fun at the Golden and Silver ages of comics.
Come on. Did you really think this show wouldn’t be on here? Probably Joss Whedon’s greatest work before The Avengers, Firefly is the best damn space western America’s ever produced, which was cancelled way before its time, and totally deserves a proper follow up. I have a hard time accepting it’s sequel film, Serenity, especially due to the many painful deaths of my favorite characters….
Check this out if: You have a pulse.
Honorary mentions: Happy Endings, Spaced, and The I.T. Crowd.