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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Top 5 SF/F Shows I Wish Weren't Cancelled

Too many TV shows have come and gone.  Some of them never should have been killed.  These are the five I wish hadn't been cancelled.

In no particular order:
Firefly (2002-2003)
Need I explain why?  Browncoats are everywhere.  They are one.  They are vocal.  They are legion.  And if they all had $10,000,000,000,000, they'd bring back Firefly in a heartbeat.  For 10,000 seasons.  They'd probably clone Nathan Fillion and the rest of the cast just to keep it all going.  You know I speak the truth.

But in all seriousness, who didn't love Firefly?  To be fair, I didn't get to watch the show on TV.  I came to it through the DVDs after hearing all the hype.  And now I regret not having added myself to the ratings.  It's such an endearing show with a wonderful cast of characters.  With a lot of potential!  But it's gone, and now we have to dream about what might have been...

I know fans of the books didn't care for this show, but I never had that experience.  There was nothing to ruin for me when Syfy put this show on the air.  And you know what?  When you throw out the adaptation aspect, it's really not a terrible show.  Sure, some of the episodes are a little crummy, and there's a clear tug-of-war between making all the episodes connected to a larger story and keeping the anthology format.  But the best episodes are really good, and the cast is, for the most part, well chosen (I personally liked Paul Blackthorne as Dresden and Terrence Mann as Bob).

Given a second season, it might have grown into something akin to Castle, but with weird critters and what not.  One day...

Earth 2 (1994-1995)
Let's get one thing straight:  this is not a perfect show by any stretch of the imagination.  There's a hell of a lot of weirdness going on from the first episode to the last, and some of the characters and acting are a little on the silly side.  But the concept is fantastic.  Maybe a reboot would be a good idea.  Maybe not.  It was good...

After all, it has Tim Curry as a villain (win), a ragtag group of survivors living on a world with weird people (sounds like Outcasts, no?), and a decent soundtrack and visual design.  Considering all the things that usually go wrong in SF TV, this show had a lot of potential.  And then they killed it...

Alien Nation (1988-1989)
You remember this show, right?  Aliens get dropped off on Earth and are integrated into the Los Angeles populace.  Discrimination ensues.  District 9 will ring some bells.  Yet Alien Nation was a very American affair.  Where District 9 was an allegory for the refugee situation in Africa, Alien Nation was about the Civil Rights Movement, anti-immigration, and all the stuff tied into that at home.  And it was brilliant, in part because it didn't just take a bunch of people, put some alien makeup on them, and stick them in hairy situations.  No.  Alien Nation asked us to consider how discrimination leads to criminalization, how relationships with humans (platonic and romantic) would work, and the politics of a world hell bent on protecting human interests.

Plus, my grandma loved it, and if she likes it, it's good.  Trust me.

Outcasts (2010)
This show should sound familiar.  That's because I mentioned it above and because it really does share a lineage with Earth 2.  There are major differences, of course, and I think those differences make Outcasts something else entirely.  Unfortunately, reviewers were not kind to this show, or the fact that its title actor, Jamie Bamber, gets killed off in the first episode (big mistake in my mind).  But the visuals and concept are solid, pitting man against its darker nature and against nature itself.  There was so much potential.  I've intentionally avoided watching the last episode because I hate the idea that the adventure might be over...


What would you add to the list and why?

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