TV Series – Too Little…and Too Late

The television upfronts were last week and new shows were announced while old shows were cancelled. And it got me thinking – what favorite shows of mine have been cancelled too early…and which have stuck around a season or three too long? And, as usual, when I am talking television around here, two rules apply: 1) I am only talking about shows I’ve watched and I can’t possibly even cover all of those so I’ll choose the ones that stood out to me 2) Spoilers seem reasonably inevitable, but I’ll put a *spoilers* next to the show’s name if I say something specific about a show.

Too Little:

Veronica Mars

I didn’t watch this show live but watched later via Amazon Prime instant video and couldn’t believe it was cancelled after three seasons! It was so good! So good, in fact, that a public crowd campaign managed to finance a Veronica Mars movie that was released last year in order to tie up loose ends. And it was great. Now if they could just get started on my Gilmore Girls movie, mmmk?

Lie to Me

Lie to Me was a crime drama that focused on a consulting group that assisted law enforcement by examining micro expressions and body language for signs of falsehoods. I thought it was brilliant and very informative. A great cast and well done story lines that were cancelled far too soon.

fictional characters

The Newsroom

Well-written and fascinating to watch, the Newsroom depicted a fictional news station and its anchors. The writers wove real life events into the drama, examining how a studio and anchors would handle reporting the news of events such as the death of Osama Bin Laden. I knew it couldn’t last forever with big names like Olivia Munn and Jeff Daniels, but three seasons left me wanting more. Below is the opening scene of the show, a video (HBO language, FYI) that quickly went viral:

Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23

Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23 lasted a mere two seasons but I thought it was funny and quirky. Krysten Ritter and James Van Der Beek (as himself) were hilarious and I was surprised the show was cancelled so soon. My guess is that ABC just wasn’t the right fit for the show and it would have done better on Fox (New Girl-style) or Netflix/Hulu.

Too Late:

How I Met Your Mother *spoilers*

Ugh, the ultimate example of a show that lasted two or three seasons too long. I talked about the finale here, and emphasized that part of the reason the finale was so bad was because the entire final season was undone in the first 10 minutes! Let me get this straight – you’re going to do an entire season of episodes based solely on Robin and Barney’s wedding, and then in the final episode have them get divorced? What a waste of time.

Grey’s Anatomy *spoilers*

You may remember when I talked about Grey’s Anatomy breaking up with me? Well, I have stayed true to my word and haven’t watched an episode since they killed off McDreamy. Not because I was such a huge fan of Patrick Dempsey, but more a huge fan of happiness and I think that show has jumped off the happy train and into the pit of despair. My prediction is that the show does not last more than another season, possibly two.

These are my angry eyes, Shonda!

These are my angry eyes, Shonda!

Gossip Girl

Six seasons of hearing that signature sign off, “X-O-X-O, Gossip Girl” while four seasons probably would have been enough. Several of the actors and actresses abandoned ship themselves by the fourth season – producers probably should have taken a hint. In fact, that applies to most shows…when a lead actor leaves, usually its time to cancel. This fact applies to Scrubs, The O.C., Two and a Half Men, That 70s Show. Shows that have managed a few (or more) seasons after they’ve lost a leading star? Grey’s (but that reign is over, in my humble opinion it can only last so long), Criminal Minds, The Office, SVU.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Fifteen seasons and the original CSI managed to outlast all of the spinoffs but it probably should have been finished years ago. The show was finally cancelled after this season, with the announcement that a two-hour television movie will air in the fall to wrap up the show with appearances by the original cast members.

CSI

Alright, those are some of my favorite shows and ones I think were cancelled too early, as well as those I think hung on a few years too long. I can’t recommend the “Too Little” series enough as pretty amazing weekend binge watches!

What shows do you think were cancelled too early? Too late?

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Pin this image and share my list with your Pinterest followers!

Affiliate Links: If you click on the photo of the show, it will take you directly to Amazon to purchase the first season on DVD. It doesn’t cost you anything more, but helps me stay an affiliate of Amazon.

 

TV Series Finales – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It’s that time of year again – season and series finales are going on and some long-running shows have come to an end. It started me thinking on what have been some of the best and worst series finales that I have seen over the years. Two things to keep in mind before you read this list: 1) I am only doing series that I watched, thus MASH, Dallas and Breaking Bad are not going to make the list, as I never watched them…so no need to tell me all about who shot J.R. or Walter White’s phenomenal acting in the comments. 2) Most of these shows have been off the air for years, but I will warn you: Spoilers are completely unavoidable, so if you see a show you haven’t watched, or someday plan to Netflix on a rainy weekend, STOP READING.

TV Series

The Good:

1. The Wire

It gets top billing from me because I think it is the best written and acted show of all time. All. Time. For those not familiar, The Wire is a crime drama and not for the faint of heart. It concentrates on the corruption in Baltimore – corruption in the school system, politics, police force, journalism, and shipyards. It takes a hard look at drug culture and poverty, following characters on paths of both destruction and redemption. The finale did what all good finales should – tied up loose ends, continued a high standard of storytelling and acting, as well as included a few shocking conclusions.

2. Dawson’s Creek

It was always going to be Joey and Dawson right?! Heck, it’s called Dawson’s Creek – he’s gotta get the girl right? Nope, sorry folks, but I’ve always been #teampacey so I was thrilled with this finale. Dawson does get to be a big shot TV producer so at least he gets that dream. And Jen’s dying message to her baby girl? “Be a dreamer…and remember, to love is to live…” It’s one of the best TV speeches I’ve ever seen and even my heart of stone was breaking.

3. Friends

She gets off the plane. Thus we get to see the Rachel and Ross saga continue – nothing was ever easy with them so it was an appropriate culmination for her to say goodbye and head off to Paris….and then come to her senses. And it all ends in the apartment – an apartment all of them at some point had lived in and where almost every big event in the show’s history happened…Well played.

The Bad:

4. Gilmore Girls

I needed more laughs, more tears and more of the quick-wit dialogue the show had been famous for in the finale. I also need to see a little flash forward…give me a hint about Luke and Lorelai, or even Rory and ….gasp… Jess. It has to be Jess. If there was ONE show that I would ever donate a dollar to Kickstarter (Veronica Mars-style) in order to make a movie, Gilmore Girls is it. I didn’t hate the finale, but I thought it could have been much better.

5. The Sopranos

I know, I know, some people loved it. And some people hated it. And that’s why it lands in the “Bad” and not the “Ugly”. The infamous fade to black was the ultimate in either artistic integrity or total cop-out. I lean towards the hate it crowd, as I like loose ends tied and a feeling of resolution when a fictional story is coming to an end.

And the Ugly:

6. Lost

I already wrote one rant featuring the hours I lost watching Lost, but I have to say it again: The ending was awful. It made everyone that said “They were all dead” seem like they were right and gave no explanation as to why they were wrong. Heads up: It was a sideways, alternate timeline at the end, and they were NOT in purgatory the entire show. The island was there, the beginning seasons happened, they were not dead the entire time. The finale refused to tie up loose ends/island mysteries and that left people confused and disappointed.

7. Seinfeld

Ugh, I hated this series finale. It was a smart show that was funny even though a lot of the characters weren’t very likeable. And the finale featured them on trial (for not stopping a crime) and it felt like they were just trying to find a vehicle to show 100 cameos. I’m not super sure how to make this finale better, but I know this is one of the worst conclusions of an amazing show I’ve ever seen.

8. How I Met Your Mother

If I close my eyes and concentrate really hard, I am pretty sure I can hear my friend Hope, 150 miles away, STILL ranting about the injustice of this finale. Personally, I would never have put this in the “Ugly” if the final season hadn’t taken place. The show needed to end a few seasons ago, but since they dedicated the ENTIRE final season to Barney and Robin’s wedding…and then have them divorce in the first 16 minutes of the finale…that felt like a waste of time and really annoyed me. I don’t mind where the characters ended up, but I do mind how they got there.

HIMYM finale

And that’s my list! If you’re interested in purchasing any of the seasons of my favorite TV series finales…click on the DVD photo and it’ll take you straight to Amazon!

What are you some of your favorite TV series finales? Do you agree with my choices and/or the categories I put them in?