TV, unlike most other entertainment industries, tends to suffer from a high-risk lifeline for its projects. Unlike film, music or any other art medium, the pieces here can be commissioned and then pulled prior to their completion of one season. Imagine a half hour film that didn’t get finished, or quarter of an album that got dropped by the record company. It’s basically unheard of.
Because most of these other mediums actually depend on audience reception post production, whereas most TV shows begin only three weeks into filming, which means the show could be badly received and killed immediately. And although I totally agree with yanking the dodgy shows off the small screen before they pollute, there have been a few mistakes in recent years.
…gossip, Botox, fraud and healthy competitions between neighbours is the norm…
To name a recent one for examples, there was the potential replacement of ABC’s Desperate Housewives, GCB, starring the lovable Kristin Chenoweth, from You Again and Pushing Daisies fame; the show glared its Texan bitch slapping comedy at top tromp.
Within its first few episodes, the simple outline followed Amanda Vaughn, a recently widowed mother of two who starts afresh as she moves back-in with her mother and the rich and upper-lip Dallas neighbourhood, where gossip, Botox, fraud and healthy competition between neighbours is the norm.
…Without a doubt thought, the show blossomed…
Now, I know, it didn’t have an inch on Desperate, being far less classy, but more entertaining with a guaranteed musical number every other episode. Without a doubt thought, the show blossomed. And by its tenth and final episode I was ready to hear of its renewal and celestial standing as the new family dramedy from the south.
Sadly I was clearly mistaken, as the show had managed to rock a few cradles, with its promiscuous tendencies, one closeted lead character and playful religious ticks; which included a whole ordeal over a dieting product made by one of the housewives, entitled “losing it with Jesus”.
…another comedy duo (turned triplet), with a twist…
Another great show this past season that suffered a similar end was Best Friends Forever. It was another comedy duo (turned triplet), with a twist: real life friends. That’s right folks! No more “do they really like each other?” queries. These two comedians paired up to mirror their own lives on the small screen, joke about their simple lives and complain about having to travel in the big apple.
…its quick delivery…
Yet, what made this show so great wasn’t the material which it was all based on, but rather its quick delivery. I recall rewinding to the beginning of the third episode a gazillion times just to see the over dramatic pair synchronise up in their excitement about watching a show.
Sadly it didn’t even make ten episodes, forced to conclude with the best episode yet – set at a comic con type gathering for gaming geeks where the two try to win the people’s choice award by throwing the coolest party.
The show got cut far too early for my liking.
What’s the purpose to this article then? Well, besides an opportunity to rant about the unfortunate lifelines of these two shows, it’s a chance to also pin point worthwhile before it is gone for good.
What I mean by this is rather literal. TV shows which are cancelled, especially ones which get nabbed before making a complete season, simply disappear. They rarely, if ever, make it to home distribution. And once they’ve been used a few times to fill in gaps in broadcasting slots, they sit on shelves somewhere and gather dust.
…featured a nice cast…
The best example of this was The Class from a few years ago.
It was one of the most original sitcoms in recent years, featured a nice cast and ran off a class reunion gone wrong.
…various problems suddenly arose…
Sadly though, with its various forced corrections on the writing departments, various problems suddenly arose and the show ended. Now it only lives on through fans and cult viewership, far from its original hype and intention.
So if you haven’t had a chance to catch these shows yet, do. Because before you know it, they’ll be gone.
And although they can be rather short, especially after the snipping by angry executives, they hold a remarkable after taste of nostalgia for something that might have been.
Images courtesy of Goergen, ABC, NBC and Warner Bros