If you’re an avid television watcher, chances are you’ve fallen in love with one or two television shows that were cancelled before their time. While other shows just seem to go on forever—let’s face it, we’re all going to be watching Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalacki saving people and hunting things well into their sixties—others seem to barely get a chance.

These are only a few of the many television shows that just weren’t meant for this world.

10. Constantine

Based on the long-running DC comic Hellblazer, Constantine followed the dealings of occult specialist John Constantine. An arrogant smart-ass with a dark past, Constantine is reluctantly thrown into the battle against evil when an old friend asks for a favour. While the show wasn’t a perfect adaptation (NBC forgot a few things about the character, such as the fact that he’s a chainsmoker, extremely misanthropic and, you know, bisexual) the show had its charms, and it’s a shame it wasn’t allowed to grow and develop into something that could have been great.


  1. Dollhouse

Joss Whedon’s sci-fi show Dollhouse was cancelled after two partial seasons. The show revolved around the workings of an organization (called the “Dollhouse”) which rented out people in their employment (called “Dolls”) to high paying clients. What separates the Dollhouse from a regular brothel was that the Dolls were all imprinted with unique personalities and skills designed to match the clients specific needs. The main character was Echo, played by the talented Eliza Dushku (shut up, I love her). The show posed interesting questions about mortality and the nature of humanity, and had it lived to see another season, could have gone in some very unique directions.


  1. Almost Human

Part sci-fi, part buddy-cop show, Almost Human was set in the not-too-distant future. The main character was Detective John Kennex who was, against his will and much to his great disdain, partnered with android Dorian. While the workings of the technology filled future world were interesting enough on their own, the real treasure of the show was the dynamic between Kennex and Dorian. Unfortunately, Fox didn’t feel the same way, and the show was cancelled after only one season.


  1. Dead Like Me

In an ideal world, not only would this Showtime series not have been cancelled, but showrunner Bryan Fuller never would have left it, either. But tragically, we don’t live in that world. We live in this one, deprived of the dark humour and wit of this wonderful show. Often hilarious, and at times heart-breaking, Dead Like Me told the story of George Lass, who after being murdered by a toliet-seat, is forced to take on the unpleasant task of being a Grim Reaper. And she still has to keep her day job, too.


  1. Happy Endings

Few shows in recent years have managed to be as funny as Happy Endings. Witty and ridiculous, Happy Endings was an ensemble comedy about the lives of six friends, Dave, Max, Brad, Jane, Alex and Penny. The group experiences some awkwardness after Alex leaves Dave at the aisle for a random dude in rollerblades. Not only was the writing fresh and hilarious, the comedic performances from the cast were ah-MAH-zing. Had it had a longer lifespan, Happy Endings could have gone on to be this generations Friends.


  1. Bunheads

From Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, Bunheads was the story of struggling dancer Michelle. Michelle, after becoming married and widowed with in the span of 48 hours, finds herself stuck in a small town with a controlling mother-in-law breathing down her neck and several teenage ballet dancers in her charge. Bunheads had all of the heart and quirky humour of Gilmore Girls, and an interesting new cast of characters. Unfortunately for Amy, and all of us, her new show only lasted 18 episodes.


  1. Pushing Daisies

The second entry Bryan Fuller has on this list, Pushing Daisies was a whimsical and colourful show about Ned the pie-maker, who had the power to bring people back to life with a touch (but only for a minute, lest there be dire consequences). After his powers are discovered by private investigator Emerson, the pair team up and solve crimes (by asking the victim who killed them). The real drama starts when one of those victims turns out to be Ned’s childhood love, Chuck. Unable to keep to his one-minute-only time constraint, Ned gives Chuck a second chance at life, and himself a second chance at love. Like Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies was full of dark humour, wit and fascinating characters.


  1. Freaks and Geeks

If you were ever a teenager at any point in your life (as most of us were) then you’ll be able to relate to Freaks and Geeks. As the name suggests, the show focused on two groups of teenagers in the 80’s, the freaks and the geeks. The cast of characters features just about everyone you went to high school with, and gives a refreshingly realistic look at the awkwardness and confusion of being a teenager. The fact that this classic show only lasted one season is not only a tragedy, but I believe it should be considered a crime. A crime.


2. My So-Called Life

One day, I will not be mad about the cancellation of My So-Called Life. Today is not that day. It’s probably not tomorrow, either. In a similar vein to the previous entry on this list, My So-Called Life was about being a teenager, this time in the 90’s. Angela Chase, played by Claire Danes, gave a voice to every awkward and strange teenage girl who was struggling to fit into their life. And then some big wig TV executive came and took that voice away forever and—yeah, alright, I said I was mad, okay.


  1. Firefly

You knew this was coming. A list about cancelled television shows without Firefly? Unlikely. Yes, even 10 years after the release of Serenity, we’re all still mad about Firefly. The space opera about a crew of rag-tag individuals aboard the spaceship Serenity only lasted fourteen episodes, despite it being well received by fans. Reportedly, executives at Fox cancelled the show for being “too dark,” thus dooming humanity to a Firefly-less existence, and forever putting targets on their backs.


Categories: Top 10 Lists

One Response so far.

  1. Frank says:

    I hadn’t seen many of the shows listed, but I probably would have made a point of watching (while they lasted)if I had read such well thought out and written critiques. Enjoyed reading your thoughts. Please keep it up and keep me in the loop.

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