Mourn all the cancelled TV shows that deserve a second chance
In a world where TV can dominate the cultural conversation and from which the well of shows never runs dry, you’d think there’d be enough TV shows for everyone. Sadly, this isn’t the case, and there can never be enough TV to go around in 2021 (more, we say!).
Sometimes the average streamer’s lust for TV makes our preferences downright personal, and if our favorite shows meet their end after just one measly season, it can feel like an attack (how dare they?).
We can love our favorite shows so much that when they’re gone, we feel like they deserve a funeral. Whether they were ahead of their time, in a poor timeslot, or just couldn’t get anyone to watch them, some of the greatest TV shows meet a premature end with cancellation. We gathered our favorite cancelled TV shows to let the networks know they lost.
Freaks and Geeks
Freaks and Geeks is one of the most beloved cancelled TV shows of all time, and for good reason. Not only did the show present a sturdy series of eighteen solid episodes, it also laid the foundation for the career of Judd Apatow and his frequent young collaborators.
To those not in the know, Freaks and Geeks is a charming high school dramedy taking place in the unique time of the 1980 to 1981 school year; we see the suburbs in a time past the 70s, but before the 80s became a neon parody of itself.
Most importantly, Freaks and Geeks has great characters & genuine laughs in consistently smart & human coming-of-age stories. A series starring James Franco & Seth Rogan would never live less than three seasons today, but hey, this was back in ‘99.
While Freaks and Geeks is hardly buried treasure, Mission Hill is an unsung masterwork of late 90s to early 2000s animated shows.
Mission Hill captured a legendary period for any twenty-something, when living in squalor just out of college with a dead-end job was the bees knees, as long as you made enough to keep yourself in bugles & malt liquor.
Mission Hill is an absolute time capsule with its Cake & Beck laden soundtrack, but timeless in the story of main character Andy’s post-college living in a city that could easily be NYC, Portland, Philly, Chicago, Austin, L.A. or Seattle any time between 1990 & 2009.
With a stellar voice cast of experts like Tom Kenny (a.k.a. Spongebob) & Brian Posehn and writing that’ll make you laugh (actually), Mission Hill was way ahead of its time in terms of adult animation and the alt-cartoon for which normies felt nothing. We’d have loved to see Andy hit thirty, but we’ll always have his days of unemployment.
Party Down just announced it’ll be coming back, but since it’s after an over ten-year gap, we still mourn what Starz’s greatest comedy could have been.
Party Down has reached almost Freak and Geeks levels of fandom after it was cancelled, as TV’s greatest catering show was nothing short of infectious before Starz called it after two seasons in 2010.
Adam Scott’s Henry Pollard, a failed commercial actor, is the hub from which all the hilarious spokes of the Party Down wheel spring from; Henry brings together his motley crew of caterers, allowing Ken Marino’s Ron Donald & Jane Lynch’s Constance Carmell to shine to their brightest.
Party Down is funny, but its charm lies in its sentimentality; life definitely gets the Party Down crew, well, down – but that doesn’t mean they give up hope, and we’re reminded of their resilience in each fleeting episode.
Made in Staten Island
We can’t let all this valuable dramedy get all the coverage; reality TV deserves love too! Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of Made in Staten Island; it was cancelled before it finished its first season after three episodes, and MTV wiped any mention of the show from their websites.
Made in Staten Island received backlash upon its release in 2019 due the antics of its cast and their association with the title NYC borough. If this story sounds familiar, it’s because the exact thing happened with The Jersey Shore back in 2009. However, while The Jersey Shore only got stronger with backlash, Made in Staten Island was stopped before it even began.
Made in Staten Island’s cast was more interesting & likeable than The Jersey Shore and the show certainly charmed us more than similar MTV shlock like Floribama Shore (how’s that still on?).
However, the TV gods spoke, and MISI was chopped up and rebranded in six episodes of Families of the Mafia in April 2020, when audiences had much more on their mind than what the heck happened to Made in Staten Island. Nice try MTV, but some of us watched from the beginning.