Category Archives: television

Cancelled Too Soon #10: Alphas (2011-2012)

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is nothing more frustrating then having a show end on a cliffhanger that is never resolved due to the show being cancelled. And Alphas is a prime example of this frustrating phenomenon.

Airing on the SyFy channel from 2011-2012, Alphas followed five individuals known as ‘Alphas’ who possess extraordinary abilities, such as hyperkinesis, the ability to see electromagnetic radiation, heightening one’s senses, and so on. These Alphas use their abilities to solve criminal cases involving other Alphas, and the story develops from this basis.

It’s a great concept, even if it is slightly overdone (remember Heroes?), but it seemed to be a hit and was promptly renewed for season 2. Fast forward to the end of the second season: the Alphas are racing to stop a villainous Alpha from setting off a series of devices that will lead to “the end of the world.” The end of the episode sees everyone in New York City laying on the ground, whether dead or merely unconscious, we don’t know. Oh and did I mention most of our heroes are unaccounted for too? Yes, that is where the episode ends, and that is where the SERIES ends too. SyFy cancelled any plans for season 3, meaning we will never, EVER know if everyone in New York City is dead or not, we will never know what happened to most of our heroes and thinking about it is enough to drive me insane!!

Seriously, there should be a law that doesn’t allow a season to end on a cliffhanger unless it is known that the show will be renewed (I know that’s not really feasible, but hey, I can dream).

Did you sit through Alphas and , like me, get unbearably frustrated by the unresolved conclusion?? Let me know about it in the comments below, I’d love to hear about it.

For more shows that were Cancelled Too Soon, see here

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Cancelled Too Soon #9: Lone Star (2010)

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It’s been seven years and I’m still surprised at what happened to Lone Star. Back in 2010, Fox spent a ton of money advertising this new series, and it looked like it had all the makings of a good drama. The premise was good: Robert Allen is a Texas con-man who leads a double life: as “Bob” he is married to Cat and living in Houston while working for his father-in-law who happens to be an oil tycoon. But as “Robert” he also lives four hundred miles away with his girlfriend Lindsey. Between scheming to take control of the oil business, Robert must work to keep his web of lies intact, as well as confronting how he feels about Cat and Lindsey.

It sounds like a great show right? Plenty of drama, good casting, and all the potential in the world to go on for a while. And the critics loved the pilot episode, with many giving it an “A” grade, and calling it “like nothing else on TV.” And yet…the pilot only drew 4 million viewers (not good). When the second episode drew only 3.2 million viewers…Fox pulled the plug, just like that. That surprised me because I feel like two episodes is barely any time at all to give audiences a chance to investigate a TV series, it’s not even a full month! Not to mention there was all the money the network spent in advertising this show, with six episodes produced, one would think they’d have given Lone Star more of a chance. Unfortunately, what’s done is done and Lone Star is yet another addition to the graveyard of shows that were Cancelled Too Soon.

Did anyone see Lone Star in the extremely short time it was on the air? Do you think Fox was too hasty in giving Lone Star the axe? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

I’m really excited because the trailer for Star WarsThe Last Jedi is supposed to premiere TODAY around 12:30. As soon as I am able I will post a review of this trailer because I have been waiting MONTHS for a first look at this film and I’m practically dying to know what they’re going to show us. So stay tuned for that 🙂

For more shows that were Cancelled Too Soon, see here

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Cancelled Too Soon #8: Dr. Vegas (2004)

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I could be wrong, but I believe Dr. Vegas is the first time I took exception to a TV show being cancelled after a few episodes because I really liked it. The extremely short-lived series followed Dr. Billy Grant (Rob Lowe) as he went about his days treating patients in the crazy world of Las Vegas (one heart-pounding episode involved him rescuing a little girl who’d fallen into a pool). I think there was also a side-plot about the doctor dealing with his personal demons as well, or an on-again/off-again girlfriend (or possibly both).

I really liked this series, at least I liked where it was going. But unfortunately, only five episodes were ever aired. One week it was there, the next it was gone. I can only assume the show wasn’t making enough ratings to justify continuing its existence.

It really frustrates me when a show is cancelled after only a few episodes. There was barely any time for character development or to give us a real chance to see where the series was going. But these days studios demand instant success from its television shows (classics like MASH and Star Trek would’ve never made it past episode 1 if they premiered today), and I guess Dr. Vegas just didn’t cut it. What a shame.

For more shows that were Cancelled Too Soon: see here

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Cancelled Too Soon #7: Pushing Daisies (2007-2009)

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Among the list of “shows I should have watched but didn’t have the time for” is Pushing Daisies, a show that sadly only ran for two seasons between 2007 and 2009. I thought the concept was intriguing for sure: Ned (Lee Pace) is a baker with a really strange ability: if he touches anything dead it comes back to life; but if he touches it a second time, it dies for good.

A private investigator learns about Ned’s “talent” and recruits him to revive murder victims to discover how they died (any reward money being split between them). But then Ned discovers that his childhood sweetheart was murdered on a cruise ship. He revives her, but as he can’t stand to see the girl he loves die forever, he creates a plan to keep her alive by making it so that he never touches her again (this includes kissing with a layer of plastic wrap between them). With Ned’s girlfriend back in the picture, murder cases continue to be solved.

Unfortunately, circumstances worked against this show almost from the start. Although Pushing Daisies had been picked up for a full first season of 22 episodes, the 2007 Writer’s Strike made it so that only nine episodes were completed and aired. Instead of finishing out that season, the show’s team began work on a second season instead. But when ratings declined in that second season, ABC declined to renew the series past episode 13 (of season 2), meaning that only 22 episodes were ever made.

It really is a shame, Pushing Daisies seems like one of those quirky shows I would really like. And what makes this show really cool (from a retrospective point of view) is that the lead actor goes on to play King Thranduil in The Hobbit film trilogy (yes, he’s THAT Lee Pace).

If you watched Pushing Daisies, what did you think about it? Should it have run longer? Let me know in the comments below!

If you’d like to read about more shows that were Cancelled Too Soon, see here

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Cancelled Too Soon #6: Birds of Prey (2002)

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Birds of Prey is a superhero show that I sadly did not learn about until it was long over. The show premiered in October of 2002 and followed Helena Kyle, aka Huntress, the daughter of Bruce Wayne (Batman) and Selena Kyle (Catwoman). When Batman disappears from New Gotham City, Helena takes over as the city’s protector along with Oracle (Barbara Gordon) and Dinah (daughter of the original Black Canary) as the “Birds of Prey.” They are aided by Alfred Pennyworth and Det. Jesse Reese. The group frequently runs into schemes masterminded by Dr. Harleen Quinzel, aka Harley Quinn (assistant and sometime girlfriend of the Joker).

The show’s concept is intriguing, not to mention rare; how many all female groups of superheros on television can you name apart from Supergirl? For that reason I am especially sad that this show did not go beyond its first season, as what I’ve seen looks amazing.

As for why Birds of Prey was cancelled after only thirteen episodes, it looks like this show was another victim of ratings. While the show did premiere with excellent ratings (7.6 million viewers to be exact), the ratings began to sharply fall and the WB (now the CW Network) subsequently axed the show once the finale aired. I know that television networks need to make money and I understand why ratings play a big part in that, but I feel like it’s unfair to stop a great concept like this after only thirteen episodes. It is my personal belief that a television show should be given two seasons to prove themselves before they can be cancelled. After all, some of the greatest tv shows had abysmal first season ratings (MASH and Star Trek come to mind) and yet when they were given a second chance with another season, they rebounded. Who knows what might have happened if Birds of Prey had been given this chance.

Did you get the chance to watch Birds of Prey? What did you think about it? Should it have continued past season 1? Let me know in the comments!

For more of this series, see also:

Cancelled Too Soon #1: Constantine (2014-2015)

Cancelled Too Soon #2: Terra Nova (2011)

Cancelled Too Soon #3: Dracula (2013-2014)

Cancelled Too Soon #4: Moonlight (2007-2008)

Cancelled Too Soon #5: Firefly (2002)

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Cancelled Too Soon #5: Firefly (2002)

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Alright *deep breaths* here I go…the most infamous show in the “cancelled too soon” category has to be Firefly, a show from the brilliant mind of Joss Whedon that only aired eleven episodes (out of fourteen) before being summarily cancelled by Fox. Now I’ve hinted before that I have a confession to make regarding this show and here it is….

I have never seen Firefly. EVER. (I know that’s a terrible thing for a science fiction researcher like myself to say, but it’s true.) It’s not that I don’t WANT to, it’s just things keep coming up and as a result I’ve yet to see this show (or Serenity for that matter).

That being said, here is the gist of Firefly: In the year 2517 the crew of the Firefly-class spaceship Serenity travels in and around a distant star system ferrying cargo or doing smuggling for various clients. It is implied that a very long time ago, a large population of humans left Earth (due to overpopulation) and moved to this system to start over. All of the planets and moons are controlled by the Alliance (a fusion of the governments of the former United States and China, resulting in a fusion of Eastern/Western culture).

The crew of the Serenity is lead by Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds (Nathan Fillion); he and his first mate Zoe Washburne are veterans of the Unification War where Independents fought to keep the Alliance from taking total control, but ultimately they lost. Mal then bought the Serenity to keep beyond Alliance control.

Now why was such an amazing show cancelled so quickly? Well….apparently the answer is a little complicated. The short excuse is that Fox cancelled the show due to ratings (which isn’t uncommon). The longer reason is that the network aired the episodes out of order (making the plot harder to follow), episodes were pre-empted for sporting events, and what is possibly worst of all: the show aired on Friday nights!! Fridays aren’t considered the “death slot” for no reason, and I think that greatly contributed to the show’s early demise despite its enthusiastic fandom.

Fifteen years later, Firefly retains a cult following that dreams of hearing the news that the show is being relaunched. I haven’t seen the show (yet) but I sincerely hope that their wish is granted, even if it was only for a few episodes (like when the X-Files came back for a limited series).

If you’d like to read more about the great television shows that left us far too soon, see the list below:

Cancelled Too Soon #1: Constantine (2014-2015)

Cancelled Too Soon #2: Terra Nova (2011)

Cancelled Too Soon #3: Dracula (2013-2014)

Cancelled Too Soon #4: Moonlight (2007-2008)

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My thoughts on Star Wars: Rebels (seasons 1 and 2)

*Warning: this post is FULL of spoilers for Star Wars: Rebels, so if you haven’t seen the series and don’t want any surprises, don’t look!!!

Oh. WOW!!!!!

I knew that Star Wars: Rebels was good, but I had no idea that it was THIS good!!!!

Let me back up a little: last weekend I had the opportunity to make a little extra money and I ended up purchasing season 1 of Rebels (much as I wanted to add the final season of Penny Dreadful to my collection, I hadn’t seen any episodes of Rebels yet). Fast forward to this past Saturday and I started watching and within five minutes, I was completely and utterly hooked! In fact, I was so hooked, that by the time I made it through episode 10 of season 1 I had to run out and buy season 2 so I could keep going!!

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Left to right: Ezra, Kanan and Hera

If you ever watched the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, Rebels is kinda/sorta a sequel to that (in spirit at least, if not in actual fact). While the first series took place in between Episode II and III, Rebels picks up nearly 15 years after Episode 3 (and less than five years before the Battle of Yavin in Episode IV, you know, where the Death Star goes BOOM!)

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Our band of heroes (Sabine is my favorite)

The setting (for the most part) is the planet Lothal in the Outer Rim. That’s where Ezra Bridger encounters a small group of rebels doing their own small part to undermine the Empire. They are:

Kanan Jarrus: a former Padawan and leader of the group

Sabine Wren: a young Mandalorian who loves to make things blow up

Zeb: a Lasat (purple striped alien) who really dislikes Stormtroopers

Hera Syndulla: a Twi’lek and the captain of the Ghost (the rebel’s ship)

Chopper: a really snarky C-1 droid with severe attitude problems

Ezra ends up joining the group after he 1) steals part of the supplies they were trying to steal 2) steals a Jedi Holocron that belongs to Kanan and 3) discovers that he has a lot of Force potential (evidenced by his ability to unlock the Holocron to play a recorded message from Obi-Wan Kenobi). It turns out that Kanan allowed Ezra to steal the holocron because he sensed the kid had Force potential, and if he proved able to unlock the holocron, he could potentially be trained to be a Jedi.

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“Twilight of the Apprentice” is some of the greatest Star Wars action you will ever see

The story grows bigger and bigger as time goes on. We meet several Inquisitors, servants of the Dark Side (but NOT full Sith) who are trained to hunt down any remaining Jedi and to kidnap children with Force potential (to prevent their potential Jedi training in the future). They answer directly to Darth Vader (who trained them) and it is later revealed that they were formerly Jedi themselves. So far we have met:

The Grand Inquisitor, a former Jedi Temple Guard and the initial antagonist of the series. After being cornered by Kanan, he commits suicide rather than let himself report another failure to Darth Vader.

The Fifth Brother: a rather arrogant Inquisitor who definitely prefers killing first and asking questions later

The Seventh Sister: a very sly Inquisitor who uses an army of small droids to gather information and trap her prey (if necessary) until she can arrive.

The Eighth Brother: a mysterious Inquisitor dispatched on a secret mission to the planet Malachor (it’s revealed later that his mission was to hunt Darth Maul who, surprise, is still alive after all these years!)

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5th Brother and 7th Sister: Two nasty pieces of work

As of the end of season 2, all these Inquisitors are deceased (by various means), but I have a feeling we may be meeting more in the future.

And then there’s Darth Vader himself (voiced by James Earl Jones naturally). His appearances are understandably kept few and far between, but he definitely steals the show every time he appears. He was the primary antagonist for season 2, and while it’s been said he won’t appear in season 3, I can’t help but think he’ll be back in the future (at least I hope so anyway). And speaking of season 2, a major arc involved him coming face to face with Ahsoka Tano, the former Padawan of Anakin Skywalker (and a major character from The Clone Wars series). After Ahsoka finally confirmed that Anakin and Vader were one and the same (I think she figured it out a lot sooner, but she was in denial), a confrontation between the two was inevitable. That confrontation was the finale of season 2 and is going to get an entire blog post all to itself.

And now that season 3 is here, we have Grand Admiral Thrawn, back in canon and just as perfect as we all imagined he would be. Of course I’ve only seen clips from season 3; I ditched my cable over a year ago so the only way I can watch the show is on DVD which means a long wait for me.

But on the plus side, I have seasons 1 and 2 on DVD which means I can binge them as often as I like until season 3 is finished. Seriously, give this series a chance if you haven’t already. Yes the series is animated, but it’s definitely NOT just for kids.

My upcoming deadlines will be past soon, and once they are my blogging schedule should (mostly) return to normal (I hope). Thanks for sticking with Film Music Central, you guys are the best! -Becky

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