Friday, April 1, 2011

Only the Good Die Young

Wow, who knew virginity was such a hot topic...what can I follow it with? Well, here's something that incites passion among us all (maybe): Wrongly canceled TV series!

There are different parts of us that are every age we've ever been. But I have to say that for me, a disproportionately large part has always been about 15. Maybe that's one reason why I liked My So-Called Life so much. While the show (which only lasted one season) became iconic after its original airing in the early 90s, I saw it for the first time this past month. While I couldn't really relate to the crushes and sexual anxiety of the characters, I thought that they seemed more human and realistic than most, giving me a more genuine window into the average teen experience than, say, Gossip Girl. In some way, we are all Angela Chase, whether at the end of a hard day we lie on our beds listening to the Cranberries, hip-hop or death metal. None of us are perfect, but we're all doing our best to make sense of a confusing world.

[Image: Rickie and Angela]

My favorite character was Rickie, who is sort of like the queer, shy, high-school version of Prince. Before "the gay friend" became a cliche, Rickie seemed a lot less stereotypical and his issues were handled with more subtlety than, say, Kurt's (from Glee). That occasional subtlety is what makes My So-Called Life seem artful at times, like a good movie, when it could have easily fallen into Degrassi-style after-school-special territory. I feel strangely wronged that it only lasted one season. There is so little on TV, past or present, that actually tells people something about their lives.

So, what series do you think died too young? (Everyone always mentions Freaks and Geeks--even so, Judd Apatow has managed to do okay for himself-- and I was also miffed that Huge was canceled right after a character came out as asexual, even though I never got around to watching the show.)


maddox said...

***Pushing Daisies***
I am still in love with all the characters, and it was getting so good. Damn the writer's strike.

Shows that died too early that I might have liked for some odd reason, but that never got anywhere anyway:
Dead Like Me
Lie to Me
Joan of Arcadia

Lanafactrix said...

"Better Off Ted" definitely deserved more than two seasons. I still miss Daria, too, although it's hard to argue that that show ended prematurely.

HyppieGirl said...

Oooh I'll definitely agree with the Dead Like Me entry... what an awesome funny show that was.

I'll have to go with:
Futurama- even though it was brought back this year.. yay!
Angel - the last season was sooo mishandled and badly written
Magnum PI - okay, okay... this show ran for like 600 years, but that mustache totally had a few more awesome butt-kicking years left! <3

Eli said...

I go into fits of rage when I think about it. I only hope the Chicago Code dies a far more grisly and early death.

Jennifer said...

The most recent one I can think of is Flashforward. All those questions left unanswered! It still drives me mad whenever I think about it.
And of course Dead Like Me, although I have to admit I had forgotten all about it until today.

Ily said...

Thanks for all your comments! It took me a while to reply because I felt strangely embarrassed at not seeing ANY of the shows mentioned...aside from a few episodes of Flash Forward. I guess they flew by quickly! At least, if I ever want to get caught up with some of them, it won't take very long :)

TheJester said...

Totally agree with Maddox about Pushing Daisies & Dead Like Me- such unique shows that don't get enough credit.

and with Lanafactrix about Daria, great show, doesn't need another season just needs to be repeated on TV. As the DVD is only out in the US.

If you don't know those shows you wont know the one I'm about to mention, I only watched it recently myself, there was only 2 seasons, and its from the UK:

"Sugar Rush"

Based on the book of the same name, It is centered around the life of a 15 year old Kim Daniels. The first season was about her crush/obsession with her best friend sugar and the second season is when shes a bit older, like 17,after she comes out as a lesbian and what happens to her.

Its a cute show, if you hadn't seen it all the episodes are on youtube. Worth a look.

You probably won't like this show as its in the same vain as gossip girl/ The O.C but another show would be:

"The Beautiful Life"

Only had 5 episodes before it was canceled. The show is about the lives of a bunch of models living in new york. It was actually created by Ashton Kutcher of all people. There are worse shows out there, can't see how this one didn't last longer. I mean not even a full season is a bit harsh.

lovin your blog- might just check out My So called life, heard of it, but never seen it. thanks.

TheJester said...

Hey ILY, Me again,
been watching My so called life the last few days, you were right amazing show. It's interesting as an asexual, you read into things that probably aren't references to asexuality at all. These are a few quotes from the show that made me think, "what an asexual thing to say, no?"

From episode 7:
Rayanne: Well, it sure looks like you are reaching ecstasy when you and Kyle make out in the hall.
Sharon: Well, yeah! Well, I mean...well, you know how it is.
Rayanne: Well, yeah, in a way. I mean it's fun and all, but I don't always feel anything. Sometimes I feel numb, or something.
Sharon: Maybe you just…haven't found the right person.
Rayanne: I've tried every type of person. [Sharon stares at her] You don't have to look all worried or anything.

And From Episode 13:

Angela: [voiceover] I couldn't stop thinking about it -- the like, fact of it. That people had sex. That they just had it. That sex was this thing people had. Like a rash, or a Rottweiler. Everything started to seem, like, pornographic or something. Like, Miss Krzyzanowski had sex. So does Mr. Katimski. They both have sex. They could have sex together, like right now. I am, like, the sickest person

Jordan: [to Angela, about sex] It's accepted! It's what you're supposed to do! Unless you're like...abnormal?"

Another thing that annoyed me in the show was the issue of bisexuality. Like I've commented on your blog before, shows can't ever seem to get it right. In episode one, Angela says something along the lines of " So maybe his bi, who cares? His cousin can still drive" and then her sisters like "bi, it means bisexuality". Also when her mother says " His a child, his confused, he cant be bi".... and then angelas like "his not confused". But after that its never mentioned again.

I know at this stage of the show angela just starting to be friends with ricky but its a pretty big thing to guess about someone, or she could have just been trying to get on her mothers nerves as they were kinda fighting at the time, but I'm sure if she said he was gay it would have had the same effect, no?

Anyways in the last episode, Rickie comes out as gay to Delia and then says "If i were attracted to girls, I'd be attracted to you".

So was angela wrong, was Rickie gay from the beginning or did he think he was bi (ie tv lands word for confussed), until he got a crush on corey?

Also when Angela was talking about sex in the ep 13, she was saying in the episode to Jordon and then to Brian how she wants to and she thinks about it all the time but she still doesn't want to go that next step. Like she wants to have sex but shes not ready? See before I knew I was asexual, I kinda guess I thought people didn't want it and once they did that meant they were ready, if that makes sense. I didn't get the whole abstinence thing- why it was so hard for people... Now I do LOL

As you can tell, I just finished watching the whole season, I could talk about this show forever, thanks again for making me aware of it.

Anyways I remembered another show for the list, Harper's Island!

....I know they couldn't have made another season- I don't think there would be anywhere else to go with the story but It was such a good show all the same, that it sucks it only went for one season. I liked how it felt more like a movie then a TV show. I don't think it was very popular though, but I'm sure it has a cult following now.

anyways sorry for the long comment again, take care

Ily said...

@TheJester: Thanks for posting all the quotes--I think the writing in that show was really above average. When Jordan said, "Unless you're like...abnormal?", I was totally thinking "ASEXUALS!"

Anonymous said...

Oh yes! Dead like Me, Firefly, Pushing Daisies. I'll add Wonderfalls to that list along with Reaper and SGU. Sigh.

Volvagia said...

To mention an animation, Invader Zim's initial run was one season, followed by the Christmas episode. (6 others were completed and released on DVD later, but, unlike most shows, THERE WAS AN ACTUAL ENDING IN MIND.)

TheJester said...

Not that they see it but I'd like to thank anonymous for making me aware of the show Wonderfalls. Watched the whole season over the course of one week. Being made by Brian Fuller the same guy who wrote Dead like me and Pushing daisies I should have known I'd like it. Amazing show. Still cant understand why his shows keep getting canceled- their so addictive.

Also another one I loved to add to the list, only had 2 seasons is Mysterious Ways from 2000. Used to watch it when I was about 10. I don't think many people remember it.

While I'm here I just remembered a show from here in Australia that you might like if you haven't heard about it already.

Its on our favorite topic sex haha.

Its called "Laid"... its basically a black comedy about Roo, a women whos sexual past comes back to haunt her when her ex boyfriends (or anyone shes ever had sex with) start dying in order from first to most recent. Together with her best friend and her best friends boyfriend she has to try and work out why this is happening and try to stop it before they're all dead.

Its a very unique show. Its only has one season so far but season two is coming out sometime this year or next.

I'm not sure how you could get your hands on the DVD of the show but if you can it is well worth it.

anyways this is their facebook page if you want to know more:

that's all I wanted to say, still my favorite blogger on the internet, keep it up! take care

Ily said...

It's true, we do like to talk about sex! And thank you for the compliment <3

TheJester said...

Me again, haha another show to add to your list, Im getting good at this game I must say, seems the only shows I like get axed for being too quirky for the mainstream and the shows that go on for 12 seasons bore me to tears or make me pray for our humanity ... haha
anyways this time its a show from the UK. It was aired back in 2009 but I only saw it recently here in Australia.

The show is called "Home Time". The show is about Gaynor who is back home after running away at 17. Noone knows where shes been for the last 12 years, why she ran away or why shes back.

What I really liked about this show was the music. It really adds to the story. As she left home in the 90s when Brit pop was big alot of the music she plays on her CD player is the music of that time because its all thats left in her old bedroom....but the songs match what is going on in the story really well. Especially when they used Traffic by Sterophoics in one scene, it was beautiful. The also play Suede alot too. Which is my favorite band, but not aswell known as like Oasis or Blur.

Anyways, the reasons its nominated is because it only had 1 season, that consisted of only 6 episodes, which is like half or a quarter of a season in most other shows, that get between 12 and 32 shows a season.

Also the end of the season left this huge cliff hanger because we still don't know much about why she left and at the end of the last episode we get a clue but as there is no season two we might never get too find out what happens next.

So yeah.

Ily said...

@TheJester: Ooh! Britpop! <3

Do you know if there's anywhere to watch the show online?