Thursday, December 4, 2008

Only the Good Get Cancelled Young- Part 1...

For those of you who don’t remember (AND HOW DARE YOU!) I purchase a nice new big screen back in May. Don’t believe me? HERE YA GO. Since then, I have had a lot of fun. I have played some great Xbox 360 games, watched some Blu-Rays on a borrowed PS3 (Speed Racer is the movie equivalent to dropping acid) and watched lots of TV in HD. Sadly, most of the TV I have watched has sucked.

For some reason, this year’s crop of new TV shows has been below my normal TV viewing standards. The only shows I look forward to watching are House, Big Bang Theory, Fringe and The Office. Chuck is fun on occasion, but Heroes and other former favorites (and anything new) have been big let downs. What have I done instead of watching new TV programming? I have dug back into the TV archives with some great DVD collections. So which shows do I think were cut loose before their prime? 6 great series come to mind right off the bat.

Firefly: I will say very little about Firefly, because so much has been said, and so much has been done in regards to this instant Joss Whedon classic. Fox hopefully learned its lesson for the most part after manhandling this show, giving Whedon another chance with this fall’s Dollhouse. Firefly is clever, wonderfully written, atmospheric and deep. Thankfully we got a taste of what was to come with the movie Serenity, but Firefly will long remain the number one “cancelled before its time” show for many of us.

Carnivale: Carnivale premiered on HBO in September 2003 with a critically acclaimed first season, but after a slow start to the second season, the show was cancelled before the 3rd season went into production. Set in the 1930s dustbowl, Carnivale follows the story of Ben Hawkins as he loses his mother and joins a travelling carnival of freaks and weirdoes. Ben has the power to heal people, but does not understand how his power works, or the consequences it brings. He slowly learns about his past, and how he is connected to those are the carnival, and why he has this power. We also follow the story of Methodist preacher Brother Justin Crowe and his sister Iris in California. Justin is a God fearing man, a Russian immigrant who survived a train crash along with his sister, and was taken in by the church. He slowly comes to realize he has incredible dark powers, and begins amassing an army of loyal followers of the church, close to 20,000 at his side and hundreds of thousands via the radio, by the time the show ends. Ben and Justin are the opposing forces of good and evil, and are on a quest to destroy the other, though they have never met.

The show focuses on magic and mystery, the stories of the fellow carnies, and the ultimate battle that is to come. The story is told in flashbacks that the main characters suddenly have, as if their destiny is magically written for them. Sadly, due to a very slow 2nd season start, the show was cancelled just as things became truly interesting. Ben has found his boon and inherited new powers, we learn how sick and twisted Justin truly is, and even the secondary and tertiary characters shine bright. I would love to follow the story in any medium, either film or television or book or comics or anything. They planned a total of 6 seasons, and many small clues that appeared since the first episode will continue to remain mysteries now and forever.


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