All Your Favorite Shows Will Be Cancelled And Dumber Ones Will Continue To Air: An Exercise In Futile Indignation
“Freeks And Geeks” (18 episodes) vs. “The Big Bang Theory” (135 episodes and counting)
I’ve agreed with many who say that “The Big Bang Theory” makes for benignly enjoyable background entertainment. Sure, fine. But as a decent or at all enjoyable representative of geek culture? No, I gotta side with the folks who fling around that “geek minstrel show” label. It’s not great. It’s not even good. But we all know what was great. Bill, Neal and Sam talking “Star Wars” and stand-up comedians and generally doing their damndest to represent the geeks. (Much love to the freaks as well.) And, with apologies to “Community,” I don’t think I’ve ever seen a finer game of D&D played on-screen. Long live Carlos The Dwarf and his many friends.
“Veronica Mars” (64 episodes) vs. “Covert Affairs” (44 episodes and counting)
We can argue the (de)merits of “Veronica Mars” Season Three later, but for now I have a question for you: Who would you rather see be all Sassy Blonde Spitfire Spy? Kristen Bell or Coyote Ugly up there? I thought so. Sure, at the moment, Veronica has got a slight lead on “Covert Affairs” episode-countwise. But this is the USA Network we’re talking about. That damn show is going to run forever. And it chafes because if you’ve seen the trailer for “Veronica Mars” Season Four, you know what might have been. At least we have the movie, marshmallows. At least we have that.
“Firefly” (14 episodes) vs. “Revolution” (20 episodes and counting):
Is it fair to compare the futuristic old-timey Western vibe of “Firefly” with the hopelessly confused yet futuristic old-timey vibe of “Revolution”? Probably not. But I think we can all agree that it’s a gorram crime that anything as terrible as Someone Turned The Lights Off In The Future was renewed and “Firefly” didn’t even get to play out a full-length season.
“Terriers” (13 episodes) vs. “Psych” (109 episodes and counting)
Wait up, straight up, hold up “Psych” lovers. You know I’m with you. I too love Shaun and Gus. But “Psych” is, you have to agree, a dumber than the magnificently dry and poignant “Terriers.” “Joanna!” you cry, “that’s like comparing apples to oranges!” But that’s sort of the whole point. Why is it that the shiny bright apples always get so much love when the oranges are much juicier? Once again, all due respect to Shaun and Gus, but it was Britt and Hank I fell in love with and 13 episodes just wasn’t enough.
“Dead Like Me” (29 episodes) vs. “Touched By An Angel” (211 f*cking episodes)
TWO HUNDRED AND ELEVEN F*CKING EPISODES? Someone get me a waffle, stat.
“Undeclared” (17 episodes) vs. “Greek” (74 episodes)
“Greek” is another one of those benignly inoffensive shows. An early ABC Family experiment it followed the lives and loves of some generically quirky college kids. Onthe other hand, “Undeclared” (much like “Freaks and Geeks” before it) was a hot bed of future talent. So yeah, I’d trade every single year of “Greek” for one more semester with Seth Rogen, Charlie Hunnam, Loudon Wainwright and that pillow with Jason Segel’s face on it.
“My So-Called Life” (19 episodes) vs. “The Secret Life Of The American Teenager” (121 episodes)
You know what the secret life of the American teenager is? It’s zits and boys who lean and boiler rooms and being gay and having terrible mothers and having too-perfect mothers and frustration and introspection and bad grades and NOT whatever it is Shailene Woodley and her gaggle of lip glossed, spray-tanned assholes get up to. Man, 121 episodes? ABC Family must have really low standa-aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
“Bunheads” (18 episodes) vs. “Glee” (88 episodes and counting)
Because no. They cancelled something. They cancelled the best thing they ever had. Out of deference to the recent tragedy in the “Glee” cast, I’m not going to pile on as I otherwise might. But the idea that that show which has no idea how to subtly and effectively use performance to channel the pain and frustration of being a young girl growing up too fast or a woman growing up all at once still gets a chance and “Bunheads” is over just breaks my TV snob heart into a million tiny pieces. Amanda has written a much lovelier and thorough piece on the recently departed ABC Family show, here. I urge you to check it out and wail with your fellow “Bunheads”-heads in the comments.
In the meantime, we’ll let Michelle play us out. Because, for a time, all these dearly departed shows belonged to me. Just to little old me.