In Honour of the Shows That Had So Much More Life to Live

Over the holiday break (which I do realize was over a month ago) I decided to check out a show that I have meaning to watch for a while, Life As We Know It. It stars Missy Peregrym (Rookie Blue), Sean Faris (Yours, Mine and Ours), Kelly Osbourne (The Osbournes), Chris Lowell (Veronica Mars), Jon Foster (Accidentally on Purpose) and Jessica Lucas (The Covenant). This show first aired in 2004, but I never did see it while it was on TV. It only showed up on my radar after Amazon recommended it since I had searched for a bunch of one season shows.

Life As We Know It (Copyright of ABC)

It unfortunately happened to be lumped into that category of shows that were cancelled too early! I would’ve at least liked to see a full season of 20 or so episodes! I was greatly surprised by some of the actors that had smaller roles or guest appearances. The first would be that of Marguerite Moreau who played a teacher at the high school and the love interest of Ben (Jon Foster). If you’re thinking, “Hey, that name sounds familiar!” then you were on the same wavelength as myself! Marguerite Moreau happened to play Connie Moreau in the Mighty Ducks movie series! I don’t know about you, but I loved those movies growing up (and I still do!). It was nice to see her in a role other than a hockey player, but her character’s storyline reminded me of Pacey’s teacher from the first season of Dawson’s Creek. I guess it wasn’t very original since it had already been done, but you can’t help but watch to see if something is going to happen between her and Ben and if they’ll get caught.

Another Mighty Ducks alum who also appeared in the show was Coach Orion (Jeff Nordling)!  Although he wasn’t my favourite coach – no one can compare to Coach Bombay – you had to love that fact that he pulled for the Ducks at the end! His character did seem kind of shady though, but maybe that’s because he sold a dysfunctional used car to a bunch of kids.

The next surprise for me were the similarities to the cast from Freaks and Geeks.  Firstly there is Samm Levine who played the playwright, Bernard, in Life As We Know It, but to me he will always be known as Neal Schweiber from F&G. Becky Ann Baker played Lindsay’s mom, Jean, in F&G and she plays  Ben’s mom, Amanda in Life As We Know It. Busy Philipps played similar characters in both shows; an angry girl with misguided good intentions. She played Kim Kelly in F&G (Kim Kelly is My Friend is probably my favourite episode) and in this series she played the uptight, bitchy reporter from Seattle Scene. Lastly there was Natasha Melnick who played  Deborah’s cousin, Sabrina, and she played Cindy Sanders in F&G. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised by the overlap in actors since both shows were casted by the amazing Allison Jones. It’s unfortunate though that both shows were cancelled after the first season.

Ione Skye, who played Diane (the main girl) in Say Anything, came into the picture in the last episode of the series. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her act in anything other than that movie, so to see her on the show was crazy! If it had only lasted longer, we could’ve seen if she turned out to be a good actress.

The huge guest appearance that shocked me the most was Craig Ferguson who played Deb (Kelly Osbourne)’s dad! To me it came out of nowhere. We don’t here about Deb’s dad at all really, and then bam! There he is! I love the Late, Late Show and to see Craig act was kind of great, especially since his character is British, so you get to see him speak with a British accent.  What drives me crazy about the series finale is that Craig’s character asks Deb to come move with him to LA with his new family and in the very last scene you see her with her bags packed meeting her dad. WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN AFTER THIS?!?!?

To commemorate the short lives of some the greats, I have compiled a list of shows that unfortunately got cancelled too early.

Arrested Development

This is the first show I always think of when I think of shows that came to an unfortunate demise. Arrested Development had all the great makings of a TV show. It never failed to make me laugh ranging from the different chicken impersonations or essentially anything that Tobias said or did. After three seasons, FOX decided to cancel it in 2006. After it was cancelled, I think it gained a lot more fans though. I know I was definitely one of those people. Finally, last year though, the fans got what they were waiting for! In 2013, a shortened season 4 will come out on Netflix and then a movie will be released! I absolutely cannot wait!

Copyright of FOX

Veronica Mars

I know I love a lot of TV, but I’d have to say Veronica Mars may be my favourite series and it’s really hard to narrow it down because there are some amazing shows out there. The way the first two seasons had a story arc that lasted throughout the full season was very smart and definitely kept me watching. The subject matter was great too. In season 1, Veronica is trying to find out who killed her best friend. They already had someone in jail, but she didn’t believe it was the right person and did her own detective work. In season two the story arc is about a bus that crashes, which Veronica was supposed to be on. Because in a way it’s a close to death experience, so she feels she needs to find the person who is behind it all. I argue about this with my sister all the time because in my opinion I enjoy season two’s story arc more than season one. I think that maybe it’s because there’s more character development in the second season and some pretty big surprises. Unfortunately season three had three mini mysteries, which just weren’t as good as the first two seasons. But there was an appearance by Paul Rudd! If they had given them a chance to fix it up before cancelling it, I’m sure the next season would’ve been better. But the cancellation could’ve also been due to the college curse, where once the students leave high school, the show never does that well.

Copyright of WB or CW. I'm not too sure actually.

Side note: Kristen Bell is super awesome! And if you haven’t already seen the video of her reaction to getting to meet a sloth, you’re welcome.

Freaks and Geeks

As mentioned earlier, Freaks and Geeks also only lasted a season. It was a smart and hilarious series by Judd Apatow, but it unfortunately did not do well on NBC. So many of the actors on that show went on to bigger and better things. James Franco is now known as an Oscar nominated actor, Jason Segel wrote and starred in The Muppets and is also known for his role as Marshall Eriksen on How I Met Your Mother. Seth Rogen is also doing well for himself in movies like 50/50 and Knocked Up. But maybe it had to be cancelled so these guys could go on to bigger and better things. Regardless, it was a great series to watch about outcasts going through high school in 1980, which can still be translated to the current time.

Undeclared

Along with Freaks and Geeks, Judd  Apatow also created this series. And again, it only lasted a season. This time we had the likings of Jay Baruchel in addition to Seth Rogen and Jason Segel. It was a great show in that it was pretty similar to a freshman college experience. Well maybe not everything, but there were definitely some moments, like to whole relationship between Jay Baruchel’s character and Carla Gallo’s or the whole atmosphere of living in residence. Charlie Hunnam also helps by being easy on the eyes.

Clone High

I was introduced to this show through my cousin and from the first episode I knew it was great. First off, it has an amazing soundtrack. There’s a lot of Dashboard Confessional in the first episode, which is maybe why I like it, but the content is great too. The whole premise of the show is that there’s a high school with clones of great historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Cleopatra, Gandhi, Joan of Arc and JFK. The great thing about it though is that these historical figures are teenagers and are going through the drama that is high school.

The theme song (below) explains is pretty well. Plus at the end of the song, some of the sound clips from the show are hilarious. My favourite has to be “I’m a Kennedy! I’m not accustomed to tragedy!”

Also, you’ve got Will Forte (I truly miss him on SNL) doing the voice of Abe. As well  Michael McDonald and Nicole Sullivan from MADtv and Donald Faison, Christa Miller and Neil Flynn from Scrubs. Which is all pretty much because of Bill Lawrence.

Wonderfalls and Joan of Arcadia

I also found out about the show Wonderfalls when Amazon recommended it to me. Since it was another show that it was only one season long, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to check it out. And I’m definitely glad that I did! It’s a weird premise in the sense that the main character, Jaye, starts to hear inanimate objects of animals talk to her. In the first episode, Jaye is working at her job at a gift shop in Niagara Falls and this wax lion tells her to do things otherwise something bad will happen. Afraid that there will be repercussions, she follows what the lion tells her, and she ends up changing the course of someone’s life. The storyline was definitely interesting, but I think I also really enjoyed that it was filmed in Niagara Falls and Toronto, so it was nice to recognize the locations.

Wonderfalls

Copyright of Fox

A show that had a similar storyline, that was also cancelled, was Joan of Arcadia. It was a play on Joan of Arc in the way that the main character, Joan, had God talk to her and tell her to do things, which is pretty much the same as inanimate animals talking to Jaye. It was just less blatant about religion. What I particularly enjoyed about Joan of Arcadia was that it was set in high school and obviously there is a cute high school teen romance going on, which you can’t resist when you’re in high school too (this is what I watched on my Friday nights in). It got through to a second season, but it just started to get good at the end when all of the sudden the character of the devil comes into the show, who is played by Wentworth Miller. It ends off in a cliffhanger where you know that Joan is going to have to choose between good and evil in the next season, but we never get to see how it was all supposed to play out.

How to Make It in America

Thanks to a friend’s recommendation, I checked out this show. I’m not going to lie. I had never even heard of it until he had mentioned it. But that could be due to the fact that it was on HBO and that there were only eight episodes per season. Regardless, I decided to check it out, mainly because Bryan Greenberg was playing the main character, Ben, and I had (maybe even have) a huge crush on the character he played on One Tree Hill, Jake Jagielski.  So I watched the pilot and I couldn’t get enough of it. Luckily I had started watching it after the second season had already started, so I could watch more of it all together. I had never seen a show with that kind of premise before. A bunch of guys starting up a clothing company and wanting to make it big. There was a lot more to it than that though. Definitely some drama and action along the way. After the second season ended in November, HBO decided to cancel it, which was truly unfortunate. It had such a positive and inspirational message of “Dream Big or Go Home” and it made me want to go for what I truly want. There definitely isn’t a lot of programming out there that you can say sends out that kind of message to people. HBO should’ve definitely thought more about the show before cancelling it, especially after the way the second season ended!

Copyright of HBO

So essentially what I wanted this blog post to culminate to was the show Community. It has not been cancelled yet, but it has been put off the air until further notice! What I want NBC to know is that there are some amazing shows that didn’t have as long of a life to live, and even to this day, some of these shows have amazing fan bases! Community is already one of them and it would just be a shame to put something so funny off the air. Does NBC really think that Whitney is funnier and better than Community? C’mon really?!? I also may be cursed considering How To Make It In America was cancelled only after I started watching it, but we will hope that this is not the case, considering I only started watching Community this past September! And as a plea to everyone out there, if you haven’t watched Community, do it! And then help save Greendale!

http://www.save-community.com/

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About amandakumar

Engineer. Adventurer. TV enthusiast. World Traveler. Knower of random facts. Addicted to using exclamation marks (see tweets)!
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3 Responses to In Honour of the Shows That Had So Much More Life to Live

  1. Ashley Kumar says:

    Bahaha I love the sloth video!
    And Freaks and Geeks was clearly the best!

  2. Love this list although I haven’t watched all the series, it’s always painful when something gets cut too soon but maybe it’s better, because if it isn’t then it ends up like Chuck – utterly disappointing in the end. Just like James Dean – these series will always be bad ass and pristine – without old age to spoil them! One of my fave shows that was canceled too early is the MTV cartoon Undergrads. I was completely obsessed with it as an eighth grader lol

  3. Christine Lu says:

    Sloth video is HILARIOUS! 🙂

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