Dumped TV: Shows That Need To Come Back
- by ReuBen DeBord, 8 November 2015
Bringing back old, cancelled Television series’ for another shot at life seems to be all the rage, these days. We have HEROES REBORN giving us another sub-par glance into the sub-par world of HEROES (show of hands, who is still watching? I thought I could do it, but I accidentally stopped watching episodes ago, and I’m finding it hard to go back and get caught up), then next year we’ll have the X-Files revival, which nobody asked for. And the year after that, we’ll be getting more Twin Peaks, which people DID ask for (2017 might as well be 2045, it’s so far away).
But not every old, cancelled television series gets another shot at life. And sometimes, that really sucks. Because some of them SHOULD have another shot. At least more of a shot than HEROES or X-Files. And I should specify that this list ain't the same thing as “shows that ended too soon” as there are shows out there I’d have liked to have seen more of, but I have no interest in seeing a revival of said show NOW, if that makes sense. So if you feel like being reminded that life is unfair, or if you want to check out these shows that are really great, then read on, Trash Mutie!
This one is in the honorable mention pile for 2 reasons. One, unfortunately, the second and final season of this show was a bit of a mess, compared to Season 1. There were hints of another faction unassociated to Skynet or Team Connor, but these hints never had the chance to blossom into full-on plot points, making Season 2 look very flawed, from a story perspective.
But the big reason this is just an honorable mention is because the Terminator franchise, as rocky as it’s been over the years (yay for not so subtle references to previous articles I’ve penned!), is still going on. Sure, it may not be in the direction many fans of the first 2 movies want it to be going in. Heck, I didn’t even hate Genisys as much as everyone else, and I still wish we had gotten a sequel to this series instead. But with the Terminator franchise continuing on in movie form, effectively wiping out all of the events of the previous Terminator films, making the events of the TV series very difficult to exist as well, I think any tiny hopes we could have nurtured of seeing more from this series can now be kissed good bye, sadly.
This one is pretty unlikely as well, if we’re being honest. If HEROES never existed, I have a feeling the world would have welcomed Alphas with open arms. But the 2 shows were just too similar. Alphas was coming on to the scene just as HEROES was leaving, and while I haven’t polled the population of the entire planet, I suspect people were just burnt out on plain clothes superhumans fighting the good fight.
But the thing that really upsets me about this one is that Alphas was actually a much better show than HEROES. Many people will freely tell you that HEROES got worse as it kept going, but the sad truth is that it wasn’t especially good in the first place. Much of the charm that you remember from that show goes away if you try to rewatch it, not to mention the absolutely dreadful pacing of a show that has 189494 protagonists all slowly moving toward one climax.
But Alphas isn’t like that. It’s got a pretty chilling plot that holds up pretty well on repeat viewings, and if you got sick and tired of waiting around for the superhumans to team up with each other in HEROES, you won’t have that problem in Alphas, since they are all on the same page from the word go. What makes this one so infuriating, though, is that it ended on a cliffhanger. A pretty big one. Sure, HEROES did as well, and HEROES REBORN is kinda dealing with the fall out of that cliffhanger, but if I had to choose to bring back a good show and a crappy show, and they both had cliffhangers, I’d choose the good show, wouldn’t you?
Wait, what? What’s this one doing on the list? It didn’t have a crazy cliffhanger, either in the Series finale, or in what the series creator Greg Weisman considers to be the official series finale, the end of Season 2. And Weisman even wrote some sequel comic books several years after the show ended (though those are insanely expensive and nearly impossible to track down).
I’ll admit, this one is on the list just because it’s a really great show that I enjoyed a lot from my childhood. I think it’s maybe the best blending of the supernatural with science fiction aspects that I’ve ever seen ANYWHERE. And if you look at the last decade or so of animated cartoons, more and more, the action/adventure genre is starting to dominate things. When Gargoyles was on the scene in the 90s, most of its contemporaries were much more comically driven. Which, nothing wrong with that, unless you’re a kid who loves superheroes and that’s what you want to see in the cartoons you watch.
But these days, things are very different. I would make the case that shows like Samurai Jack, Adventure Time, Steven Universe, The Legend of Korra, or Gravity Falls would not exist if it wasn’t for Gargoyles paving the way for more action oriented animation (even if many of these spiritual successors have found a way to blend the comedic with the adventure story). For this reason, I think it’d be killer to see what Gargoyles would be like now, and see if lightning could strike twice. It probably would be disappointing, but you never know.
Do you ever watch a show, and you get the feeling that they took a whole bunch of insane things and put them on a dart board, and threw a few darts and took those items and made a really awesome show? No? Just me?
Okay, so Pushing Daisies is a lot like that. Dude’s got this magic ability to bring the dead back to life, but there are conditions. Long story short, he brings back his childhood sweetheart, but now they’re like Rogue and Gambit, but more tragic, because at least Rogue and Gambit can sometimes make their magic. These two, not even a tiny little touch. Oh, and the dude has a somewhat tasteless partnership with a PI (the investigator kind) where they solve murders by asking the victim how they died. Oh, and he makes Pie (the tasty kind). So weird! But sooooo good. Out of all of the shows on this list, this one is the closest to being “I wish they just hadn’t ended it.” But I really do think it’d be great if they brought it back. It’d be tricky, because Lee Pace is a lot more of a hot commodity now, after a few Hobbit movies and a turn as the villain in a movie called Guardians of the Galaxy. But maybe that’d make this show more popular, who knows? But the key here, if they did revive this show, it would need to be retooled ever so slightly.
The series was pretty much all standalone episodes, with very little of a “series arc” like so many other shows from back then and from now. But if they did bring this show back, I’d love to see them explore the “mythos” just a little bit. I’m not saying they’d need to do entire episodes on where Ned’s powers came from, or what happened to Ned’s dad after he abandoned Ned, or anything like that. But maybe change the ratio of stand alone to arcyness from 95/5 to 80/20. Not saying that’d necessarily make a better show, because it might make it something very different than what people fell in love with. But if they brought back the show and it was just the same as it was before, but 7 years later, I’m not sure if you could justify bringing it back anyway.
This is a very strange one, because this is a series that actually wasn’t very good at all. If you haven’t heard of it (and chances are, you haven’t), Point Pleasant was created by Joss Whedon’s partner in crime from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Marti Noxon.
It’s about a girl who is kinda Satan’s daughter, trying to forge her own path that doesn’t involve causing the end of the world. The premise is rock solid, and an alum from Buffy made me hopeful of this being a really awesome 1 season hit. But unfortunately, this series is about 70 percent teen-angsty drama set in the Jersey Shore, and about 30 percent the adventures of Satan’s daughter. So why the devil (heh, see what I did there?) is this show on this list? Because in the last couple of episodes, that’s when the series actually got GOOD.
Spoilers, but the girl actually embraces her evil heritage. You could very easily bring this show back and market it to people who haven’t even heard of the original. Just say that this girl is now ready to end the world, and then you can have the rest of the cast (or most of them. A lot can happen in 10 years) be the underground movement trying to stop her from fulfilling her destiny. If you don’t think this sounds awesome, then you don’t know what good TV is! Or maybe you’re right, because this show did get cancelled for a reason, after all.
So that’s my list. There’s probably some other shows out there you think should get revivals. What are they? Tell me in the comments! Or do you think reviving dead shows is a bad idea? If so, tell me about that in the comments as well!
Tagged: movies & TV.