Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Doomed TV shows, why do I love thee?

I have developed what I am concerned may be an unhealthy relationship with TV shows: I don't watch them until after they've been cancelled. Rather like the shy kid who launches into passionate 2-week love affairs at summer camp while remaining a wallflower during the school year, I'm willing to become involved with a TV show only when I can know exactly when it will all tragically end.

I am definitely not downplaying the exquisite pleasure of these tragic liaisons. In the last month I've watched loved--and lost (figuratively)--the DVDs of two fabulous shows that were both cancelled after one season, and I wouldn't trade those viewing experiences for anything.

First there was Freaks & Geeks, the 1999 show about high school students in small-town Michigan in the '80s. It has all the delicate pathos of My So-Called Life or Dawson's Creek plus the uncomfortable hilarity of Mean Girls or, I don't know, The Office. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me want to call my mother and learn to disco-dance (all in the same episode--watch the last one.)

Then there was Firefly, the 2002 show created by Joss Whedon of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fame about a bunch of cowboy outlaw types on a spaceship in the dystopian, corporate-controlled future. I loooooooved this show, and am looking forward to Serenity, the movie based on the same premise that comes out this fall, so much that I am taking the immense and unprecedented step of not reading reviews of the movie so I won't find out what happens. True (doomed) love!

However, I realize that cancelled shows are not the only worthwhile programming. Among the currently-airing shows that I know are good and would probably watch if they existed only on DVD: Arrested Development, The Wire, Smallville, Gilmore Girls. It's not that I'm a snob for unavailable pop culture (see, e.g., obsession with TomKat and the fact that I didn't know who Coldplay was until earlier this year), it's just, I think, that I can't deal with the commitment of starting to watch a show that could end in two months or could continue for five years. Maybe I'm still not over the cancelling of Buffy. I suppose the healing process will take awhile, and, while I wait for that to happen, I'm going to go add (the recently-cancelled) Joan of Arcadia to my Netflix list.


Mr. A said...

Veronica Mars, T&A Lady. I think it may be all about Veronica Mars.

Olivia McCain said...

Joan of Arcadia is a great show. I believe you will be highly entertained.

Thanks for keeping me posted on all the latest happenings in the entertainment world. :)

molybdenum1 said...

I am with you on Firefly. That show was great. And I was not as much of a Joss Whedon fan as some that I know. I really miss having entertaining science fiction on TV. They just make it about scantily clad alien women. And of course, that is part of it, but you need good characters and plotlines too. And crazy women with telepathy.

CSI is a good show. Not CSI Miami, though.