Recently in Gone Too Soon Category
Along with cult favorite Veronica Mars, the fall of 2004 saw the debuts of such breakout shows as Lost, Desperate Housewives and House. Those series all lasted much longer than the perpetually low-rated Mars (which folded after three seasons) but the Rob Thomas-created teen detective thriller is the only one that's getting a feature-film reunion, thanks to its devoted fanbase and the good folks at Kickstarter. Glancing back over that decade-old fall and midseason schedule, here are five other short-lived, mostly-forgotten hour-long network dramas that stand out as contenders for a reunion movie.
There was a time in my life -- a dark, regrettable time -- where I actually had to be convinced to watch Friday Night Lights. Despite everyone whose opinions I trusted telling me that I would love the show (they were so very right), I couldn't get past the idea that I wouldn't like anything that even remotely had to do with football, let alone high school football. I was the one kid on school trips who dreaded the umpteenth screening of Remember the Titans on the bus (now, if it had been Rudy, that would have been another story entirely) and I could name on one hand how many high school football games I actually attended. It was a world I never really connected to. Friday Night Lights changed all that.
As anyone who has been to New Orleans can tell you, there is some weird, wonderful mojo going on there, with plenty of haunted tours, haunted hotels, haunted just-about-everything to prove it. While the historic city is a beautiful, vibrant and eclectic place with architecture that already looks like a Hollywood set, for whatever reason it hasn't been an ideal destination for TV shows.
For fans of the wrongly cancelled HBO dramedy Enlightened, Laura Dern's Emmy nomination will come as nothing more than a too-little, too-late consolation prize. While Dern's emotionally vulnerable turn as the manic, but determined, corporate whistleblower Amy Jellicoe is absolutely worthy of an Emmy, the actress will likely fall to equally deserving, but decidedly more high-profile, fellow nominees like Tina Fey or Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Much like my last installment in Brilliant But Cancelled -- in which I reflected on the bitingly funny genius of Chris Lilley's Summer Heights High (and hell yes, you better believe I'm excited about the recently announced Ja'mie spin-off show) -- it's technically unfair to call this week's choice a cancelled series either. That's because Ricky Gervais, like Lilley, knows that shows only have a certain shelf life. Gervais -- whose new series Derek debuts on Netflix on Thursday, September 12 -- applied that theory to The Office and, the show under discussion here, Extras.
Oh Tyra. Ms. Banks is one cuckoo lady, y'all, and I am so thankful that someone was clever enough to give her her own talk show for five seasons. Of course, we can still catch all the crazy when America's Next Top Model returns August 2 -- and I expect to see even more weirdly sexual remarks and desperate grabs for attention this cycle, considering that male models are competing as well.
While it would be disingenuous for us here at TWoP to write anything in praise of Cory Monteith after we so openly snarked on his performance as Glee's Finn Hudson, our hearts do go out to his loved ones. But the cancellation of The Glee Project? Now there's something we can gush about.
This week, we honor the bravery of our founding fathers who, over two centuries ago, fought a war against an empire so that we could have the freedoms we enjoy today. And what better way to celebrate American exceptionalism then by watching a made-for-TV movie about aliens? Syfy is airing its latest flick, Independence Daysaster, starring Tom Everett Scott on June 27. Scott's character, Sam, must defend the planet from invading extraterrestrials along with a team of "rogue scientists." Scott, as you may well remember, played Detective Russell Clarke on Southland, the guy who was kicked off the force for selling pictures of a celebrity crime scene. Independence Daysaster looks like quite a step down from the critically-acclaimed Southland -- though who knows, maybe this alien flick will reinvigorate the entire genre. Whatever the case, this momentous occasion provides a great opportunity for us to take a look back at Southland, which was just cancelled in May after its fifth season finale.
FX's Elmore Leonard-inspired neo-Western Justified is closing out a stellar fourth season, with a fifth already greenlit for January 2014. It just reinforces the old adage about the third time being the charm, as Justified represents television's third attempt at launching a successful Leonard-based series. The first was Maximum Bob, which came and went in 1998 and while that show has its fans, it never had the makings of a breakout hit and the author himself reportedly didn't care for it one bit. That was followed by Karen Sisco in 2003, which seemed destined for success. It had a gorgeous star (Carla Gugino), a great setting (Miami), an experienced producing team (including Danny DeVito and future FX head honcho, John Landgraf), sparkling scripts (including a handful by Leonard himself) and a high-profile primetime berth on ABC's Wednesday night line-up. The ace pilot alone deservedly inspired critical hosannas, suggesting that U.S. Marshal Karen Sisco -- previously seen in the form of Jennifer Lopez in Steven Soderbergh's equally great big-screen Leonard adaptation, Out of Sight -- would be solving crimes for years to come.
Upon hearing that there was a real possibility of a Veronica Mars movie, if creator Rob Thomas could raise enough money through his Kickstarter campaign, the first reaction of any self-respecting fan of the show was to reach for their wallet and hand over all of their money. But the bigger question is: if they do meet their $2 million goal [Update: accomplished in a mere ten hours], is a Veronica Mars movie actually a good idea? We weigh the pros and cons.