Five TV shows that were canceled much too soon
Joss Whedon's quirky, genre-mixing one-season wonder ends up at the tippity-top of everyone's lists of canceled TV shows that desperately needed to continue, and for damn good reasons. Firefly was something special: spaghetti Western, adventures in Chinatown and killer sci-fi action all mixed together with a healthy dose of fine comedic writing. Why this show only had one season is a topic that Whedon fans always fight about. Although his other shows, Angel and Dollhouse, got prematurely yanked as well, it's Firefly's grounding that really hurts the most. Firefly's one measly season brought fans such endearing catchphrases as "Shiny!" "Special hell" and "I'll be in my bunk...," and taught us that rednecks do have things to contribute to society -- as long as they have a spaceship.
It also proved that whores sometimes do have hearts of gold, and it introduced us to Christina Hendricks, one of the hottest redheads alive. This really needed a few more seasons but got bombed for being in a shitty time slot -- dorks need shows to be on later at night so they can watch while gaming -- and now Firefly has been catapulted into cult status by rabid, righteous fans who have had no trouble expressing their displeasure at its early demise in every imaginable media outlet. A chunk of the cast showed up at the San Diego Comic Con in 2012, and 10,000 fans lined up to see their panel. That's more fans than American Idol currently has.
Obviously there are enough Futurama fans out there in adult cartoon land to keep the show going for seven more seasons; otherwise, popular demand wouldn't have brought it back from the dead the first time. That first cancellation was rough -- Fox isn't known for making the best decisions about anything -- and out of the four Futurama movies, only two were actually any good. But there is just something about a cryogenically frozen delivery boy, a one-eyed mutant space captain, a klutzy Chinese student, a slovenly lobster, an anal-retentive Jamaican bureaucrat and a dotty old professor that people relate to. And, of course, there is Bender, the lovable rogue robot who drinks, smokes, gets busy and tells people to bite his shiny metal ass. Futurama deserves a few more seasons, because at some point since the creation of cartoon superheroes, it became less about doing the right thing and fighting battles for the power of good versus evil and more about a bunch of characters talking shit to each other and screwing things up. And Futurama proudly espouses this dynamic cultural shift with hints of lewdness and relevant, snarky social commentary thrown in for kicks.
We need Futurama, for the sake of our children who will come after us. What else will teach our kids disrespectful language and gestures, moral flexibility and how to smoke cigars? Besides public schools, anyway.