Right now is an exciting, stressful time for TV fans. In May, networks have their upfront presentations
and announce not only their new pilot pickups, but what current shows will remain to the dial. Some shows will live, some shows will die, and some shows (but not many) will die and yet live on in the hearts of dedicated and obsessive fans.
Firefly is available on Amazon Prime.
Just because a show didn't spend much time on the airwaves doesn't mean it's not worth checking out. In fact, some of the best shows only lasted a single season and yet are still being spoken of in reverent tones today.
Let's take a look at six of the best one season wonders:
Bryan Fuller does not have a great track record with TV success. His other shows Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies just barely squeaked past this list because they limped along to finish uneven second seasons. But wonderful, wacky Wonderfalls only aired a few episodes before it was yanked from the TV schedule.
The full season includes a whopping 9 episodes that never saw the light of day when it aired on the small screen. The show is quirky, funny, and innovative, making its premature death even sadder.
The protagonist of the show is Jaye, an over-educated and underemployed twenty-something working a humdrum retail job at a Niagara Falls tourist shop. That is, however, until one day when the shop's useless knick knacks start talking back to her. While the premise might sound like a serial killer's origin story, the show is delightful, funny, and just the right amount of strange.
Watch the music video of the theme song:
(Find on Amazon Prime)
. Who could forget the short Joss Whedon space Western that lasted only a few episodes and yet spawned a cult of Browncoats still crazy about the show over ten years later. So crazy, in fact, that the show managed to make it to the big screen in a movie adaptation-- which is no easy feat. (Just ask Veronica Mars
, which needed a Kickstarter to get the job done
There's a reason people still obsessively rewatch the show and why people are continually discovering it in the afterlife. Whedon's space western is both high concept and accessible, with great performances, a top-notch cast, and characters you want to fly around the 'verse with forever.
Check out Joss Whedon and the cast talking about the show as they prepare for the follow up movie:
(Find on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime)
This FX gem might have suffered from a bad publicity campaign or a name that just didn't tell the story of what the show was about. So first, it's not about dogs. And second, it is as good as you've heard.
The show is about two private detectives in sunny San Diego, as an alcoholic ex-cop and an ex-con set about trying to solve mysteries. That might make it sound like a hardboiled crime caper, but the show is actually amazingly funny and light on its feet. Most of the strength of the series came from its top-notch zippy dialogue and the laid-back, lived-in performances of its leads.
A taste of Terriers:
(Find on Netflix)
My So-Called Life
Before she was palling around with terrorists, Claire Danes was desperately seeking the heart of one Jordan Catalono. This early 90s gem took a more realistic view of the awkward teenage years straight from the perspective of Danes' angsty Angela Chase.
It was also a show not afraid to tackle big issues, all with 90s fashion that will make you cringe and smile. Maybe no show better sums up the experience of being a teenager in the 90s than My So-Called Life.
Here's a trailer for the DVD. Take a quick look at the series:
(Find on Hulu)
Freaks and Geeks
Speaking of taking an uncompromising look at just how awkward and uncomfortable the teen years can be, Judd Apatow's TV classic Freaks and Geeks really delivers. The show set in the high school halls of the 80s never shied away from how incredibly uncomfortable the teen years could really be.
While the cast was made up of Freaks and Geeks, it was also made up of more than one future star, most notably James Franco. The show might not have had a long run, but there's a reason it has become a cult classic.
Watch the trailer of awkward dancing and familiar faces:
(Find on Netflix)
Before American Horror Story, there was Harper's Island. This one-shot horror murder mystery seems like it would be a perfect excuse for schlock but ends up being surprisingly enjoyable. The show centers around a wedding party on an out-of-the-way island where there lurks -- surprise, surprise!-- a serial killer out for blood! Or maybe more than one.
Who's the killer? Who will be the next victim? For those missing their horror fix in the sunny summer months, Harper's Island is the perfect solution. And for AHS fans looking for weird, gory fun watch out for Harry Hamlin being chopped in half in the first hour.
(Find on Netflix)
What are some of your favorite one season wonders? Which shows did I miss? Share in the comments!
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(Image courtesy of FOX and FX)