The Good Riddance Award: Winner - VIDEO
And the Good Riddance Award goes to... Cavemen! Here to accept the award for Cavemen is... well... nobody. How awkward would that be? The Cavemen looking at me with their big crazy eyebrows. Me looking back with my big crazy beard. "Uh... here ya go... Try the shrimp." In the end, it was a close race back at TV Squad HQ. The boys from ABC just edged out the runner-up, Bionic Woman.
So what was it about the show that did them in? As far as getting canceled, their fate was mostly sealed before the premiere. Rarely has a show garnered such bad press before clocking in for their debut. Just the idea that a series of commercials was being turned into a series was enough to turn some people against them. The teaser clips that ABC released to preview the show didn't do a lot more to help.
ABC recognized that things were heading off the rails and retooled after the original pilot, but it was too little too late. And it might just be that it's an idea that was never going to work. The commercials were good, and attracted a following. But asking people to hang out with your idea for thirty seconds once in a while is a much different thing than asking for a half hour every week. Stretching the idea out for the sit-com form just never panned out.
For me, the biggest problem was the repeated trips to the cavemen as a minority well. At times it was just annoying, and on occasion it was downright insulting to the viewer. I'm thinking of the numerous examples where they trotted out classic stereotypes that were simply changed to cavemen stereotypes. It was lazy, at best. And asking viewers to play along with that was asking far too much.
Things didn't really get better when you stepped away from that aspect of the show. With very little work this show could have been made with nary a caveman in site. The conflicts and situations the boys found themselves in were pretty standard sit-com fair. And that, as much as anything might have been why it was greeted with such disdain.
Other than the caveman gimmick, there was nothing remarkable about the show. It didn't have a new take on the sit-com. It wasn't particularly clever. And it wasn't very well written. It was more of the low quality comedy that ABC has become accustomed to turning out. The unfortunate lineage of this show was Rodney > Freddy > Cavemen. I'll leave it to you to decide if ABC is evolving or devolving there.
The Reader's Choice Award also goes to Cavemen with the show commanding over 40% of the votes. As we say goodbye to the Cavemen, thankfully for good, let's take one last look at just what it is that we won't be missing. Here's a scene with Joel working at Norskbild. Good riddance Cavemen. Better luck next time.