Powered by i.TV
September 22, 2014

Gone Too Soon

Gone Too Soon: 'Soap'

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 13th 2010 4:00PM
'Soap'
Normally, you'd think it odd to spotlight a series that lasted four seasons in a column like 'Gone Too Soon.' But 'Soap' was a different kind of series. Like the soap operas it was mocking, it was a premise that could have gone on for years and years. In fact, there's no reason to imagine that it couldn't still be on today.

From 1977 to 1981, Susan Harris crafted what would become a timeless comedy classic for ABC. But despite high ratings throughout its run, 'Soap' would only see four seasons, abruptly ending on a slew of cliffhangers that have frustrated fans for decades.

Despite that, the stellar cast and writing have stood the test of time in a way very few television series can, even if the wardrobes haven't. 'Soap' is as relevant and hilarious today as it was more than thirty years ago now. It deserved a longer life, and both the series and its fans deserved a true ending to Harris' brilliant vision.

Read More

Gone Too Soon: Wonderfalls

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 30th 2010 11:05AM
'Wonderfalls'
After bringing us the quirky death dramedy 'Dead Like Me,' and just before the resurrection dramedy 'Pushing Daisies,' Bryan Fuller co-created, along with Todd Holland ('Sons of Tucson'), another odd little show for FOX. 'Wonderfalls' premiered in March 2004; the tale of a young woman instructed by animal-shaped figurines to help people in need.

Much like his other shows, the whole atmosphere and presentation of 'Wonderfalls' was tailored to create a magical world just outside our own. Gritty realism certainly wasn't the goal.

Unfortunately, a serious lack of network patience led to 'Wonderfalls' getting canceled after airing only four critically acclaimed episodes out of thirteen produced. But those four hours left an indelible mark on the loyal viewers who did find it, and the series message of hope resonates as powerfully today as it did then.

Read More

Police Have Found Andrew Koenig's Body

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 25th 2010 9:02PM
TMZ has a sad and heartbreaking update on the ongoing saga of Andrew Koenig. Police have found the actor's body and his father, Walter Koenig, said it appears that his son took his own life.

Vancouver police released a statement earlier today that said a body was found in Stanley Park around noon that they believed was Koenig, the 41-year-old actor, activist and photographer who played Boner on the 80's sitcom 'Growing Pains'.

Andrew's mother, Judy, and father have just offered a public statement. Through the tears, they thanked the people who reached out to the family and urged people who think they are suffering from depression to seek help through their friends and family.



[via MSNBC]

Read More

Gone Too Soon: 'Freaks and Geeks'

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 22nd 2010 4:02PM
Freaks and Geeks
Created by Paul Feig and produced by Judd Apatow, 'Freaks and Geeks' is one of those rare television treasures that no one saw or appreciated until it was too late. Okay, that's unfair. Critics, the press and the loyal fans who did find the show on NBC immediately knew that it was something special. Unfortunately, it didn't find wide enough appeal to last beyond its first season.

Ironically, the show's cast of virtual unknowns now reads like an all-star comedy troupe, which is a testament to the brilliant casting that went on behind the scenes of the show. Finding such talented kids, and then coupling them with brilliant writing crafted on of the most revered television shows of all time.

Read More

Gone Too Soon: Sports Night

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 14th 2009 7:04PM
Sports Night
A lot of times, when a show that we love gets canceled way too early in its run, we like to trot out the mantra: "It was before its time." But looking at a television landscape with The Office, 30 Rock and Parks & Recreation (and that's just one night on one network), I really do think Sports Night may have been too innovative for its own good.

Creator Aaron Sorkin even wanted the sitcom to air without a laugh track, but ABC balked and there is one evident in the first season. It was dropped by the second season, but unfortunately the show was dropped as well after only 45 episodes.

Character relations were front and center, and the humor was much more subtle and dry. In 1998, comedies were still dominating the television landscape, led by traditionally formatted shows like Frasier, Friends, The Drew Carey Show and ABC's TGIF lineup. Maybe the very non-traditional Sports Night should have been an hour long, and acted more like FOX's Ally McBeal.

Read More

Gone Too Soon: Invasion

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 30th 2009 5:01PM
Invasion
After the breakout success of Lost in 2004, the following year saw three big-budget attempts at science fiction series with dense continuity. Unfortunately, it also saw those three series ultimately fail to hang on to their viewers, through internal problems or network mismanagement, and fans were left with three frustrating cliffhangers.

While they were allowed to complete more episodes than many series that followed them, I suspect this trinity of cancellations is a big reason current TV viewers are nervous about jumping on board complex shows with intricate continuity and details.

I watched Surface, Threshold and Invasion that season, but always found myself much more involved with the stories and drama unfolding on the latter of the three. Despite Katrina-related sensitivity due to its hurricane-themed opening, Invasion did an amazing job of building tension during a possible alien infiltration. V could learn a thing or two from this show.

Read More

What Jason is thankful for

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 26th 2009 2:02PM
GleeI'm not particularly thankful that I'm going to be having my very own battle of the bulge this upcoming week, but I am looking forward to good eats and seeing the family. The older I get, the faster these years wiz by, so it's important that we slow down and take the time to be appreciative of what we have, even if we might always want a little more.

This year, we made the jump from a 1997 model 27" Philips Magnavox television to a massive 52" HDTV. We also picked up a PS3, partially for the Blu-Ray player. So I'm thankful to finally be caught up with the rest of the world in television technology. Who knew it could all be so pretty?

More specifically, I think we're in a great era of television, even as viewer numbers continue to erode. There are just so many good shows on television, and thanks to DVRs and online streaming of those shows, we even have better opportunities to watch them. But what specifically am I thankful for this year?

Read More

Gone Too Soon: The Critic

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 17th 2009 10:12AM
The Critic
Before The Simpsons begat Futurama, current executive producer of The Simspons Al Jean, along with Mike Reiss, created a short-lived animated series about a film critic who hated almost every film he ever saw.

Starring Jon Lovitz in some brilliant voice work, The Critic ran through two networks in two seasons. Like Futurama and Family Guy, it found some success with reruns on cable -- in this case, Comedy Central -- and a subsequent DVD release. But unlike those series, The Critic remains but a distant memory.

Read More

Gone Too Soon: Boomtown

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 3rd 2009 10:05AM
Boomtown
I remember watching Boomtown for the first time. I remember where I was, and at what point in our lives it was on the air. Now, I watch a lot of television and have seen and forgotten more shows than most people would ever even want to be aware of. But Boomtown had that much of an impact on me.

Oh, I'm a sucker for a unique premise or take on familiar territory. I first tuned in to 24 because it took place in "real time," and I just had to see how that would work. I tuned into Boomtown because it promised me a look at crime from every possible perspective. How, I wondered, is that possible? And yet it brilliantly, beautifully and all too briefly was.

Read More

Gone Too Soon: 8 Simple Rules

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 27th 2009 2:01PM
8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter
This week, we're going to take a bit of a departure from the shows we normally cover. It's very rare that a show that puts out 76 episodes could be considered by anyone to be gone too soon, and yet I make the argument that 8 Simple Rules (for Dating My Teenage Daughter) is that show.

I'm also not going to try and convince you that 8 Simple Rules was one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, because it simply wasn't. It was a fairly standard, solid series headlined by a brilliant comic actor... and then it became something else.

Read More

Arrested Development news that isn't about the movie: IFC to air series

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Oct 20th 2009 5:01PM
Arrested Development
It seems these days when anyone talks about Arrested Development, the conversation inevitably turns to the still up-in-the-air film sequel -- something that's proven to be more elusive than finding your own Cornballer. Last we heard, the film was actually in development (a term that only loosely means what it's supposed to in Hollywood), but in the meantime, though, there is some good news - IFC has picked up the off-network rights to Arrested Development.

Read More

Gone Too Soon: Max Headroom

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 19th 2009 2:04PM
Max Headroom
The name "Max Headroom" comes from the last thing TV reporter Edison Carter saw before he was knocked out and hacker extraordinaire Bryce Lynch dumped his memories into a computer: a sign reading "Max. Headroom: 2.3 meters" as a warning for low clearance. The program came alive and an '80s icon was born. Most people today remember Max Headroom for his pervasive commercial association with New Coke.

Yet it was in the Max Headroom series that he was truly groundbreaking. The show was developed from a UK telefilm: Max Headroom: 20 Minutes Into the Future. And that film was only created to give back-story to a talking head they wanted to use in a music video show.

Unfortunately, the popularity of this show and the character lasted about as long as New Coke. And for those of you who have no idea what New Coke is ... exactly!

Read More

Gone Too Soon: Sons & Daughters

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 12th 2009 5:03PM
Sons & Daughters
ABC has a certified hit with their big sprawling look at an American Modern Family. But this isn't their first foray into a big family sitcom. In 2006, they aired a partially improvised comedy about a big, sprawling American family.

Sons & Daughters was barely on a month, but it sunk its talons into me and still hasn't let go. With mostly improvised dialogue, there was something very honest about the language they spoke, complete with the stammers and stutters that make up real conversation. The show was honest, heartfelt and funny. And with a massive cast, it felt like we were constantly on the verge of total chaos somewhere.

It looks like Sons & Daughters was ahead of its time, hitting the air when Americans were touting the sitcom as a dying format. Goss needed to hold out until this season, somehow. Now we're taking a hard look at the sitcom again, and finding that we do like it. It just has to be good. Sons & Daughters was good.

Read More

Gone Too Soon: Jericho

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 5th 2009 11:28AM
Jericho
The modern poster-child for a show that's "gone too soon" is Jericho. The impassioned fans buried CBS under a ton of nuts, which got the show renewed for a shortened second season. Your mileage of the quality of that season may vary, but the fact remains that the fans did something none of these internet campaigns today will be able to.

What people don't realize is that when Jericho came back for the second run, the ratings weren't any better than when the first season ended. So when they cancel your favorite show and you start mailing in bizarre objects and setting up your web petitions because "it worked for Jericho," remember that the networks remember Jericho as well. They remember that it failed to find a sizable audience twice.

Read More

Gone Too Soon: Jack & Bobby

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 28th 2009 1:06PM
Jack & BobbyEvery once in a while, a show creeps up on the American public and really captures its imagination. Unfortunately, a lot of times that show is in a terrible timeslot on a tiny little network struggling to survive. Such was the case with Jack & Bobby.

I'd like to think people didn't just automatically assume that this was a biopic about the Kennedys, though it certainly was playing with that notion intentionally by choosing that name. At its core, the show was simply another teen drama; the kind The WB had built a network around by the fall of 2004.

But it was also something more than that. It was an in-depth examination of the genesis of an American hero. How can someone go from being an ordinary person with ordinary problems into the most powerful man on the planet? While Jack and Bobby were typical all-American brothers, it was one of their destiny to rise to the seat of President of the United States by the mid-21st Century. That's the destination. Jack & Bobby was the journey.

Read More

Follow Us

From Our Partners