Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Brilliant But Canceled: A How To.

In recent years, I've become a more avid lover of television, mainly because it keeps getting better. The problem is, most of my favorite stuff is too brilliant for this country and it tends to get very prematurely canceled. Sadly, I keep finding new shows to fall in love with, but I know that I'll never get to see them play out (I'm currently watching Deadwood and I'm somewhat leery to get to the end). So I've put together my all-star dreamteam, which is both brilliant and sure to get canceled, most likely within a season.
Jason Bateman

Best known for, and what I know him for, his awesome portrayal of the straight man on Arrested Development (and I'll only address this once; if you haven't seen it and you care anything at all about television, watch it now, dammit). But apparently he was also on this other show that got canned, The Jake Effect, and though he's landed a few movie roles (yeah Teen Wolf Too!) he's yet to blow up big time, so he's a perfect headliner for my fictitious show.
Nathan Fillion

Nathan Fillion's portrayal of Malcolm Reynolds on Firefly is one of my favorite leading man roles (I'm normally more of a sidekick lover). He's snarky and pretty and manly and awesome and really needs to be in more stuff. Drive was apparently supposed to get really good, and it probably would've made him a bigger star, but it too was yanked off the air. I think in my fictional show, he might have a slightly smaller role (below Bateman), but he's proved in both Two Guys and a Girl and Buffy that he can be just as awesome in a small role as when he's a lead.
Lee Pace

Piemaker...Sigh....Another rare leading man I love, and I'm also not normally into the lovey-dovey type characters, but he was so wonderful on Pushing Daisies (and I haven't seen the last 3 episodes and if you ruin them I will kill you!). And he was also great on Wonderfalls, which I highly recommend even though it didn't last a whole season. I have high hopes for him, but he seems a likely addition to this cast. And if you look at him, Fillion and Bateman, they could all very well be brothers. I'm sensing my fictional show will revolve around the family unit in some way...
Peter Krause

I know that he was on Six Feet Under which was a great success and it lasted forever, but apparently Sports Night was one of those super great shows that got the axe (I've never seen it) and from what I understand, his newest show Dirty Sexy Money just got cancelled (correct me if I am wrong). I just saw ads for a Parenthood TV show, but it looks like it's going to be good, so it too might not last. So anyways, I've tacked him on here. He's normally this sweet, semi-troubled Everyman, but I would love to see him be the bad guy, so he's my make-believe villain.
Nicholas Brendan

I love my Xander. I miss him. And I put him on this list because of Kitchen Confidential, which was fantastic, and I'm very pleased that Bradley Cooper is going to be such a huge star cause he totally deserves it. But anyway. Xander will be the show's quirky odd-ball guy. Even though that role tends to be filled by some nobody who then becomes a somebody, but he'll be my place-holder for now.
Judy Greer

I first remember her from Jawbreaker, which she was great in, and everything else I've ever seen her do as well. But her show cancelling record is pretty impressive: Arrested Development, Miss Guided, and Love Monkey. So she's on the list. And I think maybe it's her turn to be leading lady on a show (I know she was on that Miss Guided show, but whatever). Perhaps she can be Bateman's love interest and then all us Arrested fans can have a giggle.
Sarah Paulson

She was sweet and funny on Studio 60 and cunning and sassy on Deadwood, and for me that's a perfect range. I know she was supposed to be a hottie in The Spirit, but seeing as that bombed, I'm not sure when she'll rocket to stardom. So in the meantime, she's on my show. I'm not sure exactly what kind of role I'd like to see her in, maybe something semi-authoritative, and maybe even bordering antagonist. Maybe a love-hate kind of thing (i.e. Sam and Diane) and she'd look rather shiny next to Nathan Fillion. I'm just saying.
Portia de Rossi

Okay, maybe I've loaded this list with a little too many Arrested Devleopment people, but they're all so great and most of them can't seem to catch a break. Anyways, I've loved her since Ally McBeal, which though it lasted a long time, it did get cancelled. And apparently Nip/Tuck won't get to live out it's last season, and though I haven't seen Better Off Ted, it looks clever enough to not get renewed. So she's in too! I've seen her do cold and stern, flighty and vapid, and earth mother lesbian, so I dunno, maybe wacked out neighbor? Dowdy wife? It'll all get figured out I'm sure.
Most of these brilliant shows also have repeat cancelling producers and writers. I'm not going to go into detail about each of these guys, I'm just gonna list some of the stuff they were involved with.
Tim Minear: Wonderfalls, Firefly, Drive
Bryan Fuller: Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls
Aaron Sorkin: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Sports Night, The West Wing
Bryan Grazer: Arrested Development, Friday Night Lights, Sports Night, Miss Match

Also, the show would definitely be multi-layered, with plots spanning entire seasons and humor that might not be for everyone. It would be glorious, and it totally wouldn't last. But these are just my thoughts. And there are several people I didn't involve because they've luckily gone on to become quite successful, but who else might you add to the list?

3 comments:

  1. I LOVE the idea of Peter Krause as a bad guy! We need to sit down and watch Sports Night, me thinks.

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  2. Quote from Sports Night:

    Casey: You're dating a porn star?
    Jeremy: I have met and spent social time with an actress who appears in adult films, yes.
    Casey: How you manage to make dating a porn star sound like a day at the public library is beyond me.

    Casey is this nerdy guy, and when he starts dating this adult film star he is ashamed, so he tells everyone she is an animation choreographer.

    It is really quite funny, that is what I am driving at.

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