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Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014
Unfortunately, some shows seem destined for cancellation right away, regardless of critical acclaim or the support of small, fanatical groups of fans.

The premature cancellation of great TV shows is, sadly, nothing new, as shows like My So-Called Life, Freaks and Geeks, and Firefly can attest. Yet it continues to happen, season after season. Low ratings, high concepts, and plain old bad timing are just a few reasons why some shows never get a chance to grow past one season.


Unfortunately, some shows seem destined for cancellation right away, regardless of critical acclaim or the support of small, fanatical groups of fans. Below are seven shows that not only were cancelled too soon, but may have also been overlooked as excellent one-season wonders.


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Monday, Oct 14, 2013
The opening themes to some TV shows are as artful as the shows themselves.

As iconic as Mary Tyler Moore throwing her hat in the air, or a day in the life of Laverne and Shirley, or even the Huxtables dancing through the years, opening credits can be as memorable as the shows they introduce. Opening themes have varied from early graphic representations, to catchy, saccharine sweet jingles, to the minimalist flashings of title cards often seen in more current series. 


With shows like Lost and Breaking Bad perfecting the latter, and the struggle to gain precious seconds per episode, traditional opening credits have somewhat fallen out of fashion. Fortunately, there are still some series that recognize the importance of these credits in setting tone and introducing an audience to a show. The following nine current television programs (in no particular order) offer a wide range of successful and often visually arresting openers.


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Monday, Dec 10, 2012
Contrary to what some of my friends think, a knowledge of or interest in smoking pot is simply not necessary for one to enjoy Weeds.

Weeds recently wrapped its eight seasons on Showtime. While it certainly hung around longer than most of us may have wished (or were aware of), it actually retained most of its ratings which, for Showtime, broke records at several points during its eight-year run. We can certainly point to it as the series that defined the network and paved the way for Dexter, Homeland, and whatever is coming next down the pipeline.


I’m a bit obsessed with those websites that rate beers and give them grades or whatever, and one of my favorite terms from those sites is “sessionable”. A beer is sessionable if you can drink it over the course of a lengthy drinking “session”, and so more intense beers might be better, but don’t score well in terms of sessionability (which is not a word they use on those sites, hey, it’s funny). The point is that Weeds is a highly sessionable television series. You can watch an entire season in roughly 5-7 hours, depending on the number of episodes in that particular season. And even the later seasons, which are diminished in quality, believability (never the show’s strong suit), and genuine drama, remain entirely watchable and enjoyable enough to keep watching.


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Monday, Nov 19, 2012
As the seventh season of Dexter unfolds on Showtime, with an eighth and final season scheduled for late 2013, it seems like as good a time as any to look back at each season of the series.

As the seventh season of Dexter unfolds on Showtime, with an eighth and final season scheduled for late 2013, it seems like as good a time as any to look back at each season of the series. Since this is the internet, and since rank-order is the best way I know to organize my opinions about most things, I present below my tour through Dexter’s first six seasons. Of course this is entirely my opinion, and I encourage vocal disagreement. It’s hard not to want to just start talking about the quality of season seven and where it might end up ranking in this list… but let’s try our best not to.


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Wednesday, Jun 6, 2012
Four years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of lists across internet sites and print magazines alike. And with each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites. Here is but one humble fan's take on each season of one of the greatest feats in television's history.

Fair warning: There will be some spoilers. But, then again, if you’re reading a comprehensive list like this, you should have watched them all by now…


Like Prop Joe in his last moments, I found myself at a loss for words as the static shot of the Baltimore city skyline faded into black at the end of “—30—”, the series finale of The Wire. (Or as I prefer to call it, in the parlance of Isaiah Whitlock Jr.‘s hilarious meta turn in Cedar Rapids, “The HBO program The Wire.”) I won’t expound on my wordlessness too much here, as scores of critics have said what I’d say. Just this year, after a long, bracketed competition, the show was declared yet again the best TV drama ever made, ousting its narrative-forming progenitor The Sopranos for the spot. Anyone who knows anything about TV in the last decade knows the program’s high status. Even if it isn’t the best TV show ever, and I’d like to think it is, it’s at least one of the greatest TV shows ever.


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