The format of the situational comedy—“sitcom”, as it is most frequently called—was conceived in the post-World War II era. Some dismiss it as sub-par compared to other TV genres, while many argue it’s an art form worthy of respect. But love them or despise them, sitcoms have the power to influence the way we think and to even promote awareness for social issues like gay rights (Will & Grace), alcoholism, and even teen pregnancy (Mom)
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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.
Now that the most recent season of CBS’s annual Big Brother summer reality show is over and the “winner” will soon been declared, it might be good to look back at the arch of the season and process it, now that the reality dust has settled.
Despite the fact that some interesting new twists in the game occurred this year—the incorporation of the “MVP” and MVP nomination and, finally, the rising up of some truly decent female pairings and alliances—Big Brother 2013 will no doubt go down in history as the season of the racists.
As my mother would be happy to tell you, as a kid and young adult I watched way too much TV. I’ve seen the good, the great and the guilty pleasures. And I’ve also seen the very, very bad. Some TV is so corny and so bad that you just kind of love it in spite of yourself and itself. The Brady Bunch Variety Hour falls into this category. And some TV is more bad by reputation than in actual experience; My Mother the Car is infamous for its very strange premise but, in actuality, wasn’t any more strange nor funny nor unfunny than many other shows on the air at that time.
A pioneer in the field of comedy, Phyllis Diller passed away on 20 August 2012 at the age of 95. Renowned for her impeccable timing, garish wardrobe, and machine-gun-crossed-with-a-hyena laugh, Diller began her career as a stand up comic at the age of 37. Many of Diller’s self-deprecating routines revolved around her horrible cooking, five children, and a fictitious husband known only as “Fang”. (Her real life husband of 26 years, Sherwood Diller, served as her manager until they divorced in 1965.)
Before she conquered comedy, Phyllis Diller was a housewife, an advertising copywriter, and an accomplished pianist. She left copywriting behind after her husband encouraged her to pursue comedy. She began performing shortly thereafter. In 1956, she received her big break, making a splash at San Francisco’s Purple Onion nightclub.
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