We learned this week that the beloved but short-lived TV series ‘Veronica Mars’ will be resurrected as a new movie financed by fans thanks to the power of social fundraising site Kickstarter. In today’s Roundtable, we discuss other famously canceled-before-their-time TV shows that we’d gladly chip in to bring back from the dead.
In the famous Red Room/Black Lodge dream sequence, the Little Man from Another Place told Special Agent Dale Cooper, “I’ll see you again in 25 years.” That scene took place in 1990, meaning now is a perfect time to bring back ‘Twin Peaks‘ with a brand-new movie that would both relaunch and resolve the classic cult hit. Creator David Lynch has always been a fan of experimental projects, so a reunion movie financed solely by the fan base and without the possibility of any studio tinkering seems like something he’d be agreeable to. Granted, actors like Jack Nance, Don Davis and Frank Silva are no longer with us, but plenty of cast members are still around, and many (including Kyle MacLachlan himself) have recently voiced an interest in revisiting the town “where the birds sing a pretty song, and there’s always music in the air.”
HBO has long tempted fans with the promise of a pair of TV movies to wrap up the series, but if any TV show was made to be seen on the big screen, ‘Deadwood‘ is it. The very things that made it so difficult for HBO to keep financing – the through-the-roof period production pieces, the quality actors – all would make for an absolutely stellar Western that could be the standard-bearer of the genre for a decade. And since the show ended, many of its actors have seen success with other properties, so the marketability of a feature film would be higher now than when the show originally ended. Come on, HBO, you gave us TWO awful ‘Sex and the City’ movies. The least you can do is give us one great ‘Deadwood’ film.
Unlike many ‘Terminator’ fans, I actually enjoyed ‘The Sarah Conner Chronicles‘. Just like most new series, it didn’t start off too strong, but it didn’t take too long to make me a weekly watcher. Season 2 brought a story arc too large to contain in a single season, so I was pretty bummed when the show was canceled. The cliffhanger ending that left John and Sarah Conner in two completely different times would never be wrapped up. Instead, just after the series was canceled, we got ‘Terminator Salvation’. While the mediocre ‘Salvation’ was better than ‘Rise of the Machines’, ‘The Sarah Conner Chronicles’ was better than both. Several years have passed since the show was canceled, so my desire to see a conclusion has faded, but I’d still like to know how the writers planned to get the mother / son duo back into the same time and how the series would lead up and tie into the third and fourth ‘Terminator’ flicks.
I’d like to see the series Denis Leary did before ‘Rescue Me’ get a movie treatment, If done right, it could be a lot of fun. In many ways, ‘The Job‘ was ‘Rescue Me’ for cops. When it debuted in 2001, the show was booted all around the schedule, aired out of order, and generally given the standard ABC “disrespect the good stuff” treatment. Then 9/11 came along and ‘The Job’, a humorous look at NYC cops, was basically doomed. If it had come out about three years later and on cable, like, well, ‘Rescue Me’, I think the show would have done pretty well. A movie could be pretty interesting to see.
My vote would be for ‘Pushing Daisies‘. Canceled way before its time, Bryan Fuller’s show never got the audience it deserved. Its quirky, lovable story about a pie maker who could bring dead people back to life with a simple touch was one of the most original shows I’d seen in quite some time. It’s perfectly poised to be a fantastic little movie. Throw a few million dollars at it and upgrade some of the chintzy CGI, and you’d have a full-fledged feature. Executive producer Barry Sonnenfeld could take the directorial reigns and easily put out a quality product with as much charm as the show had. Would anyone go see it? Probably not. That was the problem with the show the first time around. But I don’t care; this is my dream and I want more ‘Pushing Daisies’!
I would donate as much as I could to a ‘Freaks and Geeks‘ movie. The show only lasted one season and was the career starter for Judd Apatow, Paul Feig, Seth Rogen, James Franco, John Francis Daley and Jason Segel, to a name a few of the people involved. The last episode of the show left room for many great storylines in a second season. Unfortunately, that never came to be, due to NBC canceling the series after one season over 13 years ago. This would be one hell of a Kickstarter campaign, as it would reunite some of the biggest names in Hollywood. That being the case, tons of money would have to be raised to secure this talent. However, I think the show has a big enough fan base that we could potentially see a ‘Freaks and Geeks’ movie that took place several years after the show ended. I would be the first in line to donate to this.
M. Enois Duarte
I don’t think I have loved a TV series before or since as much as I loved ‘Deadwood‘. I even ordered for cable to be installed in my house at the time just so that I could watch it on HBO. Each season revolved around the idea of seeing modern civilization slowly grow out of chaos, anarchy and ruthless greed. Al Swearengen was a great character, a vicious business owner who liked the idea of taming the Wild West but also rejected it because that taming also meant certain stipulations upon his business practices. Others were great as well as, but next to Swearengen, Trixie was the most fascinating, a tough and rugged individual who genuinely wanted to escape the filth, only to be dragged back down into it.
The third season wasn’t exactly the show’s strongest, but it finished on an awesome note. What should have happened next, we’ll likely never know. Rumored plans for a two-part TV movie wrap-up never came to fruition, and as the years continue to pass, it doesn’t seem likely to ever happen. If one show is definitely deserving of a movie to complete its story, that’s ‘Deadwood’.
A lot of my picks were taken above, and I feel like it’s just too late to recapture the magic of some really old shows that were canceled too soon (such as the memorable Fox drama ‘Profit’, which only aired five of its nine produced episodes back in 1996). However, one recent series that deserves a second shot and could actually make a viable movie is the HBO comedy ‘Bored to Death‘, starring Jason Schwartzman as a neurotic hipster who fancied himself a film noir private eye. The show really seemed to be hitting its artistic stride in its second season, before HBO unceremoniously pulled the plug, despite the fact that it still got better ratings than ‘Enlightened’ (which HBO renewed at the same time). I’m sure that the cast would still be game to continue the adventures of Jonathan, Ray and George.
I’ll also toss out an Honorable Mention to FX’s ‘Terriers’, and Mrs. Z wants me to put in a plug for Bryan Fuller’s quirky ‘Wonderfalls’.
If you had the chance to revive one of your favorite TV shows, what would you donate some money to?