Television has become more like daily nutrition for people now. Perhaps even more of a staple food than burgers or French fries will ever be. The secret to show business is, as a great man once said (me, actually), to leave people with lots of questions and make them wait for those answers. But sometimes, the telly does something wicked. It only cares enough to ask you some pretty powerful questions and then abandons you in the middle of nowhere, screaming and gasping. At least in hell you know what’s gonna happen. Well do you know what’s going to happen in the next episode of the now cancelled show you had been binge watching since 3 weeks?? No you don’t. And maybe you never will. Here is a list of some really awesome TV shows that ended too soon.
A spinoff of the Paul Bettany starrer fan favorite Legion, Dominion is set in a post apocalyptic world where the angels who we all pray to are the ones who have turned on us and pushed humanity to near extinction. Their only hope – A supposed human messiah who will lead humanity to back to its former glory. Archangels exist. Michael is the only one among them to side with us. Mankind mostly survives within a few heavily fortified cities.
What sets Dominion apart is its extensive world building. Seldom do we come across a show that has created a world this intricate and huge in proportions. The acting is excellent and the plot thickens with each episode. The special effects are good enough and the show had all the ingredients to span several seasons. Dominion was a perfect example of something that eventually grows on you. Syfy cancelled the show in 2015 after 2 seasons.
5. The Cape
The year is 2017 and superhero TV shows are a dime a dozen. Arrow, The Flash, Agents of Shield(hey it has superpowers so DEAL with it!!!) are some that really made their mark. But only a chosen few have heard about this TV series and I was lucky enough to be one. The Cape is your standard issue superhero. Honest cop, loving wife, stabbed in the back by his friends, returns with a vengeance with his own bag of tricks. Sounds generic but rest assured its anything but. After the Pilot, the show is nothing short of a blockbuster action thriller. WMD laden children’s toys, assassin brotherhoods, Savants and whatnot, The Cape had a story ahead of its time.
While DC has been dominating the televised slots for too long, Marvel went for the Netflix route. But this show started it all. Born from neither DC nor Marvel, The Cape was the first TV show to make superheroes relatable. It showed the daily hardships a superhero had to face rather than the all high-and-mighty acting heroes that came before him. The show also had its own fair share of unique, original characters. NBC cancelled the show after its 10 episode first season run.
Another NBC series that died a premature death, Hannibal treaded on grounds no other network ever dared to step on. A show that was just as classy, intriguing and a masterpiece in all but name, Hannibal was set to become the next ‘Breaking Bad’. Mads Mikkelsen was absolutely brilliant as the titular character. Hugh Dancy played a gifted FBI forensic investigator that took counsel from Mr. Lecter to, wait for it……. catch serial killers. But it’s not Hannibal’s sinister storyline or hair-raising visuals that made it a hit. It was the Dynamic between the two that scored the show a home run. The way a borderline schizophrenic investigator solved crimes whilst questioning his own sanity and the machinations of a psychopathic shrink to pull the poor guy into the dark side was what fans found most interesting.
Hannibal had it all to become a cultural phenomenon. Although Dexter was the first to make the viewers look through the POV of a murderer, Hannibal was the first to make people see that anyone can be a murderer. So what killed it?? Piracy. According to reports, a third of its revenue was lost to online pirated sites. While shows like Game of thrones, which is also a huge target for online bootlegging, already had a huge fan following before the buccaneers could grab hold, Hannibal was still a newborn with a few million viewers. Go on, download that file from those sites again you pathetic losers 🙁 . The show was cancelled after a 3 season run.
Everyone’s favorite British boozehound yaaaaaayyyy. Matt Ryan plays the eponymous John Constantine, a character derived from DC’s acclaimed Hellblazer series that’s like a blend of Professor Snape and The Doctor. He plays it so brilliantly that most of us are fooled into thinking that maybe he’s not acting at all, he’s just being himself. The show follows Ryan as he is aided by his trusted ally Chas(immortal taxi driver), Zed(psychic with a past) and Manny(creepy eyed angel) in solving heinous crime of the supernatural. For those who haven’t read Hellblazer, John Constantine is a weird, weird guy whose legendary recklessness earned him a special place in hell. The show involves John fighting threats that escape into our world due to the “Rising Darkness” while battling his own inner demons.
I have always been a fan of Vertigo’s Hell blazer. When CW announced they were going to make a Telly show out of it, I was jumping like a unicorn high on rainbows. What made the show stand out from the rest are its eerie atmosphere and visuals, awesome plot and special effects and a strict adherence to the comic imprint. The show ended on a mother of all cliffhangers that made viewers utter the three magical words- W T F. The show was cancelled by CW after its first season with no signs of a renewal in sight. Shucks.
A TV show whose name is synonymous with cult following. Firefly was your typical space western drama of those days. When times were rife with space operas like Battlestar Galactica and Stargate SG-1, Firefly carved a name for itself amassing strong sales and a massive fan following in the ensuing years. The show was famous for showing events unfold from the viewpoint of not just one but 9 different characters. it’s main character Malcolm ‘Mal’ Richards was the closest thing TV got to Han Solo. Set in 2517, the 14 episode series followed the 9 member crew of renegade space ship Serenity as the ship charted its courses through uncharted space while having their own fair share of adventure- evading security forces, space zombie hordes (yeah that’s a thing now) and mysterious organizations. I watched it on a recommendation and I tell ya I wasn’t at all disappointed.
Firefly found acknowledgement against overwhelming odds owing to its spectacular feature movie level visual effects and awe-inspiring premise. The cult following was so strong that Universal Pictures hired Joss Whedon, creator of Firefly, to make a movie based on the series. While the movie didn’t do so well, the TV show still remains a fan favorite and a binge watch addiction. But all the acclaim the show garnered still couldn’t stop Fox from cancelling it right after its first season.
1. Almost Human
There are two types of television shows – Artistic ones that are beautiful to the eye but difficult to grasp, and Commercial ones that have no deep meaning to project but just some good ol’ school action and fun. Almost human is a combination of both. Its artistic without the complexity and a franchise for no brainers like me to gawk at. As a show it has set benchmarks for sci-fi television worldwide. The show takes place in 2048 in a technologically advanced city with astounding crime rates. The main character Karl Urban a.k.a John Kennex is a technophobic cop recalled for service after a lengthy hiatus. He is paired with an android like the rest of the cops but the android he is partnered with (a DRN-0167), unlike the other newer models, has a mind of his own and exhibits symptoms that with each episode make it less and less of an android and more and more human than people would dare to imagine. The show has plots and subplots to keep you hinged right from the start and enough juice to make it droolworthy.
What’s so special about it you ask??? Well there are a lot of buddy cop/police procedurals out there but nothing comes even close to Almost Human. The bromance chemistry between the lead crime fighting duo is fascinating to say the least. But it’s not that which made the show a hit, it’s the Emmy-award winning special effects. I have seen blockbuster movies with lesser quality visuals than the show and I am not joking. The show was a hit amongst a large audience when it aired and was an instant cult classic. Regardless of all the positive air surrounding it, Fox cancelled the show after its first season which ended in a damn cliffhanger (and left us all hanging :’( DAMN YOU FOX!!!!!!). Up until this day in terms of plot, special effects, action, back-story and drama, Almost Human has set up a standard that would be difficult to top by any other sci-fi show in the foreseeable future.
**Honorable mentions – V (2009), Farscape (1999) and Justice League Unlimited (2004)**