When a television series finds it’s market, it’s very tempting and unfortunately all too common for the network to push it to the brink. We’ve all watched through our fingers as our favourite shows have gone just that little bit sour. Even the greats fall to the temptation of those sweet, sweet syndication dollars, with Seinfeld, Dexter and Friends to name a few. Although every now and then a few shows, with a smart creative team or just through dumb luck end a show without having lost any of the magic it was know for in the first place.
Parks And Recreation
Despite having the big names, Parks and Rec never seemed to bag the full spotlight, it’s sister show, The Office(U.S.) came to know. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t deserving and many people often name it as the better of the two shows. That may be down to the fact that Parks and Rec got out early.
It ended on a high, not a shark in sight and it even managed to hold on to its big names for almost the entire run. Which, if you think about it, is a pretty impressive feat. Considering Amy Poehler had almost always been a A lister for the entire run of the show, Rashida Jones and Rob Low were already big names before they joined the cast and Chris Pratt’s found superstardom in the last two years of the show. A little part of me thinks, that the every growing popularity of Chris Pratt and Amy Poehler’s Hollywood name were in part, the reason the show ended. Chris Pratt probably had a little chat to the producers, “I’m sorry but if you are going to do another season after this, I may have to leave”. Which is fair and only makes it all the more impressive that he stayed until the end, I mean he’s in Jurassic World for God’s sake!
Few a few episodes of the last season, there were a few hints that the writing team were running out of ideas or getting a bit bored but they were only fleeting. It may have even been the final season jitters, either way it only goes to prove that Parks And Rec ended at exactly the right time.
Sixty-two episodes of Breaking Bad, which hardcore fans will tell you is the same number as Samarium is on the periodic table, an element used to treat lung cancer. Dun, dun, DAH! If that was planned it is very cool but Villigan always admitted that nothing was pre-planned on Breaking Bad, which makes the upstanding quality all the more impressive.
Breaking Bad has got to one of the few shows I have not heard a word against and it is frequently listed in peoples’ “Greatest TV Shows Of All Time” lists. Which is for good reason, almost every episode of Breaking Bad had the action of a great Die Hard film, the edge-of-the-seat tension which is but a memory for M. Night Shyamalan and a season ending worthy cliff hanger.
It was no secret AMC would have paid for more seasons and the decision to end at the peak of it’s popularity was a very brave one. I would be lying if I said, I didn’t want more episodes but it is such a relief that Walt never got to use the “nuke the fridge” method of meth production. Let’s hope, Better Call Saul can do the same.
The British Office
Who am I to say the British Office is better than it’s American counterpart? Well I’m Daniel Priman, so I say; the British Office is better.
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant invented an entirely new genre in coming up with The Office. The talking head, awkward, moving camera style of mockumentary can be seen almost on every channel nowadays but back in 2001, The Office was quietly revolutionary. It’s quite funny when you learn that the two only shot it mockumentary style because it was the easiest way of doing things.
Although, what really makes this show great is it’s perfect length. The jokes never got old, no characters ever left and most importantly the love story never got boring. Two series isn’t quite that many but if done right, a short life span can only build respect for a show like this, look at Fawlty Towers or Mr. Bean.
Life On Mars
Maybe I just like British shows that only last two series because Life On Mars is another perfect example of a show getting it right.
You came for the intriguing time travel back-story but stayed for the brilliant character driven police drama. It’s no secret that Sam, like Batman is by far the least interesting character on his own universe and DCI Gene Hunt goes down in my books as one of the best television characters ever.
Life On Mars left at just the right time, getting out just before the 70s had run out of crime. Although they couldn’t resit leaving the characters alone, by bringing DCI Hunt and crew back in the less impressive spin-off, Ashes To Ashes.
Futurama is a special kind of case, in that it has never been cancelled at the “right” time, it has just been cancelled, a lot. Not just that, but it seems to, like a hydra when you cut off the head, keep coming back stronger. After each series reboot, the show gets better and better. Maybe it’s the time the writers have off to think of new ideas or maybe it’s a sign that people should STOP CANCELLING FUTURAMA!
Unfortunately, all the other animated sitcoms lost their edge a while ago, with The Simpsons ratings dropping rapidly and Family Guy turns out to have never been good in the first place when you actually grow up. Futurama is consistently the smartest show on television, when it’s given the chance and the quality never drops. Ken Keeler even came up with a new mathematical theorem just to get Bender back into his own body.
A show that is highly underrated and if you learn one thing from this article it’s that you should always bring back Futurama.
Have any others to add to the list, or just downright disagree with me feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.
Article by Daniel Priman.