The Five Shows You Never Watched

Finals week is coming, so we’ve got something a little lighter on the reading side.

I debated for hours (just ask anyone who was in the Miller undergrad lounge on Thursday afternoon) about which shows most deserve a place on this list. I even thought about changing the title to “The Seven Shows You Never Watched But Should Have” just so that I could include the likes of Firefly and Samantha Who. But five is a nice round number, and I have two exams, two papers and four group projects due next week, so five is what you get.

The Five Shows You Never Watched But Should Have

Arrested Development

Arrested Development is widely considered to be one of the most tragic victims of the cancellation axe ever. It ran three seasons and won six Emmys and a Golden Globe, but it only averaged four million viewers in its last season. (For those of you keeping track at home, that’s a small number in network TV world.) Most importantly, every second is cringe inducing, gut-splittingly hilarious. Never thought ridiculous families, awful magic and incest could be funny? Think again. Good news! A new season of 10 episodes will air on Netflix in 2013. The world may never be the same.

Party Down

Party Down does tend to make critic’s list of shows struck down in their prime, but this death is much less tragic. Stars Adam Scott and Jane Lynch moved to Parks and Recreation and Glee respectively, and one of those shows is almost as amazing as Party Down. Centered on a catering company staffed by struggling, out of work actors, the show reeks of satire and desperation but in the best way possible.

Redemption bonus: Starz recently green lit a Party Down movie.

Better Off Ted

It’s a good thing Portia de Rossi hit it big in her personal life, because Better Off Ted is the second show on this list to feature her and be heartbreakingly cancelled. (Arrested Development is the first.) The show managed two seasons, both of which are on Netflix, just in case I convince you to catch up and midterms aren’t killing you as much as they’re killing me. Better Off Ted revolves around the R&D department of Veridian Dynamics, as much an evil company as could possibly be. The show is mostly dark humor with some satire thrown in, but the sharp and witty dialogue and the pure heart of Jay Harrington’s titular Ted Crisp should keep you coming back for more.

Pushing Daisies

If you could put TV shows in the dictionary to define words, Pushing Daises would be next to both quirky and unique. The concept sounds insane – a pie baker with the ability to bring dead things back to life with a single touch, but if he touches them again they die forever – but I promise, the love story of main characters Ned and Charlotte ‘Chuck’ will break your heart a million times over. (I’d explain further, but this is a spoiler-free zone.) Along with a pessimistic private investigator and peppy-but-desperate Olive Snook, the foursome solves crimes using Ned’s special ability.

Veronica Mars

Ah, Veronica Mars. This is actually the longest running of the list, with 64 episodes to Arrested’s 53. The show ran for three years, the first two on the WB and the last on the CW after the UPN/WB merger. Kristen Bell’s titular Veronica Mars is snarky, witty, sarcastic, and moonlights as an amateur private investigator under the guidance of her detective father. If you’re looking for classic film noir in episodic form, this is it. Each episode is a caper to be solved, and an overarching, season-long mystery ties everything together. It’s certainly a commitment – but unlike an 8AM geology lab, there’s a 100 percent chance you won’t regret it.

So there we are, fellow TWAMPS. My top five shows that should have never been cancelled, not in a million, billion years. Catching up on them now unfortunately might not bring them back from the dead (unless you’re Arrested Development, the little zombie show that could) but if you need something to do over summer break…


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