Television shows come and go as pilots are regularly picked up and then cancelled. It’s just one of those hard facts of life that we have to deal with.
While Smash survived its first year on television, it just couldn’t get past the sophomore slump with the series getting axed at the end of season two. The small devout group of fans did get the proper ending they deserved as the show went out with larger than life musical performances. Megan Hilty and Katherine McPhee even broke the fourth wall and asked the audience, “what are you still doing here? The show’s over.”
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for other series. Many are unceremoniously cancelled without giving writers the heads-up they need to write a satisfying conclusion. Yes, I’m talking about the epic brutality of watching a show you love, only to have it end with lose ends and nagging questions of “what happens next.” While some long lived shows with designated series finale leave us unsatisfied, the feeling worsens when a show’s series finale is more of a open end than a finale.
While Firefly got its movie and Veronica Mars‘ own big screen project is still in production, not every cancelled project gets its own silver screen fairy. Here are some shows that quite frankly, we would like to know how they ended after all this time.
1. Pushing Daisies
The Bryan Fuller show about a man (Lee Pace) who could bring people back from the dead with just a touch was aesthetically stunning and had an incredible cast. TVGuide even reported that the show was the most-watched new series the year it premiered. The show’s pilot earned 13 million viewers in the U.S. alone. Alas, the show was abruptedly cancelled.
In the “series finale,” Ned’s girlfriend Chuck (who he brought back to life but can’t touch because it would kill her again) visits the aunts who think she’s dead. Sadly, we don’t even get to see their reactions. The future of Chuck’s dad (also brought from the dead) and Ned’s dad were also plot lines left up to our imaginations. The show apparently got a subsequent comic book, but the show could have gone on for much longer. The finale was decent as many didn’t realize it was the series’ finale episode, but there was a lot of potential for story arcs to flourish. I’m still sad that such a smart show didn’t get the attention it deserved.
The first season of this show was phenomenal. It was well paced, and the story would twist and turn as we learned new and exciting things about each character. Season two may have lacked a bit, but by the end of season three the show was backed to its fast paced nature as the show’s creator Tim Kring was able to prune out what wasn’t working.
Fans of the series can claim to have a right to be bitter because Kring even pitched a two-hour finale that would’ve nicely wrapped the whole thing up — too bad NBC said no. We have no idea what the peacock network would do this because extended series finales always do well in ratings, right? RIGHT? So many feelings.
I’m still angry I never got to say goodbye to the characters I loved. Hiro Nakamura and Matt Parkman, I miss you tothis day. Even Sylar. A little bit. Okay, I just miss Zachary Quinto’s face.
Too bad we’re left wondering what happened after Claire reveals that people with superpowers do exist. Did Hiro go back in time to fix everything? Or, does society become segregated by superpowers like in X-Men? I guess we’ll never know.
[Editor's Note: I'm going to pretend the series two finale of Misfits is what happens after Claire exposes everyone. It works, right?]
3. The Sopranos
The Sopranos might not have been cancelled abruptly, but David Chase, the show-runner of the drama, actually cut the series finale short with the series actually ending mid-sentence with a cut-to-black.
The loose end that wasn’t neatly tied up? We have no idea if Tony was murdered or not. What. The. Hell. How is that even fair? I guess the show was left “up to interpretation.” B.S. Isn’t the point of television not having to think for yourself? We want to KNOW what happened, NOT IMAGINE IT!
4. Brotherly Love
It’s ridiculously unfair how Disney Channel likes to end our favourite childhood shows without warning. Instead of wrapping up one of their shows, they just scrap the show and replace it with something like Dog With a Blog. Yes, I have watched it, and no, it’s not as terrible as it sounds.
The thing that makes me incredibly bitter about Brotherly Love‘s demise (the show about three brothers who worked in the family garage) was that we never found out if Joe and Lou ever ended up together. Loose ends, I can sometimes live with. An unresolved romantic plot line? I will never forgive.
AND JUST LOOK AT MATT LAWRENCE’S FACE HOW DOES ONE DEAL WITHOUT IT ON A WEEKLY BASIS?
5) Instant Star
My sister and I were furious after we marathoned all the seasons only to find out there wouldn’t be another. The Canadian show about Jude Harrison, a pop star trying to balance her professional and personal life, featured awesome songs written for the show and preformed by lead actress Alexz Johnson. The finale left Jude debating the decision of whether not she should go through with a record label contract in London just as her relationship with her manager Tommy heated up (for what might be the third time). It was clear this finale was meant to be a season finale and not a series finale, because it left with a huge cliffhanger that fans will never get the answers to, such as what happens when Jude gets to London? What happens with Tommy? So many questions, zero answers. I’ll just go listen to some of the shows tunes to make myself feel better.
Do you guys remember that random show that ran past your bedtime on Disney channel? I do. Alf was basically the television equivalent to ET. The show featured a lot of hysterical schemes to keep people from finding out about the family’s extra terrestrial friend. Once again intended to be a season finale, not a series finale, the show wrapped up its run with Alf attempting to jet off into space to reconnect with his fellow alien buddies but getting caught by government officials before they could make a clean getaway. They left kids wondering if favourite cuddly character is in a lab being dissected. Way to traumatize kids.
Popular is yet another one of those late night Family channel shows you probably weren’t supposed to stay up and watch due to slightly inappropriate content, but you did anyway. The show follows step-sisters and polar opposites, Brooke and Sam (a cheerleader and angsty soon-to-be-journalist) who are forced to live together when there parents get married. The show was extremely entertaining as the two fought over everything from morals to boys. The other key characters were witty, sassy, and had great dialogue, making the show a must-watch.
Popular ended its second and final season with a cliffhanger (shocker!). There really isn’t anything worse. Oh wait, there is when the cliffhanger leaves us wondering if popular girl Nicole kills Brooke by running her over with a car. Is she dead or is she not? This is an important question.
Although, it’s kind of funny seeing as this is a Ryan Murphy show. Thank god the man can plan ahead since he now knows Glee has two seasons left to wrap because there would be hell to pay if Glee ends abruptly.
GCB (Good Christian Belles) was so love that there was an audible outcry when it got cancelled. There were petitions, riots and throwing of blunt objects. Okay, I made the last two up, but the show’s cancellation was really heartbreaking. The show had finally developed a plot line during its first and only season, and there were big secret reveals and new relationships blossoming in its finale. If only the writers knew so that they could plan for a conclusive ending to the show, instead of giving audiences an interesting lee way into the next season that never came to be.
If the show’s one liners and over the top characters weren’t enough reasons to love the show, the comedy featured goddess Kristin Chenoweth. Just please make a movie, it’s all I ask. I am have Cheno-withdrawals and need to know what happens next to the group of catty, yet good at heart, christian belles.
9. Lois and Clark
Before there was Smallville, there was Lois & Clark. Before there was Tom Welling, there was Dean Cain. This was my morning show. It was fast paced, exciting, and starred future Desperate Houswives star Terri Hatcher. Honestly, this was a show about Superman featuring talented, good looking actors. There was no way of going wrong…except ending the show on a cliffhanger. The show’s fourth and final season ended with HG Wells (yes, that one) leaving a baby at Lois and Clark’s doorstep. Who’s baby? Is it their baby from the future? Why is it being left with them? Why were there no answers? Why do networks hate us?
10. Kyle XY
So this sci-fi show about a boy with amnesia ended with not just a cliffhanger, but a whole lot of WTFs. Love triangle questions, surprise family revelations… we will never what’s in store for Kyle in the future or, specifically, how he reacts to Cassidy being his brother. The finale had so many “what the hell” moments that we were left with just plain ol’ confusion.