5 Shows That Ended Too Soon

Have you ever fallen madly in love with a series only to find out it ended after 1 or 2 seasons? Or to hear your favorite show will be canceled before season 3 hits despite the cliffhanger the writers left you on? While some series can go on for a decade or more (looking at you Doctor Who) some haven’t been as lucky. Here’s to the shows that ended too soon.

1.) Pushing Daisies

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Pushing Daisies revolves around Ned the Piemaker who can bring someone back from the dead with just one touch. The downside is another touch will leave the resurrected permanently dead, which makes for a complicated relationship after Ned revives his childhood sweetheart.

At it’s heart Pushing Daisies is a love story, but it’s also part murder mystery. Ned uses his ability to bring back murder victims to get clues and help his detective friend catch the culprit. For such a morbid idea the show loves its color with a heavy usage of yellow and high saturation. It’s one of the more charming and creative plots I’ve seen on TV, but unfortunately it was canceled after 2 seasons.

Revival? Please?

2.) In the Flesh

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If you haven’t seen In the Flesh please get on Hulu and watch it now. There are only 9 episodes, but the show is a heart stopping (pun intended) drama from start to finish. It centers on Kieren Walker, an 18 year-old who committed suicide and then returned as a zombie, who has just re-entered society after his transformation. Zombies in this universe have been treated and must take shots to keep them from going rabid along with wearing make-up and contacts to make them appear more normal. The show is more of a social commentary on prejudice, but done with zombies. They deal with slurs and try to avoid being attacked by looking and acting as humanly possible.

The series also incorporated a mythology building around the zombies with rumors of the first risen bringing about a second coming. Aside from the supernatural component, the series was primarily about acceptance. Overall the show is evenly balanced between lore and reality.

Despite winning a BAFTA, it was taken off air early on. There have been petitions online to revive it, but it looks like this one will remain buried.

3.) Agent Carter

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I adore this show, but sadly it also ended after 2 seasons. While slow at points, Agent Carter worked amazingly as a vintage spy series with a realistically written woman taking the lead. It takes Peggy Carter from Marvel’s Captain America and follows her career and personal life after the film. We see her struggle to be seen in a male dominated field, but she also takes advantage of this invisibility to pursue independent cases. More than anything viewers watch her grow and find her own self worth in a 1940s America while also being a complete badass both mentally and physically.

While it didn’t get enough ratings to stay, there are rumors that it might come back as a Netflix or Hulu series. With the success of other Marvel Netflix shows, I think it’d be the perfect platform for this agent.

4.) You, Me, and the Apocalypse

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This was recently taken off Hulu, but you can buy all 10 episodes (yes, only 10) on Amazon Video, which I recommend! While it only lasted one season the few episodes it does have make a satisfying arc that you can easily binge. Warning: You will be left with a massive cliffhanger which will cause you to re-watch the entire season.

This is another end of the world show with a comet impacting the earth in about 30 days. While the apocalypse theme is a bit worn down, the show only uses it as a setting. The show is more focused on the relations between a diverse group of people who are all connected. Every set of characters has their own unique plot making the show feel more like a loose anthology series. This is one of those shows that has you laughing, sobbing, biting your nails, and shaking a fist at the screen. I’m not sure why such an original series was canceled, but what a ride.

5.) Galavant

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Galavant is fairly recent, but sadly it ended last year after 2 seasons. This is a musical comedy about knights, kings, and magic. It’s meant to be silly, but it also had well written character development and witty dialogue. Season 2 more than anything allowed the characters to grow and become more complex. I was mostly impressed by King Richard and Madalena. Richard goes from the antagonist to friend (my favorite trope) and the audience sees that he’s just a lonely man with a heart larger than his brain. On the other hand, Madalena goes from damsel in distress to evil queen and sorceress. Even while she became the true villain of the series, she was still sympathetic and relatable. Part of me wanted to see her win, but that’s one of the reasons why this show is so watchable. You get to know the characters well enough to root for all of them.

While the series did give Galavant and many other characters a neatly wrapped ending to their arcs, it did leave with one cliffhanger. One character had a story that was just beginning and one I was invested in, but sadly we won’t be seeing a conclusion anytime soon. I’m hoping a streaming service will pick it back up because even the complete endings felt rushed and unexplored.

 

What are some of your beloved canceled shows?

8 Movies to Look Forward to in 2017

Movie trailers are one of my favorite things in this world. I’m that annoying friend who insists we get to the theater early just so I can see a glimpse at upcoming films on the big screen. Yes, even if I’ve already seen the trailer 3 1/2 times on Youtube. That being said, here are some movies I’m looking forward to in 2017!

1.) Beauty and the Beast

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A tale as old as time. I grew up with the classic animated princess movies and my favorites (aside from Lion King, but does that count as a prince movie?) were Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. The costume and set designs for this film are already breathtaking and while I’m old school and wish the Beast wasn’t CGI, I do his look. It mirrors the animated version, but his appearance incorporates a vintage Gothic aesthetic.

2.) Thor 3: Ragnarok

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Thor is my favorite Avenger so it goes without saying that I adore this Norse god of thunder. While some of the past Thor films are on the campier side, I’ve never complained about their tone because they’re a fun watch.While Captain America 3 starred an ensemble cast and acted as a nice addition to the Avengers ongoing story, I’ll gladly take a breather to dive into Asgardian lore.

3.) Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2

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Speaking of the MCU, Guardians of the Galaxy is returning this year and it will also serve as a nice break from the Avengers. When GotG first came out I impressed at how different it was from past MCU films. The movie used a sillier plot and characters to its advantage and created a comedy based adventure through space with a rocking mixtape. Vol. 2 will keep the same style, but seems to be pushing its characters into a far larger adventure.

4.) Spider-Man: Homecoming

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Yes, another Spider-Man reboot, but it looks heartfelt and charming. Tom Holland already proved he could pull off both Peter Parker and his alter ego in CA3 so based off that performance and what we see of him in the trailer, I think he’ll be a strong lead. Also, this adaption won’t be an origin story, which will be a nice change of pace compared to the last few installments. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if we got an Uncle Ben flashback.

5.) Logan

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I realize that most of these are superhero movies, but 2017 seems to be the year of heroes. As an X-Men fan I’m a little more than excited to see the last part of Wolverine’s trilogy. Seeing an older version of Logan who is worn down and still looking for peace as Johnny Cash sings “Dirt” in the background was almost more than my heart could take. This film look like a true final chapter with the barren landscapes,washed out colors, and a grey Wolverine. I also love how the title has stripped away his alter ego and revealed the man behind the beast. This isn’t about the Wolverine, it’s about Logan. Not a mutant, but a human. I have a strong feeling this movie will leave me in tears and I can accept that.

6.) Kong: Skull Island

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This movie looks fun, that’s all I can say. I may be partial to the cast (It’s Tom Hiddleston, after all), but the trailer also reminded me of vintage Godzilla films where the cast finds themselves on Monster Island, spend their discovering secrets, and eventually befriends Godzilla. If this movie mirrors that formula and embraces the quirkiness of older monster movies then it’ll be a fun ride from start to finish.

7.) Wonder Woman

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I love DC, but their film franchise hasn’t impressed me since the Dark Knight. Still, I’m glad to see Wonder Woman getting a chance at the big screen and I love the vintage backdrop they chose for her. The special affects also look great with her golden lasso of truth, but I’m still holding out hope for the invisible jet to make its debut.

8.) Star Wars: Episode VIII

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We’ve gotten 2 heart-racing Star Wars movies these past few years and most people I know are waiting for another chapter. There aren’t any trailers yet, but much like The Force Awakens, this new installment has been kept under wraps to avoid any spoilers. I’m not sure where the story¬† is going, but TFA was a well written and exciting opener to this new journey and now that we’ve been introduced to these characters, I’m sure act 2 won’t disappoint!

What movies are you looking forward to this year?

Halloween Movie Marathon – Ghostbusters

I was going to wait until October to do this, but I’m in the Halloween spirit and it can’t be stopped. For the next seven weeks leading up to Halloween, I want to spend Wednesdays talking about my favorite movies to marathon during this spooky season. Not all of them are necessarily Halloween films, but they still capture that October nights essence for me. So who am I gonna call for #7? The 1984 hit, Ghostbusters!

Unlike most people my age, Ghostbusters wasn’t a part of my childhood. I didn’t see it until I was a junior in college, which was roughly four years ago. Still, I loved it when I first sat down to watch it on TV and after it was over I stayed on the couch to watch the sequel, which I also loved. The cast is a huge part in my admiration for the film given the immense talent they put together (Rick Moranis is a gift to the acting community). It’s difficult for me to watch this without being charmed by their characters in someway.

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Ghostbusters may not be a scary movie for the Halloween season, but I don’t pick those kind of movies based on a scare factor. I like the more lighthearted, ghoulish movies over gore and horror. Ghostbusters is goofy for sure and by no means a masterpiece, but it has humor and heart. It doesn’t ask the audience to think too deeply, but it also doesn’t feel like mindless TV. It’s a creative piece complete with unique folklore for the spirits. In fact, if I have one solid critique, it would be that the film doesn’t spend enough time on the folklore.

Ghostbusters: It’s silly, filled with ghosts, and ends with a marshmallow man destroying the city.What’s not to love with this favorite?

 

 

 

On Losing Pop Culture Icons

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I’m not the first person who has said this, but I need to say it to set the stage for this post. In this past year we’ve lost so many iconic figures to old age, disease, or tragic events. Why does it hit some of us more when we lose a celebrity or artist? Why do I feel so heartbroken at the loss of Gene Wilder? Why did I, someone who rarely sheds a tear, cry my eyes out after hearing the news of David Bowie’s passing? What causes that sting despite never knowing these people on a personal level?

I think it’s because most of us have grown up in a movie centered culture. Everyone remembers the Disney film they watched constantly as a kid or the first feature they saw in theaters. People associate movies with specific events or emotions. And when this happens, people become attached to the characters they see on screen, which is then extended into a connection with the actors behind them.

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So when we lose people who were part of our childhoods or are associated with meaningful moments in our lives, we lose a piece of ourselves with them. They take a fragment of our nostalgia with them to the grave. On the night of Gene Wilder’s death, Twitter had hashtags trending for all of his works where people were posting quotes, pictures, and gifs from his films. They were desperate to hold onto the moments he made for them all because there was a bond present. These moments provided us with inspiration and hope. They sparked our creativity or made us laugh on a godawful day. And they stayed with us so in that way, we’re connected to these films. We’re connected to the people behind the curtain.

Then when we lose one of those icons we remember how nothing can be protected. We’re reminded that there’s a reality behind the screen where these actors are only human. They breathe. They create. They die.

But they aren’t lost. Those movies and songs still exist. Their presence is still with us, which makes us fortunate. All of those moments are just a click away if we need the comfort or the laugh after a bad day. We may have lost these figures in the real world, but their work hasn’t vanished. This world isn’t always pretty, but I say we hold onto the work these people have done so that we can keep learning from it. We can keep smiling from it. We can keep being inspired so that the world is never short on creative souls.

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From Books to Television

I’m not against books being adapted onto the big screen even if, as the saying goes, “the book was better”.¬† Of course the book is better. It’s impossible to fit every detail and moment into a 2 hour film, and sometimes characters and plot points fall into a pit where they’re completely forgotten.However, books being adapted in television series is another thing, and I’m honestly taking a liking to the rising trend.

In a TV series, the crew is given more room to handle a larger cast of characters and play with those intricate details. I still believe Harry Potter would make an excellent Netflix series so I’ll use it as an example. Having one book adapted in a 20 episode season would allow more time to show those slice of life moments at Hogwarts. The books themselves, especially the first few, go through the entire school year with many day-t0-day scenarios. These scenarios just include magical beasts and wizard high jinks. Imagine a whole episode about a field trip to Hogsmeade or Hargid teaching them about the Hippogriff. There would be time to neatly go through a year at Hogwarts through 20 episodes rather than squeeze all of that time into a roughly 2 hour film.

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(The show would even have spinning transitions like an old Batman episode).

Also, for content material like Harry Potter, a TV series would allow more room for the characters to breathe and grow. In the films, many are left out or rarely shown on screen. One of Ron’s brothers, Percy, is absent despite having a vital role at times in the books. In any adaptation plot points will be cut, but with the format of an hour long TV series, characters like Percy would at least get a chance at being more involved than the films allowed them.

Not to mention that lately people enjoy television series more than movies. By adapting into this format, the books would have a better chance at reaching a wider audience. For longer book series, this might be more beneficial in case the movies don’t last as long as planned (think the Chronicles of Narnia). I’m not saying every adaptation will be perfect, but changing up the medium that novels get adapted into is a smart move. After all, look at the success of shows like Game of Thrones or Sherlock. Personally, I can’t wait for more book to televisions adaptations (looking at you American Gods and Dirk Gently).

 

The End of Superhero Movies?

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I’ve heard people jokingly (and not so jokingly) ask if the end of superhero movies is near. The thing is, superhero movies have become their own genre so to ask for an end would be like asking for the end of romantic comedies, horror movies, or spy thrillers. Also, superhero movies aren’t anything new. They’ve existed long before the Avengers hit screens, and they’ll be around long after. I have no complaints about a new movie or two being released each year, but I can understand the exhaustion people are having. We don’t need an end though. We need variety.

One of the issues is that every recent superhero movie is linked together and all done through the same company. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is impressive, it doesn’t allow much separation because there are movies for each of the main Avengers leading in to the Avenger trilogy. Viewers are stuck in the same universe over and over again even though they’re able to see different stories taking place in that universe.

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One of the reasons people praised Deadpool was that it felt separate. It wasn’t done by Marvel so it didn’t connect and it kept itself apart from Fox’s other franchise, the X-Men (there were jokes, but that was a given). Deadpool also took on a wildly different tone, which made it a refreshing addition to the genre. I’d like to see more films follow suit either by making superhero movies that are separate from the MCU or making ones that explore different tones, styles, and storytelling.

DC does well in making their movies different from Marvel, but they’re also trying to build a connected universe that will carry on the same dark and gritty feel of Batman Vs. Superman or the Dark Knight trilogy. I’d like to see DC heroes star in films that aren’t always trying to be edgy or grim, and I’d like to see Marvel films that take on a different spin without requiring a marathon of movies from the ever growing MCU.

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I feel like the TV series are doing well with separation though (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Agent Carter, Supergirl, etc.). Every show has it’s own unique feel that is connected to another show in some way, but it connects in a subtle way. One that invites the viewer to check out the other series/movies, but doesn’t require them to. Someone can watch Agent Carter without seeing the first Captain America and understand the plot completely. The show also takes advantage of its 1940’s setting by giving the series a vintage aesthetic and plays with issues of the time. It’s connected to the MCU, but it feels complete by itself with a unique look and feel.

I love superheroes. I love superhero films. I don’t want to see the genre die, but I would like some variety. We need more content like Deadpool or Agent Carter that finds its own path rather than following a worn down trail. There’s no need for an end, but there is need for creativity and growth within the genre.

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Let’s Talk Aesthetic – Jessica Jones

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Lately, I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about aesthetic. Almost always, I’m thinking and reading about various superhero shows/movies coming out or already existing. The more I dive into the superhero genre, the more I notice how these on screen adaptations represent themselves to the public. DC strives for a gritty realism while also becoming entangled with philosophical material. Meanwhile Marvel steers into a brighter appearance and relies on a good dosage of humor.

Then of course the TV series for both franchises go on their own paths. Agent Carter seeks out a vintage style, Supergirl is a little more bubblegum, and Daredevil places itself in the shadows to illustrate the dirtiness of Hell’s Kitchen. Then there comes along Jessica Jones which I think has the most unique style because it incorporates the above aesthetics while also molding itself into something new while still having an air of familiarity.

One of the most evident elements in the Jessica Jones aesthetic is the noir theme. This captures that vintage style which has been finding its way into more pop culture. People like the look of older times while not always wanting to be there. Think of the 1950s ideal where people look at photographs of girls in big skirts and sweaters sipping a milkshake at the diner with their main squeeze. Those people want to go back there, but they don’t want the values and mindset of the 50’s – just the look.

Jessica Jones answers that need by placing a modern story with modern ideals on a stage with vintage decorations. She is the classic detective sitting in a dank office waiting for a case to walk in. The office itself is set up like one you’d see in an old noir film, but it still manages to stay within its time while replicating the style elements people yearn for. It’s the single desk in front of a window, dim lighting (possibly to capture that black & white feel), the straight man delivery of lines, and the typical customers one might see strolling in. Only this time the detective is a woman who also saves the day as a hero (though she wouldn’t want to be called that). This series mirrors that past aesthetic, but it doesn’t forget what and where it is. That’s partly why I was drawn to the series.

Another aesthetic this show uses is the grittiness that DC has been experimenting with. The show is dark both in manner and appearance. Hell’s Kitchen is a dirty, run down place with little sun and often seems cold judging by the heavy jackets the characters wear.Yet somehow the show never feels dark or lost in the shadows. There’s actually quite a bit of color popping onto the screen, most noticeably with purple. Even in the darkest moments of the show, there’s one vivid color standing out. This could represent a ray of light/hope in the worst times or even present a warning of danger (after all, Killgrave is the man in purple).

It’s refreshing to see how they take the gritty aesthetic and add in a splash of color. Just take a look at the poster for the series – it’s on a darker pallet, but the pallet still exists. It finds color in the shadows and satirizes those shades to make it stand out. The series never felt to me like the characters were trapped in a dark room – there was plenty of room to breath in the noir feel and bring it into day’s world.