After being on break, you go back to school and don't remember a thing.
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Television shows have been a staple in many homes around the world for almost 100 years. During that time, multiple shows have come and gone without being given the opportunity to really get on their feet.
Some were of low quality and could have just been pulled because of it; while many others were excellent...but due to low ratings, were canceled by their network. I asked TV junkies on Tumblr and Oh No They Didn't which shows they thought were undeserved victims of such an injustice. Here were the top 10.
1. "Pushing Daisies"
This was overwhelmingly named as the top show that got treated dirty by the network, ABC. It was bright and colorful, literally, and had a gripping story of Ned, a piemaker (Lee Pace), who had the ability to bring dead people back to life with just a single touch. He used this talent to help solve murder cases. Throw in dynamic characters, such as the private investigator, played by Chi McBride; and Olive, portrayed by the amazing Kristin Chenoweth, it's a shame this show didn't make it past three seasons. It was canceled in 2009.
This sitcom was another casualty of ABC. It was a modern-day version of "My Fair Lady." Granted, neither its title, nor its pilot, were very appealing, but it really hit its stride on the third episode. Plus, John Cho as the romantic lead? Yes, please. Sadly, the ratings did not improve by midseason. ABC pulled it in 2015 after airing only 13 episodes.
3. "Don't Trust the B**** in Apartment 23"
Yet another show that ABC canceled (it's not intentional, I swear!). Starring a pre-"Jessica Jones" Krysten Ritter, it centered around Chloe, a party girl who intentionally tries to scare off her roommates. Featuring a fictionalized version of James Van Der Beek (yes, that James Van Der Beek), the series received much praise from critics, but its ratings did not agree. ABC canceled it midseason in January 2013.
4. "Freaks and Geeks"
Moving over to NBC for this one, "Freaks and Geeks" starred young Linda Cardellini, James Franco and Seth Rogen. It followed brother/sister duo Lindsay and Sam Weir as they befriend different groups in their new high school, the "freaks" and the "geeks." Low ratings only allowed NBC to initially air 12 of the 18 episodes in the fall of 1999. Fan outcry caused the network to air the remaining six episodes on the Fox Family Channel in September 2000.
Back to ABC, "Galavant" was campy, fun and musical. With the music and lyrics co-written by Alan Menken (known for conducting much of the Disney songs we know and love), the show centered around a knight called Sir Galavant and his rivalry with King Richard. Comedy and songs throughout made it a fun story, which began airing in the 2015 midseason. Its second season kicked off with an episode poking fun at its low ratings and precarious status before ABC canceled it in spring 2016.
6. "Better Off Ted"
Another ABC sitcom and this is a show that I had never actually heard of, but its title came up a lot in the polls. It was a satire about a single father (Jay Harrington), who was the head of the research and development department at a large corporation. Costarring Portia de Rossi, the series premiered in March 2009, but its ratings dropped each week, forcing a cancellation in Jan. 2010.
Not to be confused with a Canadian show with a similar name, "Kings" was on NBC for a mere 12 episodes in 2009. It starred the always terrific Ian McShane in a futuristic version of what was eerily similar to the Bible story of King David. NBC aired the first five episodes in March 2009, then concluded airing its other seven episodes that July before announcing its cancellation.
I was surprised that this one did not make it higher on the list. Even today, fans still talk about the unfair treatment it received from Fox Network. The story took place in the year 2517 on various planets and star systems in space. It centered around a crew aboard the Serenity, a "Firefly-class" spaceship, captained by Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion). It premiered on Fox in September 2002, but then the network announced its cancellation after only 11 episodes were aired. Fan popularity and fan campaigns led to a movie, "Serenity," released in 2005, followed by a fan-made documentary in 2006.
The only cable show on this list, "Rome" was a historical drama set in first century BC during the time when Ancient Rome was transitioning into an empire. The characters were loosely based on real people from history, but the protagonists were two fictional soldiers by the names of Lucius Vorenus, played by Kevin McKidd, and Titus Pullo, played by Ray Stevenson.
It ran for two seasons on HBO, as well as the British Broadcasting Company, from August 2005 through March 2007. Unlike the other shows on the list, its reason for the cancellation was not because of low ratings but because the show was very expensive to film. Allegedly, there is currently a movie script based on the show being shopped around to different production companies.
10. "My So-Called Life"
Ending this list with, of course, another show canceled by ABC. Though, this one was a drama, not a sitcom. It premiered in August 1994 and starred Claire Danes as Angela Chase, an insecure teenager who encounters hardships in her social circle. The show dealt with heavy issues such as child abuse, homophobia and school violence. It received acclaim from critics, as well as a Golden Globe win for Danes. However, it succumbed to its low ratings in 1995, after only 19 episodes were aired.
Do you agree with this list? What other shows do you think should have made it on here? Do you feel like going back and watching any of these shows, and then screaming at the unfairness of its network for taking them off the air?
Did you know that your DNA more closely resembles that of your brothers and/or sisters than it does your parents? Each and every one of your siblings shares some similarities with you, linking all of you together biologically before you even have a chance to meet one another.
I believe that your siblings affect the person you become just as much as (if not more than) your parents do. Before you dial Parenting Magazine because I'm depriving mothers and fathers of their roles in life or not acknowledging the effort and sacrifices that parents make on a daily basis for the welfare of their children, hear me out.
Your parents (hopefully) raise you.
Your siblings shape you.
I'm the youngest of three kids: my brother being four years older and my sister being ten. It's because of this 'oops' birth placement that I have felt a desperate need to keep up or to catch up my entire life. If you're the youngest you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. (Put your hands down middle and oldest kids. I'll get to you.). The youngest kid, no matter how close we are in age to the middle or oldest, should have 'Guys, wait for me!' engraved on our tombstones. We are constantly trying to keep up with those that came before us and because it is physically impossible to attain the same milestones at the same time as our older siblings, we'll never be satisfied. We'll never feel quite like we've caught up. I remember when my sister came home to visit from college and she always managed to have something to talk about at holiday gatherings we'd attend during the season: different classes, professors, internships, jobs, boyfriends. Her life was limitless and fascinating and I would fight with words, trying (rather pathetically in hindsight) to gain a spot in the conversation. But when she was nineteen, I was nine and only equipped with tales of third grade and maybe something funny I'd seen the cat do last week. I didn't even switch classrooms in school, how was I supposed to compete with her dynamic lifestyle? I yearned to stand where she stood.
I'm in college now. I have varying classes each semester, different professors. I work two jobs. I have a boyfriend. I write for journals and contests constantly. I've published a book. And to this day, I'm still trying to catch up with my siblings. But the desperate ambition acquired as the youngest translates past maturing milestones. I am relentless in everything I do and for the longest time I just thought I was a naturally stubborn and hard working person. Then I checked out from the library, a book that is not mandatory for any of my classes. I checked it out because it was banned in my high schools and I couldn't stand the thought of other Writing majors having possibly read a book that I hadn't. And I started thinking about all the other times I had done this: during Junior year I enrolled in online school and the AP Language course I was taking didn't provide a required reading list, so I made my own based on alternative AP Lang courses, during Sophomore and Senior year if an English class read a book that my particular teacher didn't require I read it anyway, when someone mentions an author, a recipe, a place, a writing technique and I don't know what it is, I look it up so that I'll know better for next time. I realized that it was a recurring theme in my life, this desire to never allow anything to hold me back, to spot possible barriers and do anything in my power to knock them down.
This is the drive of the youngest child. Nobody, in my opinion, has the opportunity to be as passionately perseverant. We are headstrong human beings, the ones that come into the family last because we know that no matter what we do, our siblings will, in most cases, do it first. Now, I know this isn't the case for some families. Some youngest kids have it easier than others, those that have older siblings that flunked out of school and are destined to be living in the basement for the rest of their lives with no hope for a career past a telemarketer and no knowledge of ambition in the most elementary sense. But most of us do not come from these families. I certainly don't.
Middle children grow up to be entirely different people than youngest children, as they should. In my observations and experience, they're the hardest people to describe. Middle children are often stereotyped to be forgotten, swept aside, or ignored and I do agree that's the case sometimes. A girl I went to high school with was the middle child and she certainly embodied this stereotype, but since that's not always true, let's focus on the attributes that shape middle children.
Uncertainty. Middle children have a different kind of drive than the youngest, it's a kind of incentive that stems from the lack of assurance that they're going in the right direction. Youngest children don't need to be told that we're doing something right. We don't care. We're going to do it anyways. But middle children are different, they require the confirmation that they're moving in the right direction. Unfortunately this desire for reassurance causes middle children to be constantly changing. My brother has moved around almost as many times as I have (I'm up to 11) and has beat my whopping nine schools of attendance by one if my count is right. He's changed majors, career paths, and is notorious for making erratic decisions. Why? He was born into an uncertain position that wasn't the oldest and wasn't the youngest but the middle. It's the literal grey area of birth order that's deprived of a superlative. I am sorriest for you, middle children. If the youngest children could make a a year book just for you with confidence-instilling superlatives, we would and it would be the best.
And the oldest, the firstborn; if you're an oldest child, you should know that you're coveted by your siblings. I know that you feel you have the hardest place in the family (we all feel that, no matter what branch on the family tree we fall on), what with the burden of constant responsibility and the expectation to 'set a good example', but your younger siblings want to be you. The oldest child has a unique perspective when it comes to growing up. They grow up the same, biologically speaking, as any other kid but they also watch the most people growing up right behind them and in that slight difference from the rest of the siblings, they are more like parents. This fits because the most maturity is expected of the oldest. They are the go-between for the parents and the younger children which develops into one of my sister's least favorite character traits: the obligation to mediate. For years, my sister has declared that she's not going to get involved with family drama, with problems, with emotional outbursts from parents and siblings alike. She's made it her New Years Resolution for at least four years, according to my count. She has never kept it.
The oldest is the great problem-solver...not in their own lives of course, but when it comes to providing advice and knowing just what to say whether it's after an incident causing a bloody elbow or a broken heart, they're there with open arms and maybe a band-aid or chocolate, depending on the situation at hand.
Now, if you've gotten to the end of this article without closing it out, saying it's bullshit and turning Dr. Phil back on because he knows better (Though coincidentally, he's a middle child so how certain can he be about the advice he'd give you?) you have my permission now to go call your siblings. Pick up the phone, walk down the street, get on a plane, write a letter (That's right--embrace the power of snail mail.), send an email (Sigh--I hope you end up in spam if you take this lazy option.), bake a pie or a cake or buy flowers or a car (I don't know the limits of your checkbook!) and bring your gifts to your siblings and lay them down at their feet in gratefulness. You don't have to be this dramatic but it would certainly get a laugh out of them if you were. Take the youngest child approach on this one and be upfront, be brave, have a 'just watch me' attitude because your siblings deserve all of the embarrassing affection you can give them. They made you who you are. They are the greatest gift that your parents ever gave you and whether you want to throw the pumpkin pie across the table at them every year at Thanksgiving when you're forced to see them or you're one of those people that will live next door to your sister your entire life because you absolutely have to know where all your ducklings are (oldest children, that's you), you wouldn't be the person you are today if it weren't for your brothers and/or sisters. Accept it. Now go thank them. Go talk to them, acknowledge that they exist and that you won't forget their birthday this year.
Because what if one Thanksgiving it's your parents that you want to throw something at and what if you want to throw more than just the pie? What if you want to throw the whole table at them, mashed potatoes, turkey, stuffing and all?
You're going to need help throwing that table.