I have a reader who keeps asking why we don’t write about Firefly. You know, Firefly – that wonderful sci fi show that Joss Whedon lovingly created, only to see it last but one season – mainly because of Fox network suits constantly fiddling with the order of episodes and times it was on.
Well, people figured out how great Firefly was, and suddenly, all over the world, people were throwing Firefly parties. I attended a convention where three of the stars of the show talked on a panel; and an incredibly awesome fun-time shiny movie got made.
I could talk about the fact that there is going to be a Firefly: Season 2 comic, or rhapsodize about the Little Damn Heroes figurines.
But I’m not here to talk about Firefly.
Instead, I’d like to tell you about some tv shows you probably haven’t heard of. What all of these shows have in common is that they were all on for only one season.
1. Brimstone- Detective Ezekiel Stone was sent to Hell for killing his wife’s rapist, and given a chance to get out. He strikes a deal with the Devil, promising to return escaped souls to Hell. Stone, played by Peter Horton, played straightman to John Glover’s charming, funny, yet evil bastard Devil. The clever set up to every episode, was that Ezekiel would wake up every morning with the same clothes he wore when he died and with whatever he had in his pocket, which included $36.27. He could not be killed, unless you shot his eyes out, and the same was true of the evil souls that escaped Hell. He had no other super powers beyond this because he’d only been in Hell a short time, but those who had been there a while had a whole lot of abilities. So, in every story, he was always the underdog. He even got himself an arch nemesis (surprisingly, not the Devil), which I will let you discover if you get a hold of this series. Which you should. Now. Just find it. Quit whining.
2. Greg the Bunny- Another great show FOX screwed over, Greg the Bunny was about a morning show with puppets. Oh and in this world, the puppets are alive. There was much raunchy humor, centered on puppet/human sexuality and the type of office politics one sees in every job, and Seth Green, Eugene Levi, and Sarah Silverman were in it. Still, the puppets were the best part, which included Greg the Bunny, who was mostly innocent but had your average human appetites; Warren the Ape, an arrogant ac-TOR! who was convinced he should be doing Shakespeare; Count Blah, a cynical vampire puppet who was exhausted by all the stupidity inherent in making a TV show; and Tardy Turtle… nuff said.
3. Wonderfalls- This came out the same time as Joan of Arcadia with a similar premise, though it was yet another show screwed over by the FOX network. In this, Jaye Tyler, a cynical slacker girl store clerk at the Niagara Falls gift shop starts hearing the different figurines and stuffed animals telling her to do things, and, when she does what they say, horrible disasters are averted and good things happen. So, she follows what they say for no other reason than she does not want to be responsible for bad things happening. The main character was played by Caroline Dhavernas, who can now be seen playing Will Graham’s psychiatrist in Hannibal. In fact, the creator of this show not only created Hannibal, but Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me, making the FOX network look more and more like schmucks.
4. God, the Devil, and Bob- If you’re into cartoons that are dark and something kids shouldn’t see, this is the show for you. The title practically tells you what this is about: God and the Devil start hanging out with an everyman named Bob. This show actually got religious groups all in a tizzy, though they need not bother, since it went off the air after a few episodes. It had an all star cast, with God being played by James Gardner, the Devil played by Alan Cummings, French Stewart playing Bob, and Laurie Metcalf playing his long suffering wife Donna.
5. Jekyll- This was a 6 episode series done by the BBC, and, no, it was not cancelled because they screwed them over. It’s because the BBC, on a regular basis, will do shows that will sometimes only last one – gasp – season. Jekyll is about a man whose body and personality changes at certain times, to someone younger, stronger, and nastier, and he has to learn how to deal with it while a clandestine government organization is trying to get him. He discovers that he was a descendant of the original Henry Jekyll, the man Robert Louis Stevenson wrote about. Jekyll is played by James Nesbitt, who does a great job portraying both personalities. Gina Bellman plays his wife and Michelle Ryan plays his psychiatrist. It pretty much tells a complete story, but there are rumors that they may make a second season – someday – if the writers feel they have anything more to say. If they don’t, they don’t think its the end of the world.