Okay, nerds. I’ve spent all our time together telling you what not to like, but now that it’s all coming to an end, I’m going to tell you what to like.
Some of the greatest television shows are cancelled because not enough people watch them, which is really upsetting but unsurprising since we live in a world where more people watch Dancing With the Stars than 30 Rock. But enough with the negative, my nerds!
So here it is: The list of the greatest shows that were cancelled before their time, but that you should watch anyway.
Arrested Development: If you watched any of the shows I’m going to list, Arrested Development was probably it. This short-lived three-season show is possibly one of the greatest shows to ever hit the air. Hilarious and smart, Arrested Development is a show about a dysfunctional family whose business has fallen apart. This show has some of the best continuity jokes ever and it is the show that Michael Cera developed, well, every character he has played since. It’s awesome. Watch it. It’s on Netflix Instant.
Firefly: Firefly is probably Joss Whedon’s best series (which I know is a bold statement considering Buffy, but this show just works better to me). It’s a space western that stars Nathan Fillion as Captain Mal Reynolds. There are only 14 episodes, but they’re all quality. It’s standard Joss Whedon: funny, sad, clever, poignant and filled with favorite character deaths. This is also on Netflix Instant and the film Serenity is also available.
Party Down: A more recently cancelled show, Party Down starred Adam Scott (who currently plays Ben Wyatt on Parks and Recreation). Party Down follows a group of caterers who continually find themselves in disastrous situations. The show bounces between looking at the caterers and examining the people who are hosting the parties. It’s hilarious with two seasons full of guest stars like J.K. Simmons, Kristen Bell and Ken Jeong. Netflix just brought the two seasons on the Instant lineup.
Veronica Mars: Veronica Mars is just three seasons of awesome. Starring Kristen Bell as the witty teenage private eye, this modern day noir series makes a heroine out of a real, imperfect character. Who doesn’t love Kristen Bell? Really? Also, tons of guest stars fill this series: Paul Rudd, Adam Scott and Michael Cera. Two of the greatest sidekicks ever are created through this series — you’re going to love Wallace and Piz, trust me. This show is funny, dark and smart. Even though she sounds like a superhero, Veronica is just a regular girl. The same people who created Party Down worked on Veronica Mars. Check it out on Netflix Instant View.
Pushing Daisies: A dark two-season fairy tale, Pushing Daisies stars Lee Pace and Kristin Chenoweth. Pace is the Pie Maker Ned who discovers he has the power to touch a dead body and restore it to life. The catch is that if the body stays alive for over a minute, someone else nearby dies. Ned brings his childhood love back to life but he cannot touch her again or else she will die — again. Heartbreakingly sweet and funny, Pushing Daisies is a drama-comedy with a forensics twist. This title is also available on Netflix Instant.
Better Off Ted: A satirical comedy, Better Off Ted looks at the American workplace as a corporate demon. This isn’t The Office, but it’s still pretty hilarious. Ted is the hero of the show, and he’s a likeable guy who works at Veridan Dynamics with some characters. Ted talks directly to you as he goes through the episodes. Portia de Rossi stars as his uptight boss Veronica. Look, it’s just really hilarious. The scientists Phil and Lem are the best characters on a show filled with other great characters. Better Off Ted can be seen on Netflix Instant view.
Dead Like Me: Created by the same guy who invented Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me is a two-season show about a group of grim reapers in Seattle. The show stars Ellen Muth and Mandy Patinkin. I know it seems a little morbid with the grim reapers and all, but it’s not. It’s touching and funny. The main character George (Muth) is a little hard to handle at first, but if you stick with it she grows on you as she develops. Also, who doesn’t love Mandy Patinkin? Inigo Montoya can do no wrong. Do yourself a favor and skip out on the movie they made after the series got cancelled. It’s bad. Like, really bad. Dead Like Me can be seen on Netflix Instant.
Aaron Sorkin’s Sports Night and Paul Feig/Judd Apatow’s Freaks and Geeks are not available on Netflix Instant but they’re still definitely worth checking out. They were short-lived but brilliant.
Do yourself a favor and watch these shows, my nerds!