Wrongfully Fired Shows

April showers bring May flowers, which in turn bring June TV cancelations. Ok, to be fair, the axe started falling months earlier, but this is the time of year when we are taking stock, so please let that one slide … for old time’s sake. Anyway, here’s a couple shows we’re still mourning more than a month after the end was called.

The Grinder [FOX]


I’m now likely 2-for-2 on this site for recommending a show you should be watching and finding it canceled near-immediately. The Grinder was pretty much doomed from day one, its very premise undone by its initial less-than-savvy promotion. While ads touted the legal-drama-within-a-legal-comedy as its hacky internal Rob Lowe (as Dean Sanderson) vehicle, the actual program was a clever, quirky, hyper-meta ensemble revelation. A game cast featuring Lowe, Fred Savage, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, William Devane and others made fun of the show itself, along with every other trope-happy half-hour to come before it. Who knew how much the older Savage brother was missed, but he proved Emmy-worthy as a crazy mix between straight man and MST3K/Rifftrax-style audio commentary, capturing all the absurdity building around him, while also chiming in with his own neurotic moments. There’s been about zero talk of Netflix or Hulu riding in on a white steed, so it’s probably one-and-done for The Grinder, but it should be placed up there on the shelf with Freaks & GeeksMy So-Called Life, and others as a fabled one-year wonder.
– Jason Thurston

Togetherness [HBO]


In an unexpected twist of events (so unexpected even the producers didn’t know that the season two finale would be the series end when it was shot) <i>Togetherness</i> came to an abrupt halt after only two seasons. We were just getting a sense of who Tina is and how her priorities were shifting to want to settle down and have a family of her own, when John kissed her and said hey, I’m in for this ride. After a tumultuous season Brett and Michelle are finally under one roof again but does that mean all is forgiven? I’m not ready to let these self-absorbed, angst-filled characters go yet! They are my people, people that are well out of their twenties still trying to figure their stuff out. Adulting is hard and nobody talks about it! Sometimes you will be in your mid-thirties and end up back on your sister’s couch for awhile. I still need to know if marriage is all it’s cracked up to be and that if you’re not married, well that’s okay too. I just think this cast deserved a little more time to figure out their indie-style happily ever after.
– Navani Otero

I’m heartbroken that Togetherness wasn’t renewed by HBO. It’s not an easy show, emotionally, (I’m not particularly interested in marriage after an episode) but it was so good. I’m going to miss having Melanie Lynskey around, every week, given an opportunity to show her range.
– Katherine M. Hill


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