Friday, May 24, 2024

5 TV Series That Were Cut Down Early.

October 10, 2021 by  
Filed under News, TV/Film/Movies

( The 2010s was a period of really dope shows with a lot of style and strong writing that ended early. In some cases, they ended at just the right time since the writing started to suffer.

We’re going to look at a few TV shows that ended pretty early and could’ve gone further.

Into the Badlands (AMC, 2015-2019)

This was probably the dopest of the shows on this list. Into the Badlands was a post-apocalyptic series that mixed in high octane martial arts.

By the time that the show aired, we’d seen martial arts in TV shows for decades but this was one of the first ones where the fights didn’t sit at the extremes of hokey and hyper violent.

It’s amazing what can be done with the age-old story Journey to the West. While the character Sunny, a cog—bodyguard and plantation overseer—was the main character, this show did an amazing job at keeping other characters so involved in the story and the changing world that it should be watched for aspiring TV writers.

AMC - Into the Badlands

Salem (WGN America, 2014-2017)

There are two-and-a-half sleepers on this list. Salem is one of two full sleepers in that it was on a horrible network for a series but actually managed to go three seasons.

WGN America was a network that floated on Cubs baseball games and syndicated TV for the most part. It was the channel you flipped past to get to more favorable channels.

Then in the early 2010s, it got a few TV series—two of the more eventful ones are on this list. Salem was a historical fiction series about the Salem witch trials of 1692 and 1693.

The twist in the show is that there were actually witches and they were taking over Salem while staying out of the reach of witchfinders and the suspicions of the village.

I loved the style of this show and the writing of the first two seasons was on point. One thing that is death for a series on cable is announcing the show won’t be renewed for another season.

Once that was made known during season three as well as a move to Wednesday, it was a done deal for Salem.

Marvel’s Daredevil (Netflix, 2015-2018)

If a show is on Netflix, it’s best not to expect it to run for a long time. Although, there have been shows that ran longer than you figured they would. Daredevil was a show that was here and gone in a particularly brief three seasons.

That’s the other thing about Netflix as well as AMC, the seasons can be a bit on the short side depending on the series. Well, in Netflix’s case, they all tend to run pretty short.

Daredevil was the anchor for the Netflix-Marvel series which included Luke Cage, The Defenders, Jessica Jones, Ironfist, and The Punisher.

Honestly, I should just put all of those series under Daredevil as each show was different and had its own story that tied into the others but all series were had a pace and visual style that made them pop individually.

Like Into the Badlands, the action sequences in the Netflix-Marvel stuff were really good and Daredevil was at the top of that hill.

Tyrant (FX, 2014-2016)

The FX pace of shows can be slow and plodding with an emphasis on slow burn stories. Kind of like HBO series, really. As a result, many shows on FX can end up being sleepers or overlooked entirely.

Tyrant was a show with a cement-slow start that kicked things up a notch at the end of the first season. Then it came in with an explosive second season that slowed down at the end.

By the third season, the show was basically done. Viewership dropped and that’s just death on cable television. I will say that the writing for a season and half was very exciting as the heir to a tyrant’s lands returns from his life as a pediatrician in America to help his brother, the current tyrant.

Then he becomes the leader of the country himself but not without getting mud on his shoes as a freedom fighter. The story gets wild really quickly but the premise was interesting.

When this show was cancelled, it was cancelled at the right time given how the third season was just…not enjoyable to watch. This is an FX trait as The Strain had a similar progression and fate.

Underground (WGN America, 2016-2017)

Here we have the other WGN America show that made waves. Of the shows on this list, it’s in the company of Into the Badlands and Daredevil when it came to must-watch, must-tweet TV.

Underground was an action-drama taking place in during the late-1850s. Usually when we got Black narratives focused on the period, it’s focused on the horrors of slavery. It usually “keep the family together even during the worst of times”.

This show featured those horrors but also depicted brave characters who are in the mud. They’re fleeing, they’re fighting, they’re bringing others with them, slave hunters are getting killed, there’s explosives, Black turncoats—this show had a lot going on.

However, this show also only had ten episodes a season and two seasons in total. There was a lot to explore here and it just didn’t seem like there was enough time. This show was amazing!

Like Salem, it had this style to it that brought WGN America into the 2010s. It featured the same dramatic storytelling approach but was also primetime mature in content.

There are viewers who believe that Underground’s demise came as Sinclair Broadcasting showed interest in scooping WGN America up and the network itself was scrapping anything that might not appeal to a conservative viewer base.

That’s either some awareness on WGN America’s part or just a marketing department that knew what the deal was already. In any case, this show along with Into the Badlands and Salem are shows worthy of continuations.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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