Thursday, April 26, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks #198: TV Shows that failed to get a second season

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of "Thursday Movie Picks", the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. This being the last Thursday of the month, it's time for another TV edition, which this month is shows that failed to get a second season. To be honest, I don't watch much episodic TV any more, so this one was a bit hard for me to think of much, and I had to go back and look to see whether the shows did get a second season or not. Thankfully, the theme doesn't seem to require that we liked the shows in question. So without further ado, here are some old obscurities:

Life With Lucy (1986). Lucille Ball was pushing 75 and had already begun having the strokes that would ultimately do her in a few years later. Still, somebody thought that bringing her back to TV for another sitcome 20 years or more past her time would be a brilliant idea. Oh, and they brought back Gale Gordon from Here's Lucy too. They couldn't bring back Vivian Vance because she was already dead. Needless to say, the show didn't succeed and was pulled after 13 episodes.

Nowhere Man (1995). Bruce Greenwood plays Thomas Veil, a photographer who took a photo of what looks like CIA types running a secret operation in Central America. Whoever is behind that operation doesn't like that the photo got taken, so they try to steal the negative and erase Veil's identity. I tend not to believe that the federal government engages in this sort of conspiracy theory -- they're much more open about the evils they commit -- but the show was very well done.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1982). I don't care for the movie, although I can understand why people who like musicals do. There's at least a reasonable idea for a story there, ending with the brothers getting marries. Turning into a weekly TV series? That to me makes no sense. Unsurprisingly it didn't get a second season. Richard Dean Anderson, before MacGyver plays one of the brothers, as does a very young River Phoenix. And as far as I can tell, none of that opening theme is by Elmer Bernstein.

Now to see what everybody else has picked. And if I've even heard of half the shows selected.


joel65913 said...

I've actually seen episodes of two of these.

Life with Lucy just had disaster written all over it from the get go. I don't want to say that an older woman can't lead a show-heaven knows Betty White and Angela Lansbury are still kickin' it like pros-but Lucille Ball was not up to it when this attempt was made. I remember her as seeming dangerously frail and I was sorry to see her so diminished. The fact that the show was terribly stale made it all the sadder, I only watched a couple of episodes.

I was a big fan of Here Come the Brides so when Seven Brides for Seven Brothers came along I hoped that it might have the same low-key charm but it didn't come close. Again I was out after only a few eps.

I've never heard of Nowhere Man but it at least sounds interesting.

Like you I also don't watch much episodic TV anymore but my reason is more because almost every time I find something I like it gets cancelled which is very frustrating. It did however give me many choices for this week.

Awake (2012)-LAPD Detective Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs) is involved in a serious car accident with his family and when he awakes finds himself in two different realities. In the first his wife Hannah has survived the crash, in the second his son Rex but Michael can’t tell which is his true waking life. To try and help him place himself he wears a red wristband in the first and a green in the second and consults a different therapist in each. They are the only ones aware of his problems which leads to issues with his team at work. But Michael has become extraordinarily good at solving crimes since he is able to use details and clues he gleans from both realities. Complex, sometimes disorienting (there are times where Michael is dreaming within a dream and so forth) series had a great performance by Isaacs in the lead but required an attention investment that might have been too much for viewers.

Forever (2014)-In 1814 35 year old Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd) is killed while trying to free slaves from a slave ship but something happens whilst he’s in the water and he reemerges alive, unharmed, naked and immortal-a pattern that is repeated whenever he dies. Jump forward 200 years and Henry is now a New York City medical examiner who uses his centuries of accrued knowledge to help solve crimes while he searches for the key to his immorality. A widower he lives over an antique shop owned by his 80 year old “son” Abraham (Judd Hirsch) who he and his late wife rescued from a concentration camp as a child. But Henry has an enemy-Adam (Burn Gorman) a 2000 year old immortal who thinks he might have found an answer to releasing them from their plight and tries to force Henry to help him. Not as complicated as it sounds this was a fun show full of quirky characters and a fantastic team in Gruffudd and Hirsch who played off each other so well.

Rake (2014)-Keegan Deane (Greg Kinnear) is a criminal defense lawyer and reprobate whose self-destructive behavior cause him no end of troubles leading to him battling wits and owing money to everyone he knows, including his ex-wife, judges, an assistant district attorney, his bookie, a brothel owner, and the IRS. His saving grace is that when he gets around to it he’s a very good attorney. Ramshackle comedy/drama was driven by the charismatic Kinnear who obviously was having a hell of a good time. Had the misfortune to air on Fox who moved it around too many times.

Wendell Ottley said...

I vaguely remember the Lucy show. Sadness. Haven't heard of the other two. I suppose there's good reason for that.

Birgit said...

I love Nowhere Man and thought it was excellent. I remember it being on on a Dumday afternoon which is just doomsday and never understood why it didn’t get more airplay. Life With Lucy was so poor and I felt so bad for Lucille Ball whom, I think, was still thinking young but she forgot her true age and Joel surmised this perfectly. I have a vague memory of Seven Brides but it looks bad even from the beginning and who is that chick. I love it when they add an actor as “and” so and so and we have no cl7e who the heck that person is.

Brittani Burnham said...

The only one of these I was alive during was Nowhere Man and I don't think I've even heard of it until now. I loved watching the original I Love Lucy reruns though.