Why Were They Canceled?

A reflection on the shows that were gone too soon and have since become the pinnacles of pop culture and teen-angst.

Veronica Glover

Staff Writer

In the show “Freaks and Geeks,” Lindsay Weir, played by Linda Cardellini, is a high school mathlete who begins to hang out with a group of “burnouts,” or misfits, while her younger brother Sam (John Francis Daley), struggles to navigate high school during his freshman year. “Freaks and Geeks” (1999) is an American coming-of-age dramedy based on the hardship and misfortune of being an outsider. The Emmy award-winning series is set near Detroit in 1980, and it details the stories of two groups simultaneously—freaks and geeks—as they portray the awkward yet hilarious unfairness of being a teen and the desire to fit in. The television series, written and executive-produced by Judd Apatow, aired on NBC and was canceled after airing only 12 out of the 18 scheduled episodes. Unfortunately, the show was said to have created conflicts between the producers and NBC given the erratic episode schedule of the series. The series left a major impression on the public, and it soon became a cult classic, which Judd Apatow carried on with by incorporating the actors in later works. With an all-star cast, including James Franco, Seth Rogan and Jason Segel, the beloved series was a breakout role for many of the actors who quickly became household names. Not to mention, the show’s admiration launched the careers of several other actors who played supporting, yet memorable characters such as Busy Philipps, Shia LaBeouf, Lizzy Caplan, Rashida Jones and Apatow’s spouse Leslie Mann. My love for the short-lived program is unmatched, and I am still recovering from the void of The Freak’s premature ending. 

On Sept. 15, 2011, The CW aired “The Secret Circle,” an American supernatural fantasy drama—also known as my favorite genre. The series is based on the young-adult book series of the same name, created by L. J. Smith. The teenage drama is set in the fictional town of Chance Harbor, Washington, and it follows the main character, Cassie Blake (Britt Robertson), who soon discovers she is a hereditary witch after moving to the town. Without delay, the truth emerges that she is the sixth member of a secret coven after her mother dies unexpectedly in a tragic fire. Once Cassie is initiated into the “Circle” of 11 other witches, they are all bound to each other. As a result, danger ensues after they unknowingly unleash a dark force upon the entire town. The witches are said to have been born into a circle, and once there is a complete circle, the powers of the witch are greatly magnified. However, a complete circle enables its members to have access to greater power, which is left uncontrolled, and magical energy starts to run astray. To the audience’s dismay, ratings began to decline during the second half of the show’s first season. In addition, due to the host costs of special effects, location shooting and cast members, the CW made a decision to cancel the series on May 11—my birthday—of 2012. There were rumors this week speculating a possible reunion of “The Secret Circle,” as reports claimed that The CW confirmed a revival of the regarded series for 2024. Nevertheless, the claims have been deemed as false, but fans remain hopeful. 

Lastly, “Why Women Kill” is a brilliantly spectacular series that depicts the events leading up to deaths caused by women. The American dark comedy-drama is an anthology television program that premiered on Aug. 15, 2019, and is currently streaming on CBS All Access. The series involves crime and mystery, consisting of 10 episodes, and is set in multiple time periods. “Why Women Kill” portrays the lives of three women living in different decades: a housewife during the 1960s, a wealthy socialite in the 1980s, and a lawyer in 2019. Each storyline details the women dealing with infidelity in their marriages, among other conflicts. The series analyzes the roles of women and how they have evolved over time, while their reaction to betrayal has not. All three women are connected through their time living in the same Pasadena mansion at various time periods. Regrettably, on July 1, 2022, Paramount+ made the ultimate determination to scratch the third season of the series right before production was about to commence. Despite its unique flare, costume design and all-star cast, the show’s mixed reviews were not enough for it to progress. Be that as it may, it is a must-watch and should not be overlooked as less than one of the greatest female-led series of the decade. 

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, featured


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