Friday, May 16, 2008

2 Shows that shouldn't have been cancelled

I dislike shows that are cancelled too soon so I was happy with the effect of the writer's strike because in theory, it was supposed to give freshman shows a better chance to get to a second season with the reasoning that the initial season was cut short and there wasn't enough information to determine if they really were successful or not.

Promising shows like Pushing Daisies, Big Bang Theory and Samantha Who lived to see the light of season 2 but I was hoping for more.

Two shows I was particularly fond of, one a midseason replacement and one a fall debut show have been cancelled and I'm particularly sad to see this news. I'm hoping like the fans of Jerico something could be done with mobilization of fans and letter-writing campaigns, but it's a little too early to tell.

The shows are:
Aliens in America-Think of a more upbeat and self-aware version of the Wonder Years meets Perfect Strangers. Dorky teenager Justin lives in the Midwest with a set of parents who were once the Homecoming Queen and Star Athlete and a sister who is one of the most sought-after girls in school. His mom is desperate for him to fit in with his classmates, so she gets an exchange student for him so he'll have at least one friend, but is thrown for a curveball when she finds out that the exchange student is Pakistani. Justin and Raja end up forming an unexpected bond and he slowly grows on his new family (he has a slightly better work ethic than your average American teenager). Meanwhile everyone in school is in a state of culture shock over the new kid. The show is something different in the high school genre: It is just a little bit smarter and more self-aware of the genre's conventions than other shows are. I also like how it isn't just a parody of high school (I'm a little too far removed from high school to really get into a John Hughes movie, for example) but uses the typical high school awkwardness genre to be somewhat edgy about racial stereotypes and perceptions. Add to that a good odd couple chemistry between the two stars, an equally rewarding odd couple chemistry between the two syblings who enjoy different degrees of popularity, a good dose of warmth and humor and it was a fanstastic show

Miss/Guided-Another show about high school that was more about the teachers than the students. This past year, I've done some substitute teaching and sometimes I'm just in shock and awe to think of the things that have changed in my status as a member of society that now I can go into a high school and go into the teacher's lounge, for example. It is all so very, very cool. In short, teachers, especially the younger ones are overgrown high school students. A better way to put it might be that they're reliving their high school days whenever they're in the classroom.

When I substitute taught fourth grade on my first day, the thought occured to me that I hadn't been in a fourth grade classroom since the fourth grade and it suddenly gave me a very clear memory of what my fourth grade experience was like.

I generally like to teach middle school because I hated middle school and teaching middle school allows me to work out my past middle school experiences and traumas (of course, I'm not teaching as a means of therapy, but it's just an interesting side effect I've noticed), it also allows me to try to ensure that within whatever influence I might be able to have, these kids have a better middle school experience.

Nonetheless, Miss/Guided is a show based on the premise that most high school teachers are overgrown high school students who are carrying the baggage they had with them in middle school. It's a very sweet (or should i use the adjective "cute"?) look at the high school genre, where the dorky student trying to rise up to become mrs. popular, is actually not a student but the school guidance counselor, Becky Freely. She is played by Judy Greer in what might be her first starring role in any movie or tv show, and she is terrific. Freely goes back to her old high school, where she was a big dork, to become a guidance counselor and develops a crush on a teacher. The problem is she has competition: the english teacher who also attended the same high school and was the most popular girl in school. The show is produced by Ashton Kutcher who makes a hillarious guest appearance and which he mocks himself brilliantly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Judy Greer was the lead female in the "Hebrew Hammer"