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All of them. I think the only one I predicted I would love was Pushing Daisies.

Everything else I initially met with skepticism. Some with outright dislike. There's this one show (not naming any names because then I would digress) that has a really awful title song. Back then in the 90s I knew barely anything about this show but its basic premise and that awful title song. Instant avoidance and hate. And then a decade later---

And often it's the little things that convince me to give them a chance. Battlestar Galactica, for example, only got me tuning in because they had the self-irony to give their resident hunk a fat suit. It sounded funny. (Turns out that the episodes in which Lee is fat are actually some of the darkest of the entire run.)

And sometimes it's the big things. (Never would have watched Who without Eccleston.)

And sometimes wild horses can't make you watch something, no matter how awesome it is supposed to be. No matter how awesome you even believe yourself it is. I never finished that first episode of The Wire.

Date: 2010-08-11 02:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There's this one show (not naming any names because than I would digress) that has a really awful title song.

Digress! What was the show? Now I am intrigued!

But I agree: there have been very few shows that I have thought would be good that actually were. They should have a question "A show you thought you'd love, but ended up hating." That happens much more often.

Date: 2010-08-11 09:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Digress! What was the show? Now I am intrigued!

Well, it makes a fun puzzle: It's got an awful title song, a questionable premise, and its first EP got more accolades (or better: more important accolades) than any other EP who worked as a writer on TV in the 90s. And it got cancelled not just once - but thrice.

Date: 2010-08-12 12:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmm...I am going to guess "Futurama" (which I believe was canceled three times), with Matt Groenig as the EP (though I don't remember "The Simpsons" getting accolades). The only other show I remember getting canceled and brought back was "Family Guy." Hmm...

Date: 2010-08-12 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Think more obscure and not so much accolades as in generally favorable critical reception but more like "seriously prestigious honors bestowed." So prestigious that he doesn't do tv right now.

Date: 2010-08-13 04:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmm..."Twin Peaks?" (David Lynch does not do TV right now...) (I didn't even realize that show had a theme song, but I did not watch it either :x )

Date: 2010-08-13 06:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Nope, David Lynch has heaps of critical acclaim. The EP in question hasn't that kind of acclaim. Not even close. But he does won so prestitigious awards (as producer and writer) that not even the likes of Lynch can compete with that.

He himself is actually somewhat obscure although you probably heard of the work that won him those awards - probably mostly for the wrong reason.

Date: 2010-08-13 07:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmm. I am trying to figure it out. "More acclaim than any EP in the 90s." My first guess is David E. Kelley (who actually is not working in TV right now, I believe). He won for Picket Fences and Ally McBeal and The Practice, and maybe even L.A. Law (in the early 90s).

Wait. Now I am overthinking this and wondering if "The Practice" was canceled once and then brought back. It actually would be canceled three times (if the third time was under the name "Boston Legal").

And it has a really weird theme song.

But David E. Kelley is not obscure (or at least, not to me -- not in the TV world).

I admit I am stumped! The fact that it was canceled three times is really throwing me for a loop. Hmmm...

Date: 2010-08-13 08:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think the problem is that you're stuck on TV. The guy didn't win for TV. Imagine someone who got all these uber-EPs (Lynch, Ball, Chase, Kelley, Groening) beat. Yes, even Alan Ball with his Oscar win for the script of American Beauty. He topped that although he stayed in the same zip code with that hough - in case you start looking at Nobel Prize winners. ;)

Once you figure out the guy, the show will be easy. The other way around, it's impossible because I can't hint at it very well without giving it away. What distinguishes it, is very specific. And hinting at its generalities is really unhelpful.

Date: 2010-08-13 11:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aha! Could it be that I was mistaken about the decade when this aired?

My new guess is "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles."

James Cameron is the only EP I can think of with more wins in the 90s (for Titanic) than any TV EP. But he is also not critically acclaimed. I also think it fits your criteria of a "questionable premise." And I believe it was canceled about three times.

(I do not remember enough to see if it fits the theme song criteria, though! :)

Date: 2010-08-14 08:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh crap, I've forgotten about Cameron because you're definitely completely right to guess a producer and writer of a Best Picture Oscar winner.

I think Dark Angel got renewed thrice and then cancelled once to be replaced by Firefly. But the show in question really got cancelled, then the network reconsidered, then cancelled it again after the second season after which the people behind the show just decided to finance their show without the network backing them. (Although I don't know if the US network ended up being the ones to air that last season in the US.) After that there was not so much a cancellation but rather "oh, let's call it quits." So perhaps "cancelled twice, then they quit" is more correct.

Date: 2010-08-15 12:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
OK..."Jericho" was canceled once, then brought back, then canceled again. Wikipedia says there's some comic book continuation, but...I don't know if anyone famous is behind it. So...I guess that's my guess now? "Jericho?"

Date: 2010-08-15 05:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jericho was in 200something, not in the 90s like this.

The EP isn't really famous himself but if you google the last ten years Best Picture winners and pick the one that got some of the most teeth-gnashing, you probably have found him.

Date: 2010-08-18 01:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
OK...I think I got it this time (this time, for sure! :)

"Due South."

Aired in the 90s
EP Paul Haggis (producer of much-maligned Best Picture winner, "Crash")
Questionable premise (Canadian mounties in Chicago?)
Canceled three times.

I appreciate the hint, though -- because I never would've guessed without it. When I first saw the name Paul Haggis, I thought he was the guy who created "Prison Break." :x I never watched "Due South," though -- my 90s viewing was primarily David E. Kelley shows and NBC Must See TV Thursday. And "The X-Files." :p

So I am unfamiliar with the theme song, but the premise was enough to deter me from viewing. ;)

Date: 2010-08-19 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So I am unfamiliar with the theme song, but the premise was enough to deter me from viewing. ;)

Me too. Which is funny because once I did watch it, I found a show that was 70 percent like Pushing Daisies. Due South did the dramedy crime thing, you know the buddy cop movie thing with the most straight-laced, stand-up guy protagonist they could imagine trusting the character to carry not only any weird plot but extremely light and extremely dark moments. And surprisingly, it actually worked.

The show changed over the course of the three seasons, ultimately leaning more in the comedic direction than the dramatic one. Some think that was a mistake, but I think it actually boils down to a "comedy vs. drama" discussion. Why we think drama is "deeper" than comedy although there's no reason to think that greater truths are hidden in a sad story than one with a happy ending. But I digress.

The premise (and title song) are not my cup of tea and I'm still not a fan of the buddy cop genre but I was actually surprised by this show in a good way. Although I have to admit it's a show that not unlike a lot of other shows gets better the more familiar you become with it. Once you're with the characters, it makes you side with their idiosyncracies instead being plainly weirded out by them. (The Arrested Development syndrome aka being cancelled.)

Date: 2010-08-19 06:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I found a show that was 70 percent like Pushing Daisies

Interesting. And Due South lasted five years (?) while Pushing Daisies only and a half. Buddy cop shows seem to be making a comeback (I am convinced that Fox's "The Good Guys" with Bradley Whitford is their version of a U.S. Life on Mars remake ;)

Why we think drama is "deeper" than comedy although there's no reason to think that greater truths are hidden in a sad story than one with a happy ending

That is a pet peeve of mine, actually. I do not believe drama has to be 100% serious all the time to be good. Some of the best drama I have ever seen occurs in shows that have made me laugh or ones that I have not always taken seriously (Doctor Who is a great example). But the mark of a great show (in my opinion) is one that can make you laugh and cry (or be moved). One that touches all your emotions, not just the serious, dramatic, "thinky" ones.

But I am just happy to have guessed the show. :D


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