Unfortunately, even if a show's beloved and has been critically praised, it's not immune from cancellation . The various reasons why these programs end include: low ratings, controversy, merchandise or problems with the network. And while it's a shame we may never see these TV shows (in this case cartoons) return with new episodes-fortunately, most of them have been resurrected by reruns and DVD releases. Below are seven cartoons I've seen that I believe are deserving of your time and viewing. I want to mention beforehand that I don't intend this to be 'THE list' for short lived cartoons, so if there's a show I've that you like it's most likely because I've never seen it. If so, tell me in the comments on which cartoons I missed.
An animated adaptation of Kevin Smith's Clerks aired on ABC and only showed two episodes before being axed because of low ratings. The complete series (including four never-before-seen episodes) was released on DVD. The series revolved around friends Dante and Randall, and their daily mundane routines as clerks being interrupted by peculiar occurrences . The original cast from Clerks returned to voice their respective characters. While it wasn't a great show I found it to be humorous and it had a lot of promise. Having listened to the DVD commentaries I found out they planned to feature the King of Canada (voiced by Ben Affleck) in an Aladdin parody and a plot where Randall's new car (Kit from Night Rider) gets jealous of his friendship with Dante and tries to kill Dante. The icing on the cake is the show's unique artistic style, that was designed by Alan Bodner (who worked on Phineas and Ferb, Kim Possible and The Iron Giant). Overall, it was a decent and appealing show and it was sad to see it be canceled.
6. Baby Blues
Baby Blues showed married couple and first time parents Wanda and Darryl overcoming the obstacles of parenthood and getting sucked into daily hi-jinks. The series was based on a Sunday newspaper comic of the same name, and ran for one season of thirteen episodes. Its cancellation was, once again, due to poor ratings. The show's strongest aspects (in my opinion) were its dry and sardonic comedy, excellent voice acting and real-life scenarios. Its lowest points were its mean-spirited nature, (sometimes) insufferable characters and head-nailing, schmaltzy life lessons.
5. God, the Devil and Bob
While only three episodes of God, the Devil and Bob were shown in the US, its entire thirteen episode run was aired in the UK. It was canceled due to cumulative pressure by religious groups and insignificant viewing numbers due to little promotion. On the show, God is fed up with how vile and corrupt humanity has become so he decides to destroy our universe, but not before giving us a sporting chance. He assigns the devil to pick someone who can prove that our race is worth saving. The devil picks Bob (an everyman and our last choice). This program had tongue-in-cheek, but subtle humor (no gore, no low brow content or vulgarity), and dealt with moral situations in a realistic and non preachy tone.
4. Spider-Man: The New Animated Adventures
In-between Sam Raimi's Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 was Spider-Man: The Animated Series. This cartoon premiered on MTV and was considerably more mature than its previous TV incarnations. However, it could still be watched and enjoyed by the whole family (similar to Marvel movies). Spider-Man follows Peter Parker as a college student trying to balance his life as crime fighter and 'normal' young adult. The series explored his relationships with Mary-Jane and Harry Osborn closer than the films did, as they had more intimate conversations and moments. We also got to see classic Spider-Man villains appear: Lizard, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, etc. Sadly, it only lasted one season and thirteen episodes, as it was booted for low ratings.
3. Sym-Bionic Titan
From the brain of Genndy Tartakovsky comes a show about two aliens: Illana (a princess) and Lance (a soldier), and a robot named Octus who travel to earth to hide from an imposing threat who's bent on killing Illana. They take the forms of high school teenagers and try to blend in into modern society. However, when they eventually face danger they must use their robotic armor and Octus' sym-bionic defense program to unite as one and form into a cyber-giant Sym-Bionic Titan. Needless to say, the series was action-packed, heartfelt, hilarious and clever. The superb writing, character development and exquisite animation combined pulled off a beautiful spectacle. However, since not many toys were tied in with the series, it was canned after one season and twenty episodes.
2. The Critic
The Critic was on for two seasons and twenty-three episodes before meeting its end due to (say it with me)...POOR RATINGS! During its run it was broadcast on ABC (who hated the show's guts) then FOX before its cancellation. Its protagonist Jay Sherman was a 36 year-old cynical critic who relished dishing out scathing reviews almost as much as he loved eating. Sherman was portrayed as an adult and more pathetic version of Charlie Brown; he was disrespected by colleagues, his love life was non-existent and his 'ugly' appearance was constantly berated. However, this didn't keep him from going out and pursuing his dreams. On the series, Jay was supported by an engaging and quirky group of characters who either served as comedic foil or stood by his side as devoted family and friends.
1. Marvel's Avengers Earth's Mightiest Heroes
Technically, this isn't considered short-lived as it had two seasons and fifty-two episodes. However, I think some, (if not most) of us can agree that it was removed far too soon. The reason for its cancellation was because it didn't sell enough merchandise. The same year it was cut it was replaced by Avengers Assemble. The show was based on the original Avengers comic book series written by Stan Lee and its later versions down the years. The team even began with its original members, including Ant-Man and Wasp (remember her?). Then, as the series progressed, more members were added and stories were lifted from the comic series. What was so incredible about this show was the characters were well-developed (any one of them could carry an episode on their own), the animation was stunning, the action and tension were well paced and the acting was phenomenal. Still, it's heartbreaking they were booted before they got a chance to tackle the 'Civil War' story arc.
It's comforting to know despite cancellation these shows haven't been completely forgotten. Watching some of these shows' episodes on Youtube I've looked at their comment sections and seen them littered with comments from people reminiscing about these cartoons. Some of these users have even showed them to their children, thus continuing the legacy of these fine programs. And who knows, maybe in the future we could see a revival-but if not, at least we have this silver lining. And if you haven't seen any of the shows make sure to check them out if they're your thing. You'd be keeping them alive and possibly relish them as much as everyone else have.