For the longest time, I’ve been obsessed with canceled TV shows. Like with most people who grew up in the 90s, this started with reminiscing about old shows on Nickelodeon, ABC and PBS, particularly game shows and cartoons. I can’t go without a day without thinking either about a canceled TV show or a memory that revolves around watching a canceled TV show. Yes, I know. My life is exciting.
Lately, it’s been more difficult for me to watch recent episodes of current TV shows, since I no longer have a TV, let alone cable. Like most TV addicts without a TV, I rely heavily on Hulu, Netflix and Amazon. It’s sad, really. From time to time, I think back to the shows I watched back when I had a TV, and it’s almost always one that has long since been canceled. I don’t know if it’s nostalgia or I just don’t know what the heck is going on with TV anymore. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter.
There is a particular TV show coming to mind right now that I was obsessed with for a while roughly three years after it got canceled. Released in the Fall of 2010, My Generation was a mockumentary on ABC that centered around a group of young adults in Texas who were filmed in their senior year of high school 10 year prior by a documentary film crew, and the film crew comes back to see what they’re up to. So, apparently the idea of this mockumentary is that the fictional film crew followed them for a year, and then came back 10 years later to film them indefinitely. Yes, that doesn’t seem strange or inconsistent at all.
Coined as the first dramatic mockumentary TV show, there was an emphasis put on how real-world events between the years 2000 and 2010 impacted each character as individuals and groups. One character enlisted in the military after 9/11. Another character lost his father to suicide as a result of the Enron scandal, and had a strained relationship with another character whose father was involved in the scandal. It combined both reality and fiction, and while I don’t understand the logistics of being followed by a film crew for an indefinite amount of time, it certainly added another layer to what would have been a two-dimensional light-hearted drama.
Unfortunately, it was canceled after only three episodes. The rest of the episodes became available online. There was a lot of confusion surrounding whether or not it was a real documentary or a scripted show, and I believe that played a large part on why it failed. Of course, one could simply just look at the show’s IMDB page and see that it was a scripted show. This is actually the most endearing part about My Generation. Even though it was a scripted fictional show, it was written and portrayed as if it were real. I have a soft spot for light-hearted dramas though. I’m sick and tired of crime dramas. We get it. Someone is murdered and the main characters are trying to solve it. Move on already.
The one thing I was fascinated with this show was that all of the characters are supposed to be the same age, and I was surprised that the age range between the actors who played the characters was only six years. Knowing the age range between actors on a main cast can vary significantly, I was pleasantly surprised that the age range was relatively close. Then, I realized, wait, a six year age gap between the actors of a main cast might not be huge, but it’s not tiny either. Sigh. i always have low expectations.
While randomly going through IMDB, I happened to come across yet another cancelled ABC show called Happy Endings, that revolves around a group of friends and the aftermath of a breakup that happened between two of them. The age gap here between the actors is just four years. What’s even more amazing is that the characters are supposedly of various ages.
Yes, I am aware that I need to stop obsessing over trivial things like canceled TV shows and age gaps between cast members on a TV show. Maybe I should take up knitting.