Saturday, September 29, 2018

AFT Awards: The “Threshold” Award for Best Cancelled Series

This is the nineteenth category of the 12th Annual AFT Television Awards, my personal choices for the best in television during the 2017-2018 season. This category is a special one, given out most years, honoring those shows which died this past season. "Threshold", for those who do not know, was a fantastic science fiction drama that premiered in 2005 on CBS and was axed after only nine episodes (the DVD release contains four additional unaired episodes). Led by the great Carla Gugino and featuring a fun cast, the show began with an electrifying pilot surrounding an interesting type of alien invasion strategy. Unfortunately, the show premiered around the same time as two similar sci-fi series, the dreadful "Surface" and the impressive "Invasion." Both those shows outlived "Threshold" but ultimately did not make the cut for a renewal order. "Threshold" was the victim of a bad timeslot, and just to make it worse, CBS decided to renew a staggering six series from the 2005-2006 season. This category was suggested by a friend several years to be titled the "Firefly" award, but I hadn’t yet seen that show, which has a large enough fan base, thus, I would like to honor the memory of "Threshold" with this award.

The “Threshold” Award for Best Cancelled Series

People of Earth (TBS) represents the saddest case on this list. It was renewed for a third season in the middle of its second only to have that decision reversed nine months later for no particular reason, with all the scripts already written! This clever, very entertaining series about a support group for alien abductees was just getting started. It had its own unique energy that could have propelled it for many more years, and this incomprehensible choice to cancel an already renewed show stings all the more because of its potential to continue being great.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (BBC America) had an incredibly compelling and mind-boggling first season, and while its second season wasn’t quite as focused or as fantastic, its universe was definitely worth exploring more. Ending on a cliffhanger is always a sign that there should have been more to come, and given how different the first two seasons were, year three could have easily rebooted and tried something entirely new and refreshing. I was very distraught to hear that this show wouldn’t be continuing.

Me, Myself, and I (CBS) isn’t quite of the same caliber as the other two on this list, but it was an innocuous, charming sitcom that presented itself in an innovative format. Young actor Jack Dylan Grazer was especially endearing as the fourteen-year-old version of the show’s main character, and it would have been fun to see him grow and develop to be more like Bobby Moynihan’s forty-year-old dad and John Larroquette’s sixty-five-year-old retiree. This show might have been a very technical sitcom, but just imagine how many situations could have been heartwarmingly strewn together like the mere thirteen installments this show produced.

Keep these shows alive by checking them out and getting into them!

Next up: Best Drama Series

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