In recent years, television has become the most popular visual medium. It's a trend ushered in by streaming services, which make years of groundbreaking television available to watch. It's no secret that some of the most beloved series streaming were canceled before their prime, and this list will take a closer look at 17 TV shows you can stream that ended way too soon.
It's always tragic when a show doesn't get the ratings or audience it needs to stay on the air or receive another season. These series might not have drawn the viewers they deserved when they first aired, but you can go back and appreciate the episodes on streaming services now.
Many directors, writers, and actors are realizing that television is the most exciting place to be right now, and are making the shift from feature length projects to the small screen. There has even been an increased interest in limited mini-series, thanks in part to the success of Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies. There's no denying that television is dominating the entertainment industry, but this wasn't always the case. In the past two decades, there have been many shows canceled despite critical success and cult followings. While they're unlikely to get a second chance at TV success, these gone-too-soon shows are all streaming, so you can catch up on the greatness.
1. Freaks and Geeks — Netflix
One of the biggest mistakes in the history of TV was the cancellation of Freaks and Geeks. Judd Apatow and Paul Feig created this series about a teen girl named Lindsay Weir who befriends the school "freaks." The show was ahead of its time, and is still considered to be one of the few series that captured how complicated it is to be a teenage girl. The series also launched the careers of many popular actors including Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, and Busy Philipps.
2. One Mississippi — Amazon
Tig Notaro's charming and semi-autobiographical series One Mississippi had a short run, ending after just two seasons on Amazon. The show was a fictionalized version of Tig's life. It told the story of a radio host who returns to her southern town after the passing of her mother. The romance between Tig and Kate, played by her real-life wife Stephanie Allynne, was so sweet, but unfortunately it wasn't enough to convince Amazon to renew the series for another season.
3. Enlightened — HBO
Laura Dern's workplace drama feels even more relevant in the #MeToo era, and it's a shame that it was canceled after only one season. The show follows ambitious corporate executive Amy Jellicoe, who has a public nervous breakdown and returns from a treatment center with a new perspective on her career. Throughout the series, she attempts to change the many corporate abuses occurring at Abaddon, the company she works for.
4. Life Sentence — Netflix
This charming little CW show about a woman navigating life after cancer only got one season. It has an entertaining love triangle — that becomes a love square later in the season — and the writers did their best to wrap the show up for the finale. Even though there won't be any new episodes, anyone in the mood for a breezy series with a charming cast should watch this one on Netflix.
5. Party Down — Hulu
This dark comedy starring Adam Scott and Lizzy Caplan was a funny look at the lives of struggling actors in Los Angeles, as they work for a catering company. The series could be pretty bleak, and it definitely put the characters through some difficult times, but the comedic chemistry between the main cast alone made it a shame that it was cancelled too soon.
6. Twin Peaks — Netflix
This cult-favorite found a new audience when it was put on Netflix, and even though it has since been rebooted, it's disappointing that there aren't more episodes from the original series. Just like there can never be enough cups of coffee, more episodes of Twin Peaks are always needed.
7. Bunheads — Hulu
Amy Sherman-Palladino has yet to create a bad show, but while Gilmore Girls and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel were big hits, fewer people know about Bunheads. The comedy was only on the air for one season, and the show starred Sutton Foster as a former ballet dancer and showgirl running a small local dance studio. Like Sherman-Palladino's other series, it centered on women of all ages and featured plenty of witty dialogue.
8. I Love Dick — Amazon
This series, based on the experimental book by Chris Kraus, was admittedly all over the place, but it finally gave Kathryn Hahn the starring role she deserved. The first season, which is just six episodes long, is still available to watch online. The show might not have had the story arc it needed to be given a second season, but it was still an interesting series.
9. Good Girls Revolt — Amazon
Good Girls Revolt is a fictionalized version of the Newsweek strike, a real story where women employees who were sexually harassed at work and prevented from becoming reporters took a stand against their employer. In a moment of deep irony, the feminist series was canceled with no women at the table. In light of the #MeToo allegations in the journalism and media industry, this show is even more relevant than ever before. Luckily, the very good first season is still available to watch on the streaming platform.
10. Firefly — Hulu
Fans of this popular Joss Whedon series won in the end, as the creator got to finish its stories with the Serenity movie. However, the original series was short-lived, and it's cancellation by Fox was a scandal at the time. People can still get into the 14-episode show by watching it on Hulu.
11. The OC — Hulu
This teen drama got four seasons, but was ultimately cancelled by Fox. The cast reportedly knew the show was doomed while filming its final season, and creator Josh Schwartz wanted the series to wrap up on a high note. In 2007, this didn't stop fans from trying to save the series, and major petitions circulated online. It was potentially about to be picked up by the CW, but the network ultimately opted against airing more seasons of the show. The whole ordeal was a nightmare for fans, but the first four seasons are available to watch on Hulu.
12. Sense8 — Netflix
Netflix rarely cancels original series, but the science-fiction story Sense8 only received two eight episode seasons. The show followed eight strangers around the globe who discover they are connected and must work together against an evil organization that is tracking them down. Even though the series didn't end up being longer than two seasons, science-fiction fans can still catch up on this entertaining show on Netflix.
13. Everything Sucks! — Netflix
Another Netflix original that didn't get as many seasons as creators would have hoped, Everything Sucks! was canceled after 10 episodes. The series takes place in the town of Boring, and follows two teens from the drama and AV club who decide to pretend to be in a fake relationship. The story was discontinued after the first season, but it has drawn comparisons to Freaks and Geeks.
14. Jane By Design — Freeform
In recent years, Freeform has found its audience. However, Jane by Design may have had bad timing. This fun show followed a high school student balancing student life and a career in high fashion. Jane's an assistant to high-powered Gray Chandler-Miller — the only problem is that nobody knows she's still in high school. The show gave a well-deserved role to Andie MacDowell, and it was definitely cancelled too soon.
15. The Get Down — Netflix
The Get Down was a dizzying show about the rise of Hip-Hop in New York during the late 1970s. The Baz Luhrmann directed series was reportedly expensive to produce, and it wasn't renewed after the first season. It was still a fun watch, and fans can still enjoy the musical episodes on Netflix.
16. Selfie — Hulu
Even though Karen Gillan and John Cho had great chemistry acting opposite each other, this show only lasted one season on ABC. The story was an update of My Fair Lady. Gillan stars as Eliza Dooley, a women with a strong internet following, who enlists a marketing guru named Henry to help her make connections in the real world.
17. Scream Queens — Hulu
From the creator of American Horror Story, Scream Queens only lasted two seasons on Fox, but fans thought it deserved more. The comedy featured many of the all-star cast from AHS, including Emma Roberts, Billie Lourd, and Ariana Grande. It's a shame that this series didn't get a chance to truly shine. Luckily, fans of the spooky show can go back and watch old episodes on Hulu.
In the fast-paced world of television, not every series is appreciated while it's on the air. The rise of streaming services has often given a second chance to many of these under-loved series, and lucky for TV fans, there's plenty of ways to re-watch these series. It's time to renew that Netflix subscription, and start reminiscing about what could have been for these canceled shows.