With Lest We Forget, I will be looking to discuss those TV shows that were (rightly or wrongly) cancelled before they had a chance to fulfil their potential.
The idea is to raise awareness of some great (and some not so great) shows you might have missed, or simply forgotten and in some cases also to identify what went wrong.
The fact is most cancelled TV shows deserve their fate (and so do an awful lot of long-running TV shows). They are poorly made and are often a waste of talented people’s time and effort, even if they do appreciate the money!
Sometimes a show is so ahead of its time that the general population is unable to comprehend what it is seeing and a genuine TV gem gets cancelled. Sometimes these shows get resurrected due to a mixture of fan pressure and DVD sales.
But then, sometimes a show is just too awful to contemplate and crawls off to die in the gutter. This is about one of those shows whose deluded fans should probably be rounded up and institutionalised, though I suspect they already have been. I further suspect the institutions allow access to the internet.
I have come to this conclusion because it s the only logical way the horrendously awful Profit could have 1,206 votes and still have a rating of 8.6/10. This would also explain why the Wikipedia entry for the show can claim, without irony, that it is
“Considered by many to be ahead of its time, the show is a precursor to more recent edgy television shows that include The Sopranos, Nip/Tuck, Dexter, Breaking Bad, and The Shield.”
Now, I must confess I have only seen the first two episodes of this (as a 90 minute double episode no less), but what I saw was sufficient to burn this into my mind for all eternity and rest assured, it is nothing like any of the above.
Starring Adrian Pasdar (best known for playing Nathan Petrelli in Heroes) as the anti-hero Jim Profit, the junior vice-president of Acquisitions it tells his rise to the top, by any means necessary. I know, thrilling, right?
Anyway, as he forces his way up the career ladder he systematically destroys all his opponents in a number of devious and highly immoral ways, culminating in murder. Somewhat interestingly this progress is represented quite ambitiously with a mid-1990s 3D representation of the office and of the employees he destroys. Though it looks as impressive as it sounds (ie not very), what makes this method curious is that complete and utter lack of reasoning for it. It is like someone has gone “3D graphics are cool, lets have some 3D graphics!” At times it’s like watchng Doom: Office Politics III. Only worse.
The plot is awful, the acting is terrible and the script is horrendous, but none of that can do justice to just how appalling (thanks thesaurus, I was running out of synonyms) the show is. The best way is to explain a sub-plot within the show where he hunts down his estranged father whom he proceeds quite blatantly and ruthlessly to murder in his hospital bed. Why is he such a murderous sociopath who views the world as a computer game? Well…
His father was an abusive fellow who kept his child locked in a wooden box all day with some scraps of food, some airholes and some newspapers on the bottom. I’m also pretty sure there was a hamster-like bottle for him to drink from (though my memory may be playing tricks). “How terrible”, you might be thinking, “what a monster!” But he wasn’t all bad. In order to keep his little box child entertained he cut a small hole in the side of the box so that the little blighter could watch TV all day. Then the penny drops, “it’s satire on the desensitising effects of TV!” Yes! “But that doesn’t explain why he sees the world as a computer game?” No. No it does not. But we’re way past that point now.
“Well,” you might now be thinking, “if he was kept in a box all his life how did he manage to rise to the position of junior vice-president of acquisitions?” Good question.
The answer is that one day the teenage Profit managed to get out of the box and escape. But not before setting his abusive father on fire. “Oh.” Yeah…
This is truly one of the worst things I have ever seen and is one of the low points of all of human civilisation. There are no redeeming features whatsoever and it is just beyond preposterous in ways that would make Latin American soap operas blush.
Just to add insult to injury to those who were determined enough, stupid enough, or physically incapacitated due to the trauma of watching the double-length pilot episode, it ends with the revelation that the guy, despite being mega rich with a massive penthouse, still sleeps naked in a box on newspapers with the TV glowing gently as a nightlight!
If you ever find yourself thinking the human race is a repulsive disease with no redeeming qualities that has sunk to the lowest depths possible, just watch this aborted monstrosity and realise that we live in a world where this sort of thing is not acceptable and that people refused to watch it, so they can’t be all bad. Then realise it was actually made, it was actually shown on TV at least as recently as 2010, and it was actually released on DVD.