Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.


On Sunday, TV executives dabbled in the extremes of series cancellation, which is always fun to witness. Namely, NBC finally got around to pulling the plug on The West Wing, a dying, dementia-addled grandfather of a show that somehow has been around for 7 seasons, and ABC quickly axed the Heather Graham comedy Emily's Reasons Why Not, a tiny embryo of a show that was around for one––count it––one whole episode. I don't really care that either of these shows are being cancelled, in fact I'm extremely happy that ABC has mercifully spared the public from watching any more of those commercials where Heather Graham tries to act kooky, or have emotions, or otherwise be human-like. But, in the interest of other shows that are teetering on the brink of cancellation (Hello, Courting Alex), I've put together a guide on how-to-not-get-cancelled, based on a show that should have been cancelled in the middle of season two (right around the time it adopted a horrible new theme song courtesy of Betty, and right before the episode where an extremely pregnant Tina has extremely pregnant sex in the pool at the Chateau Marmont): The L-Word. How-To Not Get Cancelled, According to The L-Word: 1. Feature lots and lots of hand-sex––Like, a lot of it. Like so many hands disappearing down pants, or up skirts, or underneath nuns' habits (a la last night's episode) that even the most jaded viewer will be like, "Jesus, what's with all the hand-sex?" Then, without warning, take it all away: no more groping, no more wandering fingers, only kissing and heartfelt looks. This way, everyone will keep watching and waiting for it to return, wondering, "What happened to all that hand-sex? Maybe there will be some in the next episode." Way to go. Now they're addicted. 2. Have at least one character go absolutely bat-shit crazy––Preferably the most annoying character on the show. That way, viewers who were irritated by this character all along now have a concrete reason for it. Also, make the craziness as indistinct as possible, so all of that character's weirdo behavior can be attributed to it. Ex: Jenny, Season Two. Why is Jenny playing with cut-out photos of her grandparents? Oh, right, Jenny's crazy. How come Jenny keeps having creepy, dark, circus-related daydreams? Well, because Jenny's insane. Why is Jenny staring at Heart like that? She's fucked up. See? It's easy. 3. Guest Stars!—At least one per episode, usually playing themselves. They don't even have to have a plausible storyline, just put them on camera. Ex: Camrynn Manheim, Betty, Peaches, Heart, and Gloria Steinham in Season Two. Alan Cumming and Tegan & Sara in Season Three. 4. Everyone on the show should strongly resemble another character on the show––Either in personality, or appearance, but preferably both. This way, it's confusing for the viewer, so they have to watch each episode twice. Ex: The two androgynous ones: Shane and Moira. The three strong, pretty brunettes: Dana and Bette and Helena. And the two Latina ones: Carmen and Eva Longoria. (Ok, so Eva's on a different show, but they look a lot alike).

Illustration for article titled Cancellation–O-Rama

5. Shoot in Vancouver, but call it L.A.—Just for kicks.

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