Brilliant But Cancelled

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Shows on Netflix You Can Binge Watch During the Olympics

For 16 days straight, world-class athletes from around the globe who have trained for years gather to... totally ruin our TV schedules and DVRs. And it's not just NBC's lineup that is put on hold while people perform in death-defying sports for an all-too-brief moment of glory. No, other channels put their shows on hiatus so they don't have to compete with the 2014 Winter Games. So if you're not glued to the drama going on in Sochi, the Olympics will feel like an awfully long two weeks. (Everything on the other channels is usually either a repeat or The Taste.) Thankfully, Netflix -- as is so often the case -- is at your rescue. If you're not an Olympics person (or simply need a break from all that spinning and luging), this is prime time to do some Netflix binging.

Cougar Town and 8 Other Inappropriate Relationships in TV History

Tonight marks the Season 5 premiere of Cougar Town, a feat that seemed almost impossible a few years ago. You might even say as improbable as the ever-blossoming romance between Laurie (Busy Philipps) and Travis (Dan Byrd). Sorry, did I say improbable? I meant inappropriate. Sure, these are both consenting adults, their age gap isn't that wide and now that Jules (Courteney Cox) and Grayson (Josh Hopkins) have settled down the show needed a new love story to focus on, but still….ew. There's just something so inherently wrong about getting together with your best friend's grown son. But whether or not Laurie and Travis make this work (Jules could very well kill Laurie), they're still far from the only so-wrong-it's-wrong TV courtship. Let's take a look back, in no particular order, at some of the most memorable inappropriate relationships:

Five Reasons To Watch the Animated Hobbit Instead of the New Movie

We're big fans of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first of three films based on J.R.R. Tolkien's classic novel The Hobbit. But just in case you don't want to spend three hours (plus an additional two movies) in Middle-earth, you can experience the same story in a significantly shorter form via the 1977 animated telefilm of The Hobbit.

Degrassi: Revisiting the Recycled Storylines

The Degrassi series has been tackling teen issues since the '80s with Degrassi Junior High and later Degrassi High. When Degrassi: The Next Generation premiered in 2001, viewers watched as a new Canadian class dealt with the ups and downs of being a teenager. Since Degrassi is a school that has some really bad karma -- there hasn't been a single dance that didn't end with a fire, crime scene, or prom queen wardrobe malfunction -- it's not surprising that so many of the kids dealt with intense problems during their time as students. This summer season we've already seen Ali stress over a pregnancy scare (the girl can literally split the atom but doesn't understand the necessity of a condom), Katie have a psychological breakdown, Clare deflect the advances of her sketchy older boss and newbie Ice Hound Cam deal with his social anxiety. While we're waiting for everyone on this season to pull themselves together, let's take a look back on some of the other issues that the students at Degrassi faced.

From Pepper to Pickles: The Forgotten Girls of the '90s and '00s

In a time when the perfectly unhip twentysomething descendants of Daria saturate our TV screens -- c'mon, you just know Girls' Hannah was a fan -- I think it's worth taking a look back at the animated teens and preteens from a decade ago who rarely, if ever, get any recognition for the huge impact they had on a generation of young women. Speaking as a girl who has always been just a little bit too dorky to actually ever be considered "adorkable," and who was actually lucky enough to have had an uncomplicated happy childhood, I found myself gravitating towards the awkward spazzes who just wanted to hang out with their friends and be accepted by the cool kids without giving up everything about themselves. For that reason, these mostly forgotten characters may have been even more influential than Ms. Morgendorffer.

Superhero Team-Ups Before The Avengers

As has been repeated ad nauseam at this point, the release of The Avengers this Friday marks the first time that a batch of individual superheroes who aren't already part of an ensemble (like, say, the X-Men) have teamed up on the big screen in a live-action feature. It's a momentous occasion and all, but it's worth pointing out that television has already beaten them to the punch. Within the past few decades, both DC and Marvel have staged small screen crossover events that united some of their biggest heroes. So why aren't these special one-shots as celebrated as The Avengers? Easy... they're all pretty terrible. For the completest and the curious, though, here are the TV team-ups that pre-date Joss Whedon's new blockbuster. (Note: this list covers live-action TV shows only; these crossovers are a far more common event on the many, many Marvel and DC-related animated series out there, which are a revolving door for special guest stars.)

If You Like Veep, Watch The Thick of It

by Ethan Alter April 23, 2012 6:00 am
If You Like Veep, Watch The Thick of It

We should probably point out off the top that The Thick of It, the terrific British political satire created by Armando Iannucci -- the mind behind the new HBO comedy Veep -- is not technically cancelled. (It's definitely brilliant, though.) Since airing its first two series of three episodes apiece back in 2005, The Thick of It has returned to the BBC for a series of specials that aired in 2007 and an expanded eight-episode third series which ran in 2009. (BBC America aired the first two seasons stateside in 2006 and will start running the third season on April 28.) Additionally, a fourth season is currently being filmed and will air in the U.K. sometime in the fall.

From 21 Jump Street to Family Ties: How to Remake Classic ’80s TV Shows for the Big Screen

How in the world could anyone make a good movie out of the campy '80s cop series 21 Jump Street? Well, if you're the film's creative brain trust -- a team that includes stars/producers Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum and directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller -- your keep the basic premise of the show (undercover cops go back to high school) and change almost anything else. So instead of an earnest procedural where both the cops and teens learn Important Life Lessons, you've got a rollicking buddy action comedy about two guys who get the chance to relive their school days only to discover high school isn't quite how they remember it. The success of 21 Jump Street got us thinking about the best ways to reboot other fondly (and not so fondly) remembered '80s TV shows for the big screen. You're welcome, Hollywood.

How Ugly Betty‘s Justin Suarez Paved the Way for Glee‘s Kurt Hummel

In Glee's "Prom Queen" episode back at the end of Season 2, an unlikely character won the title of prom queen: resident homosexual bullying victim Kurt Hummel. After Principal Figgins called his name, Kurt fled the gymnasium, crying, with boyfriend Blaine on his heels. "We thought that because no one was teasing us or beating us up [for being gay], no one cared," Kurt said in the hallway, through tears. One drawn-out emotional scene later, Kurt finally got the resolve to enter the gymnasium and accept his crown and scepter, defiantly announcing: "Eat your heart out, Kate Middleton."

Dead Teens, Haunted Homes, Red Rooms: Twin Peaks and American Horror Story

I'll be honest here: I was born the year Twin Peaks premiered, and I had never seen an episode, save for a clip of the famous Red Room scene. When I first saw the promos for American Horror Story, however, that creepy, surreal tableau was the first thing that came to my mind. The red backdrop in the ads was eerily reminiscent of the "waiting room" red curtains, and the rubber-suited mystery man coming from the ceiling towards a very pregnant woman just screamed David Lynch. So, naturally, I grabbed some coffee and donuts to watch both seasons of Twin Peaks and see what else they had in common.



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