Laura Donovan
May 17, 2014 1:00 pm

Nearly two dozen shows were canceled last week, gutting dedicated fans and reiterating just how cutthroat network TV can be. I haven’t been working in the entertainment industry for long, but I know how many hoops a series must jump through to make it to the small screen, and getting axed after just a year on air has got to be hard. A lot of excellent programs won’t return for the fall (anyone else surprised Revenge is still going strong?), but these five are particularly special to me as there’s a shortage of female-driven content in film and television, so here are some gems to catch before they’re forced to find a new home online, forever.

5. Believe

As I’ve said before, Alfonso Cuaron is a genius. A Little Princess contains the right balance of magic, heart and strong female energy, so I had high hopes for Believe, NBC’s show about a special little girl with intuition and powers. The lead actress is perfect for the role of Bo, and her chemistry with secret father Tate is playful, natural and adorable. That said, the two spend a little too much time butting heads, a decision meant to illustrate Tate’s lack of maturity and remind audience members that Bo is still a pre-teen, albeit a precocious one. The episodes also feel very repetitive with Bo trying to help strangers and Tate barking at her to mind her own business. It becomes predictable after a while, but everything about it has heart, and I’m sad we no longer get to follow Bo on her amazing journey.

4. Suburgatory

I started watching this my first year in New York and loved everything about it: the Gilmore Girls parent-child dynamic (but this time with a father and daughter), the shallow and neurotic suburbanites, the sarcasm of ginger Jane Levy, who acts like a mini Emma Stone in some ways, etc. Though a city girl, Jane Levy’s character doesn’t look down upon the small town folks she’s supposed to mingle with, and that was refreshing to me. She doesn’t exactly relate to them, but she goes with the flow and has an easy rapport with her BFF father. There aren’t enough shows or movies about dads and daughters, and this is a great one. Suburgatory was barely skating by on ABC president Paul Lee’s approval for a long time, but the ghastly named Selfie was the nail in the coffin. Oh, 2014.

3. Super Fun Night

In theory, a Rebel Wilson show sounds amazing. Everyone was psyched about it following Pitch Perfect’s explosion and the incomparable Bridesmaids. The jokes, however, didn’t really do its talented performers justice. I really enjoyed Rebel Wilson’s TV presence though, and hopefully we’ll get more of it after Pitch Perfect 2 wows us all.

2. Trophy Wife

I’ve always adored Malin Akerman, and this project has a warm Modern Family feel to it. Her character represents all women who settle down with good guys after the underwhelming partying scene proves too toxic to be sustainable, and her struggle to fit into her new husband’s family feels honest and contemporary to me. Maybe a story like this would work better in film. Better luck next time, Akerman. This was truly underserved.

1. The Carrie Diaries

It was nice seeing Carrie Bradshaw before she was Carrie Bradshaw, and the books are pretty cute. This show’s cancellation means it really is time to move on from Sex and the City and be thankful Girls has yet another season ahead.

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