TV cult classic Queue

Sam Ergina, Online Arcade Editor Sarah Simon

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When it comes to religion, sometimes it’s not the beliefs with millions of followers that are the greatest, but the less-recognized cults that are passionately observed within a smaller community (future pun intended). Those are definitely more intriguing. A similar dynamic exists in the world of television. It’s not that the shows believed, or more importantly rated, to be the greatest aren’t incredibly well filmed, acted and edited, but there are plenty of fantastic shows that never reach the upper echelon of programming and need to be supported and preserved by the strong fan base they’ve developed over their too-short tenures. These selections may have been cut from the screen by the network executives, but not from our hearts. They will live on in the world of streaming, until they’re unjustly cut from those platforms as well.

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”: 4.5 stars

Before the mainstream success of Joss Whedon and his Avengers, he created the vampire drama that ushered in the age of teenage, blood-sucking shows like “The Vampire Diaries” and “True Blood.” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” revolves around the Buffy Summers, a normal girl from California who becomes a center figure in the mythology of demons, watchers, slayers and, obviously, vampires. Its appeal lies beyond an amazing plot, however. The writing behind “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is fast-paced and witty, and some of the episodes conceived are simply hilarious. It balances its melodrama of relationships and apocalypses with lighthearted scenes and beautifully awkward situations. For those who have never experienced “Buffy,” it’s a required lesson on clever television. The only negative to the show is the special effects. It aired a little early for its own good, running for seven seasons before coming to a close in 2003.

“Community”: 5 stars

#sixseasonsandamovie is just a feature film away. “Community” is the epitome of a show surviving through fan support and not much else. After the creator, Dan Harmon, was fired and a new set of writers were brought on to conceive a lackluster fourth season, people thought the show was over. It was finally cancelled after a Harmon-made fifth season, but got picked up by Yahoo! Screen for its sixth and final season. The star of the show is Jeff Winger, a fake lawyer who goes to Greendale Community College to quickly pick up a degree and gets sucked into the absurd student body. Jeff and his study group face many challenges along the way to their graduation, from a psychotic Spanish teacher, played by Ken Jeong from “The Hangover,” to plotlines and styles brilliantly modeled after every major genre of television show on air. “Community” thrived on meta-humor. It constantly made fun of itself, television and the fact that it was making fun of itself and television. While Netflix has yet to stream “Community” in America, the sixth season streams for free on Yahoo! Screen. 

“Firefly”: 4.5 stars

Often described as a Western set in dystopian space, Firefly is a fan-favorite. It combines all the best parts of both genres: guns, vigilante justice and cool spaceships. The show is set in the year 2517, after humans have destroyed and abandoned Earth to terraform a whole new star system, complete with its very own unjust futuristic government, the Alliance. The show follows Captain Malcolm Reynolds, played by Nathan Fillion, a veteran of the Unification War where he fought against the Alliance and its goal of unifying all planets under its rule. After losing the war, Mal has picked up a ragtag crew on his ship, Serenity, where they make money through thieving and performing odd jobs. Mal’s crew of nine ranges from Simon, an ex-Alliance doctor and his mentally unstable sister River, to Inara, a certified Companion. Sadly, Fox canceled Firefly after airing just 11 episodes. The show gained popularity after its release to DVD, and by popular demand, creator Joss Whedon teamed up with Universal Pictures to bring the cast back together for a film, “Serenity,” to wrap up the story. With a casual mix of wit and grit, Firefly has earned its spot as a cult classic.