Sunday, April 27, 2008

Happy (belated) endings

The fall TV season of 2006 was a grim one for me. First, there was the abrupt cancellation of "Kidnapped," a serial starring Jeremy Sisto -- an actor who could outbrood Joaquin Phoenix -- as a private-eye type who specializes in retrieving abductees using methods you won't find in a FBI training manual. Rounding out the stellar cast for a story full of conspiratorial intrigue was Delroy Lindo, Timothy Hutton, and Dana Delaney.

Then, a few months later, "Day Break," starring Taye Diggs as a policeman who finds himself trapped inside a "Groundhog Day" in which he's falsely accused of murder, was pulled off the air after just 6 episodes. The brilliantly plotted show, which makes "24" seem as fast paced as "The Waltons," left its meager viewership wondering how he'd solve the case and escape his Mobius loop of a day.

Usually, in these cases, the faithful few are left to wonder in vain how the story ends, fretting that, in some alternate universe, the "Freaks and Geeks" are still living a miserable high school existence and the denizens of "Jericho" will forever be left stranded in a postnuclear landscape. Very occasionally, though, a showrunner will post a script or a synopsis online so that viewers can find out how the story ends. Fortunately, in the case of both "Kidnapped" and "Day Break," something incredibly rare happened: both shows were able to shoot complete seasons before they were canceled. Now, they've both just been released to DVD. So, if you're one of the original viewers left wondering how these thrillers ended, or if you're just looking for a terrific addition to your Netflix list, check 'em out.

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