I watch Lucifers dreambox quite a lot, but instead of feeling like I was numbing my brain with mindless garbage, some of these shows gave me a real sense of enjoyment. Over the next few weeks in "Axe-wielding Maniacs" I'll be talking about some of my favorite prematurely cancelled shows, starting of with Glee's predecessor, Popular.
You can tell Popular was co-created by the same person involved in Glee. It tackles very similar issues such as the desperate wish for peer approval and also the fall of a prom-queens status, issues with being gay and being accepted for who you are, striving for your own goals no matter what. It even has a near identical story-arc involving three almost indistinguishable characters. Brooke McQueen/Quinn Fabray, the blond prom queen and captain of the cheer-leading team who used to have eating-issues, used to date the schools popular, but friendly quarterback Josh Ford/Finn Hudson. Josh Ford/Finn Hudson tires of his girlfriends need to be the best and falls in love with the outsider Carmen Ferrara/Rachel Berry, a very talented girl but not without her own body hang-ups and insecurities, thinking that her boyfriend still prefers his more "beautiful" ex over them.
But while Glee seems very much stuck in a push-and-pull of a parody and not offending it's millions of fans who seem to actually want the thing they started out making fun of, Popular became more and more a commentary on the ridiculous image those teenage drama/comedy shows portray of life in high-school. It shows the harshness of being a teenager by overemphasizing the silly problems they come across in the usual programs aimed at teens with their cartoonish characters and ridiculous plotlines offset by some real painful situations and more realistic insecurities.