The Best TV Shows You’ve Never Seen special was, as expected, being false about the title. Most of the pilots were shown (in brief excerpts) to be ridiculed, generally with an attitude that one must’ve been crazy to think that thus-and-such a concept could make it on TV. Except sillier concepts have been on TV, and have succeeded. Perhaps the most blatant example of this problem was when they ridiculed the pilot for the American version of Red Dwarf… a show which ran many years in the original UK version. (Another blatant example was when they ridiculed a TV version of Daredevil — apparently, this special was made a couple yeara ago, and in the time since, the concept has been used to at least a modicum of success on the big screen.)
And when, at the end, they ran bits of shows that they thought were good… well, you can’t explain what makes a show good in a couple of lines. A good show is not just one that strives for something good, but also one that does that good thing well. Not every hospital drama is St. Elsewhere, nor every cop drama Hill Street Blues, and not every an-alien-lives-with-me series will do what Alf did as well as Alf did it. So it was fun to see these clips of the various shows, but it really did not leave one feeling informed.
Luckily, the articles discussing this special also pointed out that Shout Factory, makers of the fine Freaks and Geeks boxed set, is planning a set of interesting unsold pilots. That, I may have to get!