2. Lone Star (FOX)
As a writer myself, one of my biggest pet peeves is when TV shows are yanked off the air too quickly. Such was the case with Lone Star - the pilot got rave critical reviews and then it was pulled just an episode later. It was such a quick and undeserved demise that I threw things and said things I cannot print - and in fact, the entire reason this column you're reading exists is because I went on a whole other angry tirade about this cancellation, two years later. Just thinking about this one still sends me into a temporary apoplectic rage.
What is it about Lone Star that still gets under my skin? It was really, really great. Kyle Killen - who remains one of my favorite TV writers even if he can't catch a break - had a fantastic concept and was executing it well, and he deserved the chance to let his characters develop and plots play out. You can't really get an idea of a show's true merit in two episodes. I'll also forever be indebted to this series for introducing me to James Wolk, who literally made my jaw drop with how amazing he was in the lead role. He is one of those folks I can't even find superlatives for (and he's on my must-watch list for 2013). One of my major career regrets is not having had the chance to interview James for this show, or to do any sort of press for it - I was coming off of major surgery when it aired - because I just wish I'd been a part of Lone Star somehow. It was that awesome, and it had the potential to be one of the best shows of all time, but we'll never know.