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"Leaving LA" was a show that celebrated life by focusing on the lives of workers in the LA County Coroner's office. I was surprised by how delightful and quirky this series was, given its macabre subject matter. It was canceled by ABC (the same network that canceled the "Young Indiana Jones Chronicles") after airing only six episodes. It was, in my humble opinion, a well-written, well-produced, well-acted series that left the viewer with a warm feeling at the end of every episode. A tragic loss to all those who will never get to appreciate this unique and daring program. --WR
When you look at the cast list for this show, and realize what most of
them have become, you have to wonder just what the heck ABC was doing
when they canceled it. Hilary Swank - won two Oscars, has been in
several monster movies. Christopher Meloni - star of "Law & Order:
SVU". Melina Kanakaredes - star of "Providence" and "CSI: NY". Ron
Rifkin - star of "Alias" and "Brothers & Sisters". Lorraine Toussaint -
has been in numerous huge series, including "CSI:" and "Ugly Betty".
Anne Haney - "Chicago Hope", "Dharma & Greg" and others.
But forget all of that - this was a good show. A little quirky, yes, but good. A ton of shows out there that show cops (or scientists) solving crimes. Quite a few shows dealing with the coroner's office (think "Quincy"). But this was one of the few shows showing the entire process, and what happens during it all.
Even better, this show had heart - the characters were easy to relate to, even if a few of them were just a bit odd. Just as nicely, the characters meshed - they worked well together, and they played off of each other well.
This was a fun show, but they never gave it a chance.
I thought Leaving LA was a great show. The story line showed different perspective than all the cop shows that flood the air waves. It was well acted and well directed. It even had some humor to break the otherwise less than funny subject. I wish ABC had kept the show on the air.
As I write this, I've just returned from the Museum of Television and Radio
in Beverly Hills. There you can view television programs, and sit at a
television with headphones and watch what you'd like. Well, I surprise that
they had an episode of "Leaving L.A." in there collection.
I remember back years ago when the show was on the air, that I really enjoyed, but I could hardly remember anything about it, so I decided to watch the only episode they had "Give Them Names," the second episode. And I was blown away.
Why didn't this show last?
The episode was well-written and filled with dark humor, as well as just great drama. The cast well excellent, and I surprisingly found Chris Meloni of Law and Order: SVU and Melina Kanakaredes from Providence, two of my favorite actors on television today, as the leads. Also surprising was Hilary Swank in a supporting role as a clerk.
What I don't understand is why the show isn't still on the air, or why it didn't last more than six episodes. I really enjoyed this episode, the first time I've seen the show in four years, and wish it were on the air today.
It's interesting to see how the cast members have faired. Meloni and Kanakaredes have hit shows, Ron Rifkin is gets tons of work, Anne Haney (who recently passed away) was in many of the biggest movies including Liar, Liar, and Hilary Swank has won an Oscar (though you wouldn't know it in this role.
Anyway, this short-lived series can be viewed as a very interesting stepping stone in many of the actor's career, and one of the big "screw-ups" in recent network history.
really great show, great acting and writing but i think it was just a
couple of years too early.. now we have lots of dark and weird shows,
and i think the folks at ABC must have thought it was too weird and
dark to leave on.. pity as it was long before all the CSI-like shows
and Six Feet Under or Crossing Jordan etc.... but fortunately all the
main actors have gone on to do great work..
as other mentioned, if you can find the 6 shows, they are well worth watching... great offbeat humor :) -- Chris Meloni is one of my favorite actors and it's nice to see him in this role and he and Melina have really great chemistry.
Dumped onto a faltering ABC lineup on Saturday night after the fading Lois
and Clark, this show never had the chance it deserved. The cast was
excellent. Christopher Meloni
has since appeared in Oz on HBO, Bound, Runaway Bride and lately the new
series Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Maria Kanakaredes is starring
Providence. Ron Rifkin is everywhere. Ann Haney was in The American
Given the subject matter, it managed to stay both touching and quirkily funny. Amazingly, the show was able to tie up all but one of the ongoing plot lines by the sixth and last show.
The quality of the stars and writing gave hints of what might have been. Initially titled "Exit Elves" in pre-production, Leaving L.A. exited too soon.
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