In the land of comic books, few can maintain television viewership. Such is the fate of Syfy’s Deadly Class and Happy!, both gritty books of heroes without capes. Deadly Class focused on Marcus, a homeless teen recruited to a school that trains in the deadly arts. Through the only season, Marcus went from being chased by cops and a life of loneliness to joining a ragtag crew of friends who would fight alongside him and take a drug-addled trip to Vegas because detention was boring.
Happy! received a sophomore season before facing the guillotine. In it, Christopher Meloni played Nick Sax, a disgraced detective fueled by booze and bullets, urged along by his imaginary blue horse friend. Not as kid friendly as the title might convey.
Both shows took on the daunting task of bringing to life hit comic books told through the eyes of complicated characters without traditional superpowers. Deadly Class leaned into its era of anti-establishment punk rock, often filled with dialog of taking down The Man and how corporate America is the true enemy. Happy! dove headfirst into hallucinatory paranoia while taking out the ocassional bad guy with a gun, hands, or surgical saw. Anything and everything was an option.
Life for cut shows is different now, thanks to fallbacks like Netflix, Hulu, and now even YouTube. While neither has had a long shelf life, there is some hope that another outlet will pick up one or both. Of course that all depends on rights and contract negotiations, but no show is ever completely dead anymore.