Some TV shows are meant to run for years and years, only getting better and more impactful the longer they go. Others, though, were destined to live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse, and in some ways feel even more special because our time with them are so brief. Here are the five best one-season wonders:

5)Terriers. Terrible name, terrible marketing, and a premise that sounded been-there, done-that doomed this wonderful 2010 private eye drama with spectacular buddy chemistry between Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James.

4)EZ Streets. This intricate and engrossing 1996 drama about the cops and crooks of an unnamed Rust Belt city was a few years early for the cable drama revolution, and wildly out of place on CBS, but the lucky few who tuned in saw something special.

3)Joss Whedon's 2002 sci-fi/Western mash-up Firefly was doomed from the start, with a premise that was hard to explain and a network that never believed in it. But characters like Nathan Fillion's swaggering space pirate were so well-drawn, and the dialogue and storytelling so sharp, that Whedon was able to draw on the fans' love affair long enough to make a terrific follow-up movie, Serenity.

2)1995's My So-Called Life launched not only Claire Danes' TV career, but the idea that high school dramas could take the inner lives of their characters seriously, telling layered, beautiful stories about both its kids and adults, and helping pave the way for our number one show...

1)Freaks and Geeks, created by Paul Feig, produced by Judd Apatow, and starring James Franco, Jason Segel, and Seth Rogen, among others, it was hated by the NBC executives who killed it after only 18 episodes, but a tale of teenage outcasts that was just as adept at making its small audience laugh as it was at making them acutely feel the pain of those kids as they moved though the most awkward years of their lives.

Alan Sepinwall has been reviewing television since the mid-'90s, first for Tony Soprano's hometown paper, The Star-Ledger, and now for HitFix. His new book, "TV (The Book)" about the 100 greatest shows of all time, is available now. He can be reached at