When a new TV show comes out that galvanizes the masses and really gets us talking (or texting, blogging, vlogging or whatever you like to do about it), it makes us wonder how we ever lived without it and we never think of it ending. It does, however, as all things must (well, unless you’re The Simpsons) have to end. Especially if it’s a Netflix show, most of which don’t make it through very many seasons. The point is that just about every great show has come and gone. Some start off great and remain that way. Others, take some time to get going and then become content that we can’t live without.
Netflix has resurrected many a show, Fuller House, Queer Eye, and One Day at a Time just to name a few. It has also cancelled Fuller House and One Day at a Time showing that Netflix giveth and Netflix also taketh away. Which leads us to shows on the chopping block from Big Red for 2020. Cancelling some of these show would’ve been unthinkable a year or two ago. Audiences are fickle, however, and sometimes when it’s your time it’s just your time. Until of course another network or streaming service decides to keep the story going. At least we still have a bunch of Netflix original movies in 2020 to look forward to.
13 Reasons Why – No Air Date Yet
When this show first debuted it was both controversial and unlike anything that had ever been on TV before. Teen suicide isn’t something most content providers seem to be falling over themselves to produce. Which is exactly the reason Netflix is the place for shows like 13 Reasons Why. However, after the first season it didn’t really seem like anymore was needed with the characters from Liberty High School. In fact, given that we find out the reasons why in the first season, it honestly felt going into this 4th season that this show was essentially running on fumes. As Netflix keeps their viewership numbers very close to the vest, it isn’t surprising that we don’t really know the reason why this show was cancelled. Surely, if this show was doing Stranger Things-like numbers it would keep going, right? Well, there is also the fact that in the show the core cast is graduating this season. 4 seasons, 4 years of high school, it stands to reason that a show as bold as this would go out on it’s own terms no matter what the viewership numbers are now.
Six seasons of this Netflix Original series is a pretty solid run. Sadly, this erstwhile horse will head into the sunset just as the New Year is getting underway. This is truly a loss for bold, animated content on any platform. The story of Bojack Horseman (voiced by Will Arnett) is that of a former star who has seen better days. Now, Bojack lives in Los Angeles, has little to no career to speak of, and a very odd sense of dress. Over the past six seasons we’ve been treated to all manner of “Horsin’ Around” (sorry, I couldn’t resist) and the show’s only grown stronger. With a voice cast that includes such luminaries as Amy Sedaris, Aaron Paul, and Alison Brie, Bojack Horseman was a show that never shied away from pushing boundaries or buttons. It will be missed because of that but it will also be missed for being a damn, fine show.
Dear White People – No Air Date Yet
This show, due to the movie that preceded it in 2014, very much started the “Stay Woke” rallying cry that we see today. Just based on that alone Dear White People as a piece of content would have to be seen as truly radical. However, this show goes above and beyond even that idea to show how a group of African American College students thrive in a very white, Ivy League college. I want to refrain from using the term “navigate” to describe how they deal with life on this campus. Navigate seems to suggest that they merely want to get by. However, Dear White People shows a group of bold thinkers who, rather than ask for a space in this critical world, simply create one that in many ways negates the other. Running for a final fourth season this year, Dear White People as a TV show was far from perfect but has any revolution ever met that lofty standard? Kudos to Netflix for backing such an audacious project.
GLOW – No Air Date Yet
What?!?! How is this show ending in 2020? It seems like it just got started, you say? Starting in 2017, GLOW took every world by storm. Streaming, traditional TV, cable, you name it, this dramedy about the lives of female wrestlers in the 1980s was ahead of its time. And considering that it was inspired by a TV show of the same name (the acronym stands for Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling} from 1986, the fact that we are able to still view and appreciate it’s relevance 34 years later cannot be discounted. This show followed the character of Ruth (Alison Brie) as she struggles to make ends meet by joining the ranks of women’s wrestling. Through this prism we get a show that not only showcases female empowerment, it also gives us a solid barometer of how much more is yet to be accomplished. Sadly, we bid adieu to GLOW this year but this series ending doesn’t mean in any way that its star has dimmed.
Lucifer – No Air Date Yet
This show’s 5th season swan song is going to go out a little differently. The final 16 episodes are going to be released in two parts (8 episodes in each). Given the gravity of this character and the fact that it does hail from a comic book, Lucifer seems to be getting the send-off it deserves. The premise of this whole affair is both ludicrous and brilliant. Basically, Lucifer (Tom Ellis) is over Hell. So what does he do to pass the time? Well, naturally he comes up to Earth, opens a nightclub called Lux and starts working with the LAPD. As crazy as this sounds this show worked which is why there is a fair amount of sadness in seeing it depart. Thankfully, Netflix has seen fit to give this show a solid goodbye. Sure, fans probably won’t like having to wait between blocks of shows, but look at it like you’re actually getting two final seasons and that should make everything go down a lot easier.
The Ranch – January 24
This Ashton Kutcher vehicle started off as kind a sit-com but has since covered more serious terrain the longer it’s be on air. Now, as its fourth season is set to air, this show is actually saying good-bye. With a very strong cast that includes Kutcher, Sam Elliot, Elisha Cuthbert, and Grady Lee Richmond (as well as the fantastic and underused Debra Winger), the final bow of The Ranch is truly bittersweet. This may not have been the most original show ever but then again neither was Friday Night Lights and look at how that’s remembered. With its down home sensibility, family ties, and comic moments, The Ranch could best be described as a dramedy done right. Sure, Netflix probably could’ve kept the proceedings going for as long as they wanted, but it seems like a lock that we will see much of the talent in this show returning in other projects. Until then, lets spend one final season with The Ranch.