10 cancelled TV shows that deserve to get renewed
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After the news the Lucifer got saved by Netflix after its cancellation, and with the same thing happening to Brooklyn Nine-Nine last month, now seems like the perfect time to reminisce over our favourite cancelled shows.
Hey, @Netflix, since you’ve been feeling so generous lately, why don’t you pick up some of these?
1. The Get Down (2016-2017)
This show is the brainchild of Baz Luhrmann (of Romeo and Juliet fame - you know, the Leo one) and Nas (yeah, the rapper), and it’s exactly as cool as that makes it sound. Luhrmann’s iconic colourful visuals bring to life the gripping story of a group of 1970s teenage MCs in the Bronx. Tackling issues of family, friendship, love, drugs, and violence through music, 2017’s second part left audiences on a massive cliffhanger.
It’s pretty shady that Netflix cancelled both this show and Sense8 around the same time — both shows containing more non-white characters than like, all their other original shows put together. Sense8 got a special finale, and The Get Down deserves one too.
2. Hannibal (2013-2016)
This dark adaptation from the genius mind of Bryan Fuller is another show that didn’t get the ending it deserved. Mads Mikkelsen’s iconic Hannibal Lecter and Hugh Dancy’s Will Graham were rushed into a superficial sense of closure after the shock announcement that the series would be ending after its third season.
Though some fans would say that the show was losing its coherency — the third season was certainly less popular than the first two — it’s still a shame that such a cleverly crafted show wasn’t allowed to come the the roaring crescendo it so deserved.
3. Pushing Daisies (2007-2009)
A very different show, but one also created by Bryan Fuller, Pushing Daisies introduced us to a hyper-saturated, fairy tale-esque world. It couldn’t be further from Hannibal… except for all the murders. Ned the Pie Maker (Lee Pace) bakes pies and wakes the dead, helping detective Emerson Cod (Chi McBride) to solver murders, all with the help of his undead girlfriend Chuck (Anna Friel) and his nosy waitress Olive (Kristen Chenowith). This fun and stylised show tackled some pertinent issues — grief, loss, loneliness, strained parent-child relationships, and much more — through a lens of idealism and colour.
Another one that left us on a cliffhanger — a huge reveal — audiences could use the healthy dose of sugary goodness that Pushing Daisies offered!
4. In The Flesh (2013-2014)
A BBC drama that didn’t get half the attention it deserved, In The Flesh gave us a unique take on a zombie drama. A government mandated rehabilitation centre provides medication that allows ‘Partially Deceased Syndrome’ sufferers to return to their families. They’re given foundation and contact lenses to help them assimilate, but Keir (Luke Newberry)’s rural community isn’t so quick to forget the chaos the zombies caused when they arose.
The show uses being a zombie as a metaphor for Kier’s sexuality — he’s gay — but not in a way that belittles or pathologises it (I’m looking at you, J.K. Rowling + lycanthropy). The second season opened up so many new doors, and again left audiences on the edge of our seats with the potential revealed in its closing moments. Please @BBC revive us by reviving this show!
5. The Exorcist (2017-2018)
FOX has done a brilliant job at reinventing this classic horror franchise, and this year’s second season was, if possible, even better than the first. Moving away from the traditional narrative and into new territory, we followed our rogue priests (Ben Daniels and Alfonso Herrera) to a creepy island near Seattle, inhabited by child psychologist foster dad John Cho and his gaggle of misfit kids.
Queer, Latino, Asian, Black and disabled stories give a solid and refreshing base to the spine chilling horror. The emotional weight is carried effortlessly by a talented cast, and perfectly crafted by skilled writers. Daniels and Herrera bring such world class acting to the script, and again this show was cancelled just as the characters were on the brink of something big. Blasphemous!
6. Emerald City (2016-2017)
An updated version of The Wizard of Oz, Tarsem Singh (The Fall) brought his signature sweeping style to this innovative series. Adria Arjona (Pacific Rim Uprising) plays Dorothy, swept up into Oz by a hurricane, who, as she discovers this strange world, discovers that there is a history tying her to it. Rather than a simply moralistic fairy tale, this version explores darkness and complex, conflicting motivations, weaving together threads of the story with style.
Though the single season came to a satisfying conclusion, there was certainly a set up for more — something fans are desperately craving!
7. Marco Polo (2014-2016)
It’s kind of Game of Thrones meets Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, following the exploits of the explorer Marco Polo, son of a Venetian merchant, amongst the intricacies of the court of the great Mongol emperor Kublai Khan. Netflix, of course, has taken a few liberties with the history, but as far as period pieces go, it’s definitely up there with the greats!
Against the backdrop of Chinese-Mongolian conflict, politics, love, strategy, and betrayal haunt the royal families of both sides, resulting in a captivatingly complex and visually stunning saga that deserved the chance to continue after its explosive second season.
8. Galavant (2015-2016)
A Shrek-esque self-aware fairy-tale, Galavant followed the all-singing, all-dancing exploits of the titular knight (Joshua Sasse), featuring characters such as a stupid king, his evil ex-wife, a sensitive bodyguard, a singing squire, various peasants, and of course, Kylie Minogue. Plot devices such as the Forest of Coincidence aid the characters on their quest, and it’s just as hilarious as it sounds.
An irreverent, lighthearted show for musical lovers — too good for this world, too pure for the cynical, dystopia-preferring audiences that dominate. Like the greats, Galavant gave us an episode about just how much they deserved to be renewed — that alone should have got it picked up somewhere else! But alas, nay.
9. Almost Human (2013-2014)
Snazzy sci-fi from the king of the genre, J. J. Abrams, that was cruelly ended almost before it begun, Almost Human followed futuristic Detective John Kennex (Karl Urban), and his robot partner Dorian (Michael Ealy), as they respond to distress calls, solve crimes, and learn important lessons about humanity from each other.
A classic sci-fi move of using technology to mimic and explore real-world social issues and oppression, the meagre single season it got didn’t allow this show to grow and reach its full potential.
10 Shadowhunters (2016-2018)
As with Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Lucifer, fans of Shadowhunters are frantically campaigning for it to get picked up elsewhere after its shock cancellation. Based on everyone’s fave problematic YA novels by Cassandra Clare, the TV show gave us everything the 2013 film adaptation didn’t.
The cast do a fantastic job at balancing campy horror and teen romances with some surprisingly deep moments, and it’d be a travesty to leave the story hanging the way it will when this season ends if it doesn’t get saved!