While I could have easily written yet another post about how this “American Idol” reboot season continues to disappoint me despite its promising start, I’ll save that for after the season ends. Which is, insanely enough, next week. Because what’s more fun than spending weeks whittling down to the best of the best (or, at least, the best of the best and several mediocre talents getting by on their “approachable-ness”) only to speed through knocking them off like it’s the last 15 minutes of a Lifetime movie about a murderous babysitter? I could go on and on but I won’t, because there’s something else that has provoked my ire this week that we need to talk about.
Unfair cancellations of great television shows are a tale as old as time. From “Freaks and Geeks” to “Pitch” (of course I’m still thinking about “Pitch”), there are plenty of great programs that suffer from unfair comparisons to insane mega-hits or some other sort of network nonsense and ultimately fall by the wayside. This week, there were initially four big and upsetting cancellations before a move of heroism saved one of them, the beloved “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” (Thank you, NBC!) Time to pour one out for the shows that aren’t with us anymore.
“The Mick“ 2017-2018
I don’t know if I’ve ever shared my love for this wild series on this blog before, but it really was a delight. Following the endless antics of Mickey (played with frenetic brilliance by Kaitlin Olson) as she barely attempts to look after the nieces and nephews left in her care, “The Mick” was an endless study in hilarious extremes. It seemed like each week everything could fall apart, that their latest chaotic and crazy endeavor or scheme would ultimately be their undoing, and yet they would always find their way out of it, although not always in one piece. It also featured a rare child actor that can actually act and isn’t irritating in the form of Mickey’s youngest nephew, Ben (played by Jack Stanton). I will miss this show for all of these reasons and many more, but mostly for the fact that it ended on a hell of a cliffhanger for one character and I hate that I’ll likely never know how it plays out. Unless, of course, a little streaming service that rhymes with “Petflix” could save that day. (Not Hulu. I don’t have Hulu.)
“The Last Man on Earth” 2015-2018
To be fair, it’s kind of amazing that this little show that could lasted as long as it did. It didn’t exactly have the kind of premise that would facilitate a hit comedy but as I’ve written about before on this blog, it made its unlikeliness work so well. An artful mix of absurdist, silly humor and true emotional impact, “The Last Man on Earth” continued to grow and develop into a fascinating character study even into its now final season. It just happened to also be a show that used the word “turd” like, a lot. I saw rumblings on Twitter that there might already be talks for Hulu to save this show from totally disappearing, but nothing has been officially reported yet. In the meantime, we can appreciate it for what it was, and not appreciate all of our friends who never watched it despite repeatedly being told to do so.
“Great News“ 2017-2018
Arguably the most under-the-radar of the bunch, “Great News” filled the “30 Rock” sized hole in my heart, which made sense given that its creator, Tracey Wigfield was a writer on “30 Rock,” and Tina Fey was an executive producer. She even appeared in several episodes of the show’s second season, in a clear attempt by the network to pull in new viewers to the show. That attempt felt like the only one though; the show never seemed to be equally promoted alongside its other Thursday night counterparts. It also suffered from being last in the night as opposed to being sandwiched in-between two more popular shows. As a result, people didn’t come to know and love the show’s central mother-daughter relationship, or the wacky supporting characters that made up the world of MMN. It’s really a shame.
With these three shows gone, and a slew of new pilots that don’t sound entirely interesting or exciting, I fear that the moment of a great television comedy revival has come and gone. At least we still have “Superstore,” “Black-ish,” “The Good Place,” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” to enjoy. Hopefully I won’t be writing eulogies for them any time soon.
What do you think? Are you sad to see these three shows go? Or are you still angry about what happened on “American Idol” last night? Same. I’ll have a lot of say about that in the near future. Until then, share your thoughts in the comments and of course…