Sometimes defining when a series is canceled can be somewhat ambiguous. Did the series end because the time to conclude came naturally or did they turn off the tap and have to force events to give the story an outcome?
The truth is that there are cases in which a canceled series can be given a decent ending (or even given a final season some time later) but today we are going to relive some of those unsatisfactory endings of series that deserved more episodes to be able to say goodbye as it should .
The series created by John Logan (screenwriter of ‘Sweeney Todd’), starring Eva Green and Timothy Dalton brought us back characters from English Gothic literature , such as Dorian Gray or Frankenstein, in a murky story, full of disturbing characters and with an unhealthy atmosphere that captivated us for 3 seasons.
Although it cannot be said that the series does not have an ending, it left a bitter feeling due to the haste of the events of that last season , not to mention that many characters were left hanging and their plots were not resolved satisfactorily. and agreed to be his final farewell. The taste in our mouths is even worse when we remember that, given the opportunity to revive the series, they brought us ‘Penny Dreadful: City of Angels’ instead, which had little or nothing to do with it.
Before Netflix became the hotbed of cancellations that it is now, this particular series created by Zal Batmanglij (‘The East’) and Brit Marling (‘Another Earth’), also the protagonist, came by surprise. An enigmatic bet where a blind woman reappeared , after seven years in an unknown whereabouts, with her sight recovered and a mystical story behind her.
A unique series that could have stayed in a single season but decided to continue with an even more cryptic second if possible. This continuation added more questions to the ones we already had and concluded with a most impressive cliffhanger that deserved to have been able to develop, had it not been for the fact that Netflix decided to put an end to its trajectory. Too bad, because it was one of the most different proposals on the platform and it could have given much more of itself.
Joss Whedon is already an expert on cancellations. He happened to him at the time with ‘Buffy, the Vampire Slayer’ (which, yes, has an end, but it would have deserved something less abrupt and more conclusive), ‘Dollhouse’, ‘Angel’ and with the series that we are dealing with. This story that combined western and space opera , with Nathan Fillion at the helm of the cast, became a true cult title and could have flown very far, if they had let him.
All “thanks” to Fox, who mistreated the series by issuing it in a disorderly manner , with the consequent cancellation due to low audiences. The success of the domestic format edition made ‘Serenity’ a reality three years later. The film continued the adventures of its characters but, even so, it tasted like little and left us wanting to have had more seasons.
‘As dead as me’
Another expert in cancellations is Bryan Fuller , whose most beloved series have been hastily ended: ‘Hannibal’, ‘Criando Malvas’, ‘American Gods’… and ‘Dead like me’. The series about a teenager who dies suddenly when a toilet falls on top of her and becomes part of some kind of organization from the Afterlife, also found a premature end.
This dark comedy always had a die-hard fan community but was canceled after two seasons , between which Fuller left the series due to a creative clash between him and the series’ producers. Plenty of plots fell by the wayside, and five years later, he tried to revive himself with a movie that simply didn’t do the original justice.
‘Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance’
In an age where lack of ideas abounds, rarely have we seen a more inspired “spinoff” than this prequel to the ‘Dark Crystal’ movie. Made with care and immense love for the original story , the series depicted how the conflict between gelflings and skeksis arose, using puppets to bring the cast of characters to life.
Unfortunately, Netflix canceled it shortly after winning the Emmy for best children’s program (probably due to its high costs). It was very painful to see how such a well-cared and handcrafted series was left at the gates, with an open ending that deserved continuity beyond the conclusion that we already knew from the film.
Before ‘The Sopranos’, ‘Game of Thrones’ and other titles that consolidated HBO as a relevant brand, ‘Carnivale’ became one of its first big hits. Created by Daniel Knauf (‘The Blacklist’), its first chapter was the most watched on HBO at the time with its strange cocktail of fantasy, historical drama and circus creatures .
It was a series that polarized the audience and declined until it ended up being canceled after two seasons, leaving practically all the plot lines up in the air and without any kind of conclusion . An iconic series that, unfortunately, will remain forever unfinished.
Animation is also the victim of cancellations and you just have to take a look at the list of series that have received the hack from HBO. One of them is ‘Close Enough’, the new series for adults by JG Quintel (‘Ordinary Stories’) that took us to the chaotic life in Los Angeles of a couple in their thirties with a five-year-old daughter.
This great comedy lasted three seasons until HBO announced its end. Being episodic, we cannot say that it had a main plot that was not resolved, although that does not mean that the last episode was another self- conclusive one and did not give the final farewell that its characters deserved.
We ended with the beloved series of the Wachowski sisters , where we were presented with eight characters from different cultures with the ability to communicate and connect with each other, despite being in different places. A beautiful story that also included science fiction elements and was originally intended for five seasons .
In the end it was only two, since it was one of the most expensive series to produce for Netflix, and at least they had a two-hour special to give the series a conclusion. Despite the fact that they put all the meat on the grill and finished in style, the background plot gave for much more and that is why it left us with a bittersweet taste.