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  • Writer's pictureHannah Pearson and Susannah Powers Stengel

Bring Out Your Dead! Hopeless Necromantic TV


Spoilers For: We keep it pure this Easter.

A dolorous bell tolls. Your show has tagged out its final beat. A hollow void of grief consumes you.The story has abruptly halted, the majestic arc of character growth cut short--narrative death via premature ending. An unjust sacrifice to the Pharisee of ratings. A story untold. You're *#$king pissed.

No closure. No clarity. Perpetual mysteries. Won't they? Will they? Who knows? Not you.

Some shows are taken from us much too soon, when they had so much more good work to do.

Bring us a miracle, TV Jesus/Alanis Morissette. Save us. Revive the delicious possibilities brought forth by these plot lines. Revivify the characters who were turned to dust mid-quest, their super objectives far from satisfied.

Let's get freaky this Easter season and make these corpses dance. Fan fiction alone will not satisfy. We need some necromancy up in here.

Both of us like to write about tv because great stories rescue us, help us to better love the world and to understand ourselves. So nothing fills us with an inertia-driven rage against the machine quite like a show ripped from the earth, its ending caught in its throat.

Share in our rage and rosy remembrance. Let's rattle some bones.

In honor of Easter, here’s the shows we wish we could bring back from the dead.

Susannah, Hopeless Necromantic

#1. One Day at a Time

Seasons: 4

Judas: Netflix, who did not renew the show, but limited when other streaming platforms could produce the series.

ODAAT made me believe in the sitcom format again as a space where deep, revealing, and continual character growth could occur. This story did not back down from confronting intense and intensely satisfying stories--(confronting homophobia within families, grief and fantasy, PTSD for veterans, the crippling reality of depression for moms, drug use and addiction)--all with the immensely entertaining and meaningful backdrop of the Cuban-American immigrant experience. The fact that One Day at a Time died in red tape because Netflix refused to renew it, but also controlled how it was renewed elsewhere makes me thin-lip mad. Papito and Rita Moreno forever!

Netflix get your shit together.

#2. Firefly

Seasons: 1 + A cliffhanger-riden film

Judas: Fox

As far as Whedon stories untold, this one hurts the most. Firefly is a space epic, a tale of societal rejects and outsiders banding together with their exceptional abilities to evade the law and rise above the lawless. One season left endless questions unanswered. Shepherd's past? We know none of it! Sexual destinies between Malcolm and Inara, Kaylee and Simon? Forever unfulfilled. I think it's the part of me that wants to be a pirate-space cowboy running through the sky--never safe but always home--that part of me not only wants more Firefly, it needs it.

#3. People of Earth

Seasons: 2

Judas: TBS

Wyatt Cenac stars as an affable but skeptical journalist who, like it or not, has just become a very real "experiencer" of extraterrestrial life. He joins a ragtag team of those who are likewise authentically touched by alien life. The group therapy/processing meetings at a local church provide ample comedic opportunities for a fabulous coterie of freaks to emerge--Ana Gasteyer, Oscar Nunez, and Da'Vine Joy Randolph among them--and for their needs and desires on planet to collide and fuse with the very real creatures in the sky who have bigger plans for us all. Join us.

This show bends the lines of faith and fantasy. Make an impossible prayer for more with me, please.

#4. Chapelle's Show

Seasons: 3

Judas: The Wrong Laughs from a Racist America

Comedy is about the suspension of the natural laws--consequences are off the table and we're not worried about the moral obligations of a racist, interracial wife swap or Wayne Brady actually being a hardened thug. It's just good fun. Or is it? It wasn't for Chapelle, who figured out abruptly during season three that America wasn't giving him the reciprocal reflection his comedy demanded--and he feared their laughter reinforced the racial stereotypes he sought to undermine in parody. Dave had to be a receptacle for sacred truth about the absurdism of racism at a time when racism went almost fully unchecked. This show was too good for us, and it deserved better from us.

#5. High Fidelity

Seasons: 1

Judas: Hulu

This first season opened up a world in my heart. A world of record store bravery, yes, but mostly a world of madcap friend adventures and a world where the perpetual grief of lives not lived can be cherished in music, smoke, and mistakes. Zoe Kravitz's engaging, soulful, layered dramedy skills have the makings of a show vehicle that could thrive for years. With the most rampant enthusiasm my low-key goth skills enable, I implore some combination of Hecate, David Bowie, and Ann Peebles to BRING IT BACK. Check yourself, Hulu.

*(Authoress emits cough-cough sounding like"Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" and follows up with a hacking rasp of "Freaks and Geeks" and "Glow".)*

Hannah, Hellraiser

#1. Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23

Seasons: 2

Judas: ABC

Don’t Trust the B starred Krysten Ritter and Dreama Walker as a modern day Odd Couple. It was funny, brash, and despite a stale premise, fresh. Both actresses nailed their roles, with Krysten as Chloe the flighty party monster, and Dreama as June the fresh off the farm human Tom Petty song. But the real gem of the show was James Van Der Beek, playing a vapid, fame-hungry version of himself. The show had potential for many hijinks and potential for rewarding character development.

#2. Princess Jellyfish

Seasons: 1

Judas: Funimation

Sisterhood. Fluid Gender-Identity. Self-Acceptance. This quirky little anime show was a head of its time. Based off a manga of the same name, Princess Jellyfish follows a young woman living in a house with only nerdy girls, and her friendship with a mysterious fashionista, who helps her gain some confidence.

#3. Crashing

Seasons: 3

Judas: HBO

Have you wanted to watch a show with comedians just hanging out? Would you also like to watch it without listening to an out of touch, self-absorbed, douche canoe driving around a stupid car and drinking coffee? Well then, Crashing is for you. A nice slow burn show that had a lead male character who was just wholesome. He wasn’t making meth in garage, or cutting up bodies. He was just trying to navigate life and tell some good jokes along the way. It was nice.

#4. Difficult People

Seasons: Three

Judas: Hulu

Difficult People was the show for the Haters Club. I’m talking about people who love nothing more than to sit around with some pals and talk a shit about everything and everyone that is wrong in this world— unashamed and unabashedly. Because sometimes being a ray of sunshine all the time just fucking sucks. Billy Eisner and Julie Klausner made this people feel seen. Their jokes were sharp, hilarious, and a tad psychic (see Kevin Spacey).

#5. Clone High

Seasons: 1

Judas: MTV

Who did Abe take to the prom? Who was chick-a-la??? I need the answer to this question before I die, but alas, I may never get it. MTV’s Clone High, an animated teen comedy about historical figures who have been clone and are all going to the same high school, was a ridiculous concept for a show. But throw in some stellar writing, quotable jokes, and hilarious voices from Will Forte, Christa Miller, Michael McDonald, and others, and somehow it just worked. But the show only got one season and left us a with a cliff hanger.

The show has risen, the show has risen indeed.

What show do you whisper in your heart to gimme, gimme more? Practice those incantations and let's see what we can do!!!! RAISE YOUR DEAD in the comments below!

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