2019 continued the gold rush of televised and streaming content, with more shows than ever before. But as new series flood our stream and our old favorites return, we have to say goodbye to some of the best shows that left us in 2019. Some of these shows ended on their own terms, while others were canceled too soon. And 2020 is already set to bring in major heartbreak, with the final episodes of The Good Place, Schitt’s Creek, and Bojack Horseman. I’m not crying, you’re crying!
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend premiered in 2015 with an awkward title and a confusing ad campaign. Little did we know that this scrappy dark comedy would become a beloved cult classic and one of the most exciting musicals of the decade. CEG broke barriers and helped de-stigmatize conversations around mental health, sexuality, and relationships with over 100 brilliantly catchy and poignant original songs. Rachel Bloom and company created one of the funniest, most original shows, and when they wrapped up the saga of Rebecca Bunch after four seasons, we were sad but content that the show got to end her story on their own terms.
Game of Thrones
After 8 seasons, the global fantasy phenomenon came to a fiery end with sex, dragons, and lots of death. The final season left many fans confused and frustrated (really, Bran?!), but we were especially disappointed with how the series let down some of its best female characters. As a rule, finales can’t please everyone, but GOT was an epic letdown to a series that changed the landscape of television. If you’re still missing the world of Westeros, good news: there will be plenty of spin-offs and prequels in development for years to come. Oh, and George R.R. Martin is still working on the final books so maybe those will be more satisfying.
After 5 seasons, Comedy Central’s stoner buddy comedy Broad City wrapped up their run as one of the funniest, raunchiest paeans to female friendships of the 2010s. The adventures of Abbi (Abbi Jacobson) and Ilana (Ilana Glazer) put a surreal spin on the messiness of your twenties, and the always grounding force that is a ride or die BFF. Like CEG, Broad City normalized conversations around female sexuality, mental health, and put a funny and feminist spin on the 2016 elections. I mean, we have no choice but to stan the series that introduced Hillary Clinton to the concept of pegging.
Unlike the previous two entries, Amazon’s The Tick was cut short when the series was canceled after two seasons. Despite excellent reviews and a small but rabid fanbase, The Tick was unable to garner enough viewers to earn a third season. The golden age of content is bound to have casualties, but this quirky delight featured great performances and witty writing that really captured the spirit of the comic. So long Tick, we hardly knew ye.
Jane the Virgin
The beloved CW series gave us was a fun and modern twist on telenovelas as it unfolded the saga of Jane Villanueva. JTV gave us a complex, warm-hearted story about three generations of Latinx women in Miami, with plenty of drama, romance, and surprises along the way.
Has there ever been a stronger ensemble cast than HBO’s Veep? The wickedly funny political series featured whip-smart writing delivered by an all-star cast in the funniest political satire of this or any decade. Anchored by comedy legend Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the egotistical VP Selina Meyer, the series turned insults into an art form and brilliantly skewered the absurd world of politics, even as our real-life government spun off the rails.
Santa Clarita Diet
This one really hurt. After three hilarious seasons, Netflix pulled the plug on this zombie comedy (zombedy?) starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant as The Hammonds, a couple who find themselves put to the test when one of them turns into the undead. SCD delivered a goofy satire of life after death in the suburbs, while giving us one of the most supportive onscreen marriages this year. Adding insult to injury, season 3 left the series on an epic cliffhanger that will likely never be resolved. We’ll miss this weird little show, but we’ll miss Mr. Ball-legs most of all.
Orange is the New Black
One of Netflix’s first breakout hits came to an end after 7 seasons. After a brilliant first three years, the show polarized viewers with the death of a beloved fan favorite character that turned many off to the show. While the series struggled to return to form, the final season brought a somber but fitting end while shining a light on the horrors of immigration detention centers. At its best, OITNB told funny and heartbreaking stories that exposed the toxicity and systemic racism behind the prison industrial complex.
USA’s paranoid hacktivist thriller came to an end this year, after four seasons of twists and turns. Props to the team behind this under the radar hit, which made a star out of Rami Malek.
Why do all the best things come from Canada? This space western about a group of quippy bounty hunters quickly became a sci-fi favorite. It also introduced us to the wickedly good Hannah John-Kamen as Yalena “Dutch” Yardeen, who we hope to see more of in the future. If you’ve been sleeping on this series, I can’t think of a better New Year’s Eve binge-watch.
What shows are you saying goodbye to in 2019? Any NYE epic binge-watch plans? Let us know in the comments!
(image: Greg Gayne/The CW)
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