Nobody likes to see a favorite show come to an end. While sometimes the endings are bittersweet, some absolutely leave a hole in our hearts. While compiling this list, it kind of felt a little bit like 2021 was where a lot of shows came to die. COVID-19 threw off a lot of filming schedules, and some shows just never recovered.
Other shows ended because it was their time, but that didn’t make their parting less painful. We are so thankful to all the actors and crew who made these shows we loved. You brought some joy to our hearts, and we will be forever grateful.
While it would take forever to talk about all the shows that left our screens this year, we wanted to highlight a few.
Who knew we would all fall in love with a show about the devil, and indeed the title character himself? Lucifer was the gift that kept on giving when it continued on Netflix after they picked it up from Fox. And it continued to be renewed for a total of six seasons, giving us an opportunity to spend more time with characters that will be forever in our hearts.
There are a lot of things about Lucifer we are thankful for, as Lizzie said in her farewell article about the show. “Above all things, thank you for showing us that even if you are the literal devil, there’s always a silver lining. There’s always a way out. You never have to be the thing others say you are, the thing your family thinks you are, or the thing the world expects of you. You only have to be you,” Lizzie wrote.
When you miss the show, you can take a tour through some of the over 11,000 fanfics on Ao3.
2. Brooklyn 99
Let’s be honest, we would never be ready to say goodbye to the squad of the nine-nine. This show was a true ensemble piece that showcased every character so well. It is so hard to say goodbye to Jake, Amy, Rosa, Boyle, Captain Holt, etc. They gave us a laugh, sometimes when we needed it the most. We will never forget the Halloween heists.
While we are sorry to see the show go, we are thankful to be blessed with 8 great seasons of television. Lyra opted to write her series finale review on a positive note, with all the happy things in the final episode. “The fact that we lived this, breathed this, and fell in love with these characters and actors is time well spent that we’re holding onto. Because sure, the show’s over, but the way that it changed us will always be with us,” Lyra wrote.
3. All Rise
We’re just going to say this now – All Rise didn’t get the attention it deserved. It got renewed for a second season right in the middle of COVID-19, and just couldn’t come back and build the audience it deserved. We loved Lola and her growth and struggles as a new judge. But the show also built an amazing cast of characters we grew to love (not to mention our ship of Luke and Emily). The show brought to light many issues that face our justice system today.
“One of our favorite things about her is that she’s not perfect. She struggles with cases and rulings, and she knows that sometimes cases, and people, aren’t black and white. There’s a grey area. And just because someone does the wrong thing doesn’t mean they are a bad person,” Jessica wrote in her farewell piece to the show.
Are you serious? A plus-sized woman as the lead character in a TV show that portrays what her life is like from her perspective and doesn’t shy away from the truth? We love to see it. Look, we will be the first to admit that Annie from Shrill was a hot mess at times, but really, who isn’t?
For the first time on television, those of us who are considered fat felt seen on television. Like the scene where Annie was always wearing a shirt at the pool? Yeah, we’ve been there. Or when she settled for a less-than-perfect relationship because she felt like it was all she could get?
We were so proud of all of Annie’s growth throughout the three seasons. And we truly got to see her change her life without needing to change her body. Truly inspirational, and we hope to see more shows like this grace our televisions in the future.
Is the Arrowverse slowly fading away? While the flagship show ended in 2020, two more left our TV screens this year – Black Lightning and Supergirl.
Supergirl started its life on CBS but later found a home on the CW. While we think the show lost its way at times during some of its run, Supergirl will always hold a special place in our hearts for its female lead and voracious fanbase of shippers. For those that miss it, you can revisit your favorite characters in the more than 36,000 fanfics on Ao3. This may come as a surprise to no one, but the top ship on Ao3 was SuperCorp.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist couldn’t have come at a more perfect time, given its theme of how we process grief and find a way to carry on. The surprise cancellation was devastating for fans, who successfully rallied to give the series a second life on The Roku Channel, which released the original movie Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas earlier this month. While it wrapped up several storylines, there are still so many stories to tell with our favorite characters, leaving fans hoping for news of another movie or a third season.
A show about three besties living in New York City and working for a fashion magazine resonated with us more than we expected it to. There were a lot of questions that The Bold Type gave us – like how we could get a job writing one column a week and be able to afford a Manhattan apartment. But more importantly, it tackled so many issues that are important to women today – breast cancer, sexual identity, miscarriage, and more.
“These three were sometimes annoying, sometimes made me want to scream, and sometimes made me feel as though I didn’t understand where I was and as if I was taking New York for granted. They taught me that my best friend didn’t have to be right beside me because all that mattered was that they knew that I loved them. They taught me that growth is more than getting taller, but about my heart getting bigger,” Erin wrote in her review of the series finale.
8. Prodigal Son
Police procedurals are a dime a dozen on television, but Prodigal Son always felt a little different. In no small part because of the chemistry between series stars Tom Payne (Malcolm Bright) and Michael Sheen (Malcolm’s father Martin Whitley, a.k.a. the serial killer known as The Surgeon). While the weekly mysteries were always interesting, the series’ strong suit was always in its complex and, yes, broken characters. Fans were devastated when it was announced the series was canceled and rallied to try to save it, to no avail. That cancellation came on the heels of one of the best (and most suspenseful) arcs of the show makes the loss of this series is even more painful. Definitely, a series that was ended too soon.
9. Duck Tales
Yes, we added a children’s cartoon to our list. But let’s be honest, the reboot of Duck Tales was freaking good. First and foremost, we were blessed with David Tennant as the voice of Scrooge McDuck. We love Tennant in just about everything, and he was absolutely perfect in this role. The show featured an all-star cast for the rest of the characters, including: Danny Pudi (Community), Ben Schwartz (Parks and Rec), Bobby Moynihan (SNL), and Kate Micucci (Garfunkel and Oates).
Here’s the thing, we loved Duck Tales as a kid and we love it still today. This reboot did an amazing job bringing a modern touch to the show with just the right amount of nostalgia. It will surely be missed.
Superstore is another ensemble piece that makes us grieve the loss of a group of friends with its parting. This show highlighted the joys (insert sarcasm) of working in a big box retail store, but the camaraderie of those who are in the trenches together. Customer service jobs can be THE WORST, and the team at Cloud 9 muddled through it together in a way that made us all smile.
While the entire cast of characters was important to the show, we loved shipping Jonah and Amy. We knew that the show would not last long with the announcement that America Ferrara was leaving the show. That blow, combined with filming struggles due to the pandemic, made season 6 its last. We are sad to see this show go, but thankfully we can go back and watch old episodes on streaming whenever we need a laugh.
This is another one of those shows that didn’t get the love that it deserved. Sam’s journey as a person on the spectrum transition from his final years of high school student into life as a self-reliant adult was heartfelt and gut-wrenching at times. But we would remiss if we did not bring up his sister Casey’s journey on the show.
While being the neurotypical sibling of a neurodivergent kid comes with its own challenges, we also got to witness Casey deal with incredible amounts of pressure as a scholarship-level athlete and her exploration of her sexuality. We’re still thinking about her pain during the season was battling between the love for her boyfriend and the attraction she was having for Izzie.
Atypical really found its stride in season 2, hiring neurodivergent actors to play some of the roles in Sam’s community. This show taught us that it’s okay to see the world differently and that if you believe in something, you should never give up.
12. Wynonna Earp
We love a kick-ass show with a strong female lead, and Wynonna Earp was no exception. Four seasons of Team Earp was simply not enough. While we will miss Wynonna, Doc, Waverly, and Nicole, we were happy that the show at least ended on a sweet note – a wedding.
“LGBTQ relationships are still few and far in between on TV. They’re even rarer when it comes to the length that a couple is together and if they even make it to the altar and get married. But Wayhaught made it. They made it and there was no sudden gotcha moment where something went wrong and danger destroyed them or killed them,” Lyra said in her review of the series finale.
When we need a fix of our favorite characters, we can always catch up with them in fanfiction.
The list goes on
There were way too many shows we said goodbye to this year to write a blurb for them all, but we wanted to give an honorable mention to some of the others we lost this year (insert sad violin music here): American Gods, Lost in Space, Good Girls, Dear White People, Younger, Pen15, Insecure, Shameless, Kim’s Convenience, Black Lightning, For Life, and The Sinner.
And let’s not forget the Cowboy Bebop live-action that was canceled after only one season.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to these shows and took us on these journeys. And most importantly, thanks to the fandoms we met along the way.
So, what shows will you miss the most? Let us know what they meant to you!