Issa Rae’s “Rap Sh!t” has become the latest show to bite the dust. Max shared the news that the show is coming to an end after two seasons. Fans online shared their disappointment. Some expressing their frustration that several developing story lines will never be completed. Other fans pointed out that it seems good, Black shows are always being canceled too soon.
It’s not uncommon for a great show to go under the radar and fail to connect with a larger audience. These undeniably brilliant shows come along and are a hit with critics and a smaller fanbase. They spark cultural conversations and even win awards. Despite this type of influence, the powers that be decide to pull the plug on these fan favorites.
While these shows will likely never return, reminiscing on what once was can help ease the pain. Here are five other shows that should have never been canceled.
If you’ve never seen it, every season “Love Life” followed a new character and the people who came in and out of their lives romantically. It was fascinating to watch the characters grow and evolve as they navigate wrong partners, true loves and even their own baggage on their quest to find the one. The first season was great but the second season, featuring William Jackson Harper and Jessica Williams was masterful. Sadly, HBO decided not to renew it after two seasons. You can still catch it on Amazon Prime but it’s a shame that there are no new stories to watch.
The Wonder Years
I was a huge fan of the original “The Wonder Years” so the notion that this new iteration would follow a dark-skinned Black family was so intriguing to me. I was thoroughly entertained by the unique stories the show told. There was Dean, the show’s protagonist, his militant sister, his musician father and his mother who was navigating corporate America as a Black woman in the 1960s. This show managed to walk the line between educational and heartwarming and I’m really going to miss it.
In my mid thirties, I’ve aged out of a lot of the mess that “Sweet Life” characters experience. But watching this cast of twenty-somethings transverse changing friendships, tricky romances and budding business ventures was fascinating. Not to mention there was plenty of drama to go around. You could watch this show and have plenty to discuss afterward. Who was right? Who was wrong? It was a reality show with meat.
Based on the novel by Matt Ruff, “Lovecraft Country” the series was a mythical, fantastical retelling of the Black experience in the 1950’s. It featured a stellar cast, including Courtney B. Vance, Jurnee Smollett, Aunjanue Ellis and the late Michael K. Williams. The show featured the tensions between Black and white people, where the Black folk often emerge victorious. The series also showcased historical anecdotes about our Black legends. Lovecraft Country won several awards, including two Emmys for cast members. Still, HBO didn’t renew it after the first season’s ten episodes. Many argue the show highlighted too many unflattering truths about white people to continue airing.
There are way too many reality competition shows out here. But none of them was like “Legendary.” It brought the ballroom scene to cable television. Teams, called houses, competed against one another each week in voguing battles that, with clothing and choreography, were visual feasts. In addition to the entertainment, audiences had an opportunity to learn about marginalized communities like trans women, ballroom legends, and more. It was entertainment with a purpose. But after three successful seasons, featuring celebrity judges and guests, HBO canceled it.