Television has evolved greatly over the past 20 years moving from cable TV to an overwhelming slew of streaming services. This has allowed TV shows, movies, and other watchable content to become even more readily available than before. Now that we have hours of entertainment at our very fingertips, it’s easy to find another show to watch once you finish one but what hasn’t changed is the devastation of a show canceled too soon.
It was early 2018, back when I was still starry-eyed with hopes and dreams, that I got the devastating news. They were canceling my favorite TV show after a short run of four seasons. I had been watching The Librarians since 2013 when it first aired and had never missed an episode. The show is a direct spin-off of The Librarian film trilogy; The Librarian: Quest for the Spear, The Librarian: Return of King Solomon’s Mines, and The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice. It’s filled with nostalgia for fans of the original movie series, with continuous callbacks and beloved characters returning to the screen, but it also brought new life to the story, with new characters and exciting twists and turns (literally, in one episode, they get stuck in the Labyrinth). The show follows a group of librarians, chosen by the Library because they are experts in their respective fields and considered some of the smartest people in the world. They set off on dangerous adventures all across the globe to recover countless missing, mysterious, or dangerous artifacts. It’s been four years since the show aired its final season and even though the ending was left open in an attempt to give the audience closure, I still find myself wishing for one more season. One more adventure.
Unfortunately, The Librarians is an example of a show that was able to give their audience an ending with most of their questions answered. Even though the cancelation broke my heart and left me rewatching the show a few times over in order to properly grieve it, I was still able to walk away mildly okay. This isn’t always the case as there have been a few shows that have ended on cliffhangers. Just canceled with no word on how it could have ended, leaving some of the show’s biggest fans unable to fully move on. I Am Not Okay with This, Angel, and Heroes are just some examples of canceled shows that ended on a cliffhanger, typically leaving an unsatisfied audience as well. In fact, I know people who still talk about the ending of Angel and how they wish for at least one more episode even though the show stopped airing in 2004 and the creator, Joss Whedon, has said he is content with the ending.
I think this just goes to show how profound of an effect different shows have on different people’s lives. Some of us never move on from a canceled-to-soon show and some of us just move on to the next one without thinking too much about it. There are a lot more important things in the world than a canceled TV show, but I don’t think I will ever be able to get over the soul-crushing reality of my favorite TV show unable to continue forever. If anything, it taught me disappointment at a young age but also how to move on, somewhat.