CONSTANTINOS PSILLIDES looks back on a period when four well-loved TV shows came to an end
It was bad. Really bad. Going through it was borderline torture and should be considered a violation of the Geneva Convention. And no, I’m not just talking about the new Schwarzenegger series on Netflix, Fubar, although I might as well be. By the way, can we please be done with the elderly action hero trope and the de-aging technology? The only thing less believable than Arnold Schwarzenegger, a 75-year-old man, effortlessly beating up a group of 30-year-old trained hitmen, was his hair. Give these actors some roles with gravitas befitting their status and leave the dumb, action hero roles where they belong. With Vin Diesel.
No, what I’m talking about is that in the span of just one week (well, 10 days to be exact) we saw four beloved TV series coming to their respective ends. The Flash, Barry, Succession and Ted Lasso all aired their last episodes, leaving viewers heartbroken and wondering:
The Flash (FX)
Airing for the first time back in 2014, The Flash was originally supposed to be a cash-grab to quickly capitalise on the success of The Arrow on CW. But actor Grant Gustin’s charisma and charm along with compelling, surprisingly heartfelt plotlines turned The Flash into one of the most beloved series ever made. Now, after nine whole seasons, it is time for the titular speedster superhero to hang his running shoes. And spandex.
The series tells the story of Barry Allen, a young crime scene investigator who gains superpowers following an explosion at a lab.
Over the course of nine seasons, the Flash saw enemies fall and friends killed, celebrated victories over his rivals, created multiple parallel universes (some of them by accident, cause hey, everyone makes mistakes, right?) and created a team of super speedsters.
The end of The Flash marked the official end of the ArrowVerse, the TV universe created by the CW to house a multitude of superhero shows.
Barry (HBO Max)
SNL alumnus Bill Hader leaves his extreme comedic antics behind and brings to life Barry, a former marine turned assassin, turned actor!
Barry spans four seasons and kicks off when the titular character is sent to eliminate an actor for having an affair with the wife of a criminal. Instead of killing him, Barry accidentally takes part in a theatre rehearsal and for the first time in his life, believes that he has found a place where he belongs.
Throughout the series Barry keeps trying to “break good” but his past life keeps coming back to haunt him. Critically acclaimed and beloved by fans, Barry manages to maintain its artistic integrity and deliver four seasons that are balanced, a rare occurrence for TV shows that tend to fumble the ball at the tail-end.
Succession (HBO Max)
Succession tells the story of the Roy family, owners of the media and entertainment global conglomerate Waystar RoyCo. The family patriarch Logan is in failing health, and tension grows as everyone wants to be the one who succeeds him. Inspired by King Lear, Succession quickly won audiences and critics over with its snappy dialogue, powerhouse performances, and high production value. With constant scheming and backstabbing going on, along with mirroring news developments in the real world, Succession successfully ran for four seasons, asking the same question it did when it premiered: who will end up on top?
Also, every single person in this show is a sociopath.
Ted Lasso (Apple TV)
Oh, coach, I’m going to miss you! Ted Lasso, the loveable “aw-shucks” football coach came into our lives during the pandemic and it was a rare breath of fresh air. Where other shows went for gritty reality, Ted Lasso went for optimism, a heartfelt message, and genuine emotion.
While it starts as a “fish-out-of-water” series (Lasso is hired to coach a Premier League club despite having absolutely no idea how to play the sport) it quickly develops into a series that examines mental health, female empowerment and the relationship between men. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry and in the end, it will always bring a smile to your face!
Before we wrap up, just a note: the people who wrote these series, who made you laugh, cry, and identify with the characters, those same people are now on strike and are asking for better working conditions. Their demands are not irrational, and they are not outlandish. They just want a slightly bigger piece of the pie they themselves baked, so they can have better working conditions. They don’t want yachts, they just want to make rent. Support the Writers Guild Of America by visiting any of their social media and give them a follow, as a thank you for coming up with these amazing stories.
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