There were plenty of great moments on TV in 2019. But with so many options, there were many worst offenders, says Kelly Lawler. Among them was the terrible Game of Thrones finale, the overly weird Dickinson arriving with the disappointing Apple TV+, Big Little Lies wasting a second season, Arrested Development ending with a whimper, not-so-live TV musicals like Rent: Live and The Little Mermaid Live!, bad behavior on Big Brother and Survivor, host-less awards shows and Netflix's cancelation spree. "Every network and streaming service has to cancel multiple series every year; it's just a fact of the industry," says Lawler. "But in 2019 Netflix wielded its ax at a far higher rate than the streamer had before, canceling such a wide swath of its series that, from an outside view, it seemed to speak more to the company's overall strategy rather than viewership for any one series, which it (mostly) won't reveal. As more shows (good and bad) are announced as a 'third and final' or 'fourth and final' season (including greats like Dear White People and GLOW), it becomes clear that Netflix isn't out to get 200 episodes of a sitcom or even 100 episodes of a twisty drama, the outmoded formula for syndication. While certainly not every show needs to last 10 seasons, some have the potential to evolve and grow for years. Especially on a platform that pioneered the idea of binge-watching a series over a week or two, it's sad that Netflix originals might never keep us occupied for very long. As streaming becomes more dominant in the industry, it's a safe bet to say we'll be far less likely get a series that runs as long as Friends or Grey's Anatomy again."
TOPICS: Netflix, HBO, Arrested Development, Big Little Lies, Euphoria, Game of Thrones, The Little Mermaid Live!, Mrs. Fletcher, Rent: Live