My Top 6 One Season Wonders
This weekend saw the final nail in the coffin for comic book TV show Y: The Last Man. The first season aired this past fall before being unceremoniously cancelled by Hulu and FX. Show runner Eliza Clark tried like hell to find a new home for it, but she announced this past weekend that all efforts had been exhausted and Y: The Last Man was truly dead. It’s doubling a shame because I was finally watching the show and was in the middle of that first season when I heard the news. Such is my timing.
The thing is, I really enjoyed the first season of Y: The Last Man. This is a painful show to lose just as it’s really getting started and getting good. So I thought I’d do up a whole list of awesome shows we lost after just one season. There are plenty of lists like this on the internet. I even used some of them to jog my memory. Some of these shows are older, and some of them are more recent. And all of them are my personal preference. I haven’t seen every single One Season Wonder that’s ever been on television. But this handful of great shows still hold a solid place in my heart.
Join me after the jump for my favorite TV shows that only got one season. And feel free to share some of your own in the comments!
Watchmen is at the bottom of the list because the showrunners only wanted one season. I think it can still count, though. Watchmen was a dark, serious, gritty, but then ultimately fun and wild sequel to the legendary comic from the 1980s. I remember enjoying the season, and then the finale just blew my mind for coolness, association with the original comic and all-around wild factor. This show was smart, poignant and very cool.
Speaking of shows that ended after only the one, planned season, I loved Over the Garden Wall, but I’m willing to accept that it came to a proper ending.
Undergrads was probably not a good show. But it was about dorky college students and came out when I was in college. And I was really dorky in college. So it was just right for me. It had fun characters and just enough wackiness to be something cool. College Sean definitely would have liked more seasons of Undergrads. But in the end, can any of us really stand college kids as a whole?
4. Wolverine and the X-Men
The X-Men have a great history of animated shows, and Wolverine and the X-Men was as good as any of them. Shame it only got the one season. It had a lot of plot, a ton of character cameos, and was a real, solid exploration of the X-Men and their mythos. Lots of thought and attention were put into this show, and it had plenty of room to keep going. They were planning some Age of Apocalypse fun for the second season. But, alas, it got cut down to make way for the Marvel CEO’s hatred of the X-Men.
3. Y: The Last Man
Should Y: The Last Man really be ranked this high? Probably not. But it’s fresh in my mind, and the pain of not getting any more episodes is still sharp. I loved the comic when I read it way back in the day, and I was as excited as anybody for the potential adaptation. I didn’t watch it episode-by-episode, waiting instead to binge the whole season, and I was blown away by how good this show really was. I thought it did a great job adapting the comic, while adding some more depth and spins. I loved all of the main characters, each one perfectly cast out of the comic. And I loved the new stuff they added. This show really should have gone further and become much more. This one stings.
2. Teenage Bounty Hunters
Curse you, coronavirus pandemic! A lot of great shows came to an end because of problems caused by the pandemic. I am very bitter that we’ll never see the fourth and final season of G.L.O.W. But Teenage Bounty Hunters was murdered in its crib. This was my favorite show of 2020, and it was a huge blow for Netflix to cancel the series because of the virus. It was such a great show! The leads were so charming and so much fun to watch, and the character work was second-to-none in development and entertainment. I really, really wish we had more seasons of Teenage Bounty Hunters.
The granddaddy of all one season wonders is, of course, Firefly. It will always be the No. 1 answer to this specific thing. Firefly was great, was ahead of its time and still holds up all these years later. I’ve taken to watching reactor videos on YouTube these days, and it’s always fun when these people watch Firefly and quickly get addicted. Firefly is just plain great. What more can I add to the exhaustive conversation? Great characters, great stories, new adventures every episode, some of the best character development and dialogue in all of television. It will forever and always be a crime against humanity what the networks did to Firefly.