May the Source Be With You: March Edition | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

May the Source Be With You: March Edition

Canceled shows and cultural 'casts

I don't know what got me started doing it, but lately I've been watching a ton of shows that got canceled before their time, and mostly just focusing on pop culture podcasts. I think I just don't have it in me to listen to political stuff right now, as I just feel the stress levels rising and the discourse becoming more vitriolic and rage-fueled. I know as the election nears I'll make space for more of that discourse, but right now I just don't have it in me. Here are a few of the pop culture podcasts and dearly departed shows I've been enjoying this month.

click to enlarge May the Source Be With You: 
March Edition
Courtesy of Netflix
Does anyone still miss “Santa Clarita Diet” as badly as I do?

In Pod We Trust

One cultural podcast I just recently discovered is "Decoder Ring," hosted by Willa Paskin and produced by Slate. Every episode focuses on a different cultural phenomenon and breaks it down from its history to the current discourse. What I really like about "Decoder Ring" is that Paskin and her team research the hell out of the topics and share information that I'd never heard before. Episodes about the decline of slow dancing, the history of making out and the first alien abductees are classic and completely fascinating.

I've also become a pretty big fan of Bowen Yang lately, so I sought out his hilarious queer-culture-focused podcast with Matt Rogers called "Las Culturistas" and it's a damn delight. The eps that specifically focus on top 10 lists are my favorite, like "Top 10 'Gray's Anatomy' Characters" and "Top 10 Batman Villains" are especially hilarious. If you're a fan of Yang, the show is an interesting insight into his mind.

Now Streaming

So many great shows never got an ending. There are obviously the big ones that we always talk about, such as "Firefly," "My So-Called Life" and "Freaks and Geeks," but I've discovered some recently that I was pretty surprised never got to tell their entire stories.

"Reboot" was a smart, funny and emotional sitcom from Steven Levitan that created "Just Shoot Me" and "Modern Family," with one hell of a cast, including Keegan-Michael Key, Johnny Knoxville, Rachel Bloom, Judy Greer and Paul Reiser. It follows a group of actors and writers rebooting an early 2000s sitcom for a modern audience and trying to make it smarter and funnier. It only lasted eight episodes on Hulu and by the time I got to the final episode, I was genuinely sad there were no more to watch. It's easily the best performance Johnny Knoxville has ever given...for what that's worth.

"Rabbit Hole" was an insane and fun spy thriller starring Keifer Sutherland that was the perfect balm for folks that were missing the action-packed ridiculousness of "24" (or as I called it: "The Jack Bauer Power Hour). "Rabbit Hole" was packed with so many twists and cat-and-mouse chases that each episode built to a batshit crescendo that left me laughing and scratching my head. The show only released eight episodes and leaves you on one hell of a cliffhanger, but if you want to enjoy what there is, all episodes are available on Paramount+.

click to enlarge May the Source Be With You: 
March Edition
Courtesy of Netflix
The greatly missed “GLOW” from Netflix.

"Avenue 5" had a shaky start but eventually became a pretty great black comedy sci-fi show from Armando Iannucci, the creator of "The Thick of It" and "Veep." Set on a space cruise that gets knocked off course and will be forced to spend years traveling through space, "Avenue 5" took a deeply cynical view of humanity and turned it into something eventually fairly upbeat and hilarious. The show only ran for two seasons, but it's worth checking out on MAX. Seriously, Hugh Laurie on this show is priceless.

Netflix has killed so many shows I love over the last year that I could do an entire essay on the unfinished stories living in my brain. From the expert worldbuilding of "Shadow and Bone" to the fearlessness of "The OA," Netflix is afraid to give shows over two seasons lately, but ends a lot of them with one. Those shows, along with "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," "GLOW," "Santa Clarita Diet," "Altered Carbon," "October Faction," "I Am Not Okay With This," "1899," "Inside Job" and "Lockwood & Co." are just a few of the series that deserved at least an episode or two to wrap things up. I don't trust Netflix original programming anymore and neither should you.

Jared Rasic

Film critic and author of food, arts and culture stories for the Source Weekly since 2010.
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