Cancelled TV: ‘American Vandal’ and ‘Forever’

I have two go-tos when it comes to shows cancelled too soon: American Vandal – one of the best comedies of recent years and another victim of Netflix’s cynical “two seasons, then done” financial strategy – and Forever.

My love of detective and mystery series comes from an utter inability to guess who the culprit is. The “big reveal” is always a huge revelation.

I spent my teens harbouring a major NCIS obsession (it’s all on Amazon Prime, I’m probably only a few more months of lockdown away from relapse…), but eventually I found comfort in the “Detective + Person With a Quirk Wot Makes Them Very Clever” genre. This includes shows like Castle (Detective + experienced crime writer), Psych (Detective + guy with a photographic memory who pretends to be a psychic) and Lucifer (Detective + the actual, literal devil).

In Forever, Ioan Gruffudd plays centuries-old forensic scientist Dr Henry Morgan, whose mysterious immortality fuelled multiple-lifetimes worth of study into death itself. Henry uses this expertise to solve crimes with detective Jo Martinez (Alana de la Garza), while also dealing with the revelation of Adam – a second, more ancient and enigmatic immortal.

I loved how the show balanced crime stories with interrogations of what it would be like to live forever, but low ratings meant it was cancelled after one season, despite online campaigning and with help from viewers from Spain and France, where it was really well received (it was the most watched show on Tuesday evenings in France which was… bizarre to learn).

Although wishing there was more of it to enjoy, I am oddly content with the one season we got. It wraps things up quite nicely in a “we could go on, but wouldn’t it also be okay if that was it?” kind of way. It didn’t explore Dr Morgan’s immortality in quite the way it wanted, but there weren’t obvious loose threads hanging off the final episode.

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Alex Viney

April 2021
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