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The Most Infuriating Cancelation Of 2022 - Looper Staff Picks

2022 was the year of the letdown — from box office performances to abysmal superhero films, it was one blow after another. Studios also seemed to take a special interest in upsetting the general audience by canning popular television series and movies that were well into production.

Looper gathered nine of its most passionate writers and asked them to pick the most upsetting cancelation of 2022. When we did this, we had no idea the rage and profanity that would come along with it. The Looper staff is an ardent bunch and were ready to unleash — and boy did they. Movies and television are our life here, and we take things a little too seriously at times. Look — should these movies and television shows have been canceled? Most of them, yeah, probably BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT. It doesn't make the sting any less painful. We're sadly saying goodbye to shows that were given too few seasons and movies that will never see the light of day. 

Caitlin Albers - Batgirl

Was "Batgirl" going to be an absolute dumpster fire? There's no question. This movie was going to be terrible and never stood a chance, but Warner Bros. has never had an issue with massively letting down the DC fanbase in the past, so why find a conscience now? Whatever BS reason the studio had for canceling the streaming flick (personally, I don't think they told us the truth), pulling "Batgirl" was a slap in the face to everyone who worked so hard on it. We are given absolute trash on streaming sites DAILY — it's not like the world was going to completely lose it over how bad "Batgirl" was. They tried to tell us they were moving in a different direction for straight-to-streaming content on HBO Max, but Warner Bros. changes directions daily so ... go scratch.

There's really only one real travesty here, though. We were robbed of a Brendan Fraser performance. Who would dare do that in the middle of the Brenaissance? If anything was going to be good about this movie, it was Fraser, and it's just ridiculous we didn't get to see it. "Morbius" was released this year, but you guys were worried about putting out "Batgirl?" Just a reminder of the movies Warner Bros. and DC Films has released to us with confidence — "Suicide Squad," "Black Adam," "Justice League," and "Wonder Woman 1984." But noooooooooooo, they couldn't release "Batgirl" because it didn't fit into their new plan. Did those movies fit into your plan at the time? Must have been a plan to create the biggest joke in all of entertainment. Mission accomplished.

Nina Starner - The Baby-Sitter's Club

Sometimes, when I settle in to watch my stories at the end of a long day, I don't feel like having my emotions put through the wringer (I'm looking at you, Hulu, with your constant suggestions to follow every half-hour comedy I've ever watched with "The Handmaid's Tale"). Life is hard. The world can be an ugly place. Everyone on Twitter is loud and there's always a different villain of the day to keep track of. TikTok confuses me because I am over thirty years old. There aren't that many options left for me. That's why I will never fully forgive Netflix for canceling one of my only sources of joy left: the reboot of "The Baby-Sitter's Club," which ran for two seasons starting in 2020.

Netflix pulled the plug on this sweet, funny, earnest series in March of this year, leaving me to shed some tears and pour some out for the little serotonin I have left. I, like so many other millennial kids, loved the original "Baby-Sitter's Club" books by Ann M. Martin, and before this reboot premiered, I kind of forgot it was even happening. But then, encouraged by shockingly positive reviews, I watched it — and reader, it was so good. Alicia Silverstone plays the cool mom to Sophie Grace's Kirsty, Mary-Anne's struggles with her dad (a perfect Marc Evan Jackson) are much more fleshed out than they were in the books or film adaptation, and the show manages to tackle issues like childhood illness, grief, and gender identity with finesse and care while still not being too saccharine. I mean, for god's sake, Xochitl Gomez was in season one, and she anchored one of the biggest movies of the year shortly afterward! Netflix is pretty notorious for axing shows without mercy, but this one definitely stung.

Pauli Poisuo - Dynasty

For five seasons, The CW's "Dynasty" reboot has been comfort viewing in my household. It's the kind of series that I wouldn't necessarily binge, but one that I still generally ended up watching from the corner of my eye while trying to read a book or whatever. At some point down this strange semi-viewing line, I've apparently developed an attachment to "Dynasty" -– one that I didn't even notice until the show was gone.

Even if you dislike soap opera, "Dynasty" is an easy show to enjoy, because half the time it seems to hate the genre too. The series gleefully ribs itself by fully committing to each and every tired trope. "Dynasty" doesn't just change actors mid-season –- the show grins manically and points at the now wildly different-looking character, inviting the viewer to acknowledge that this old soap cliché just took place. Actors like Elizabeth Gillies (who leads the cast as the wonderfully venomous Fallon Carrington) and Grant Show (as Blake Carrington) understand exactly how much scenery they're required to chew, and often return for seconds.

This kind of tongue-in-cheek approach can be disastrous, but "Dynasty's" unflinching commitment to the bit works. The end result is a soap opera that goes so hard that you can't help but watch, if only to see which cliché the show bodyslams next. It also helps that "Dynasty" is a reboot of one of the most audacious soaps of the 1980s, which provides it with plenty of tried-and-tested storylines.

"Dynasty" fell victim to The CW's mass cancelations this year. In all fairness, the show was kind of winding down in its fifth season, so it's entirely possible that the Venn diagram of people who actually wanted a sixth season and the one guy who complains about it in a Looper end-of-the-year article is a small, slightly damp circle. Still, while my life absolutely won't depend on this show, and though I already know that I'll never get around to watching every single episode of it, it'll be weird that it's gone. Oh well; at least "MasterChef Australia" is still around.

Kim Bell - Warrior Nun

Netflix, c. 2021: Psst...you should watch "Warrior Nun."

Me: No. Why. What even? Nun Hermione? I'm good, thanks.

Netflix, 1,000+ x, c. 2021-2022: It has sword fights, Kim. It's called "Warr—

Me: I KNOW WHAT IT'S CALLED, ROBOT. I prefer my fantasy in other realms/time periods, as you well know.

Netflix, again, c. 2022: Psst...you shou—

Me: I will find a way to destroy you.

Netflix c. two days later: ...So you're like, that jerk who doesn't watch something just because it's popular? Laaaazyyy....

Me: UghhhfFINE! Fine. But only because "The Last Kingdom" is over. I don't have to prove myself to you.

*Two days, several episodes later*

Me: Crap. I can't remember the last time a show surprised me this much. Or did so much showing instead of telling. Or moved the genre forward so much without shouting, "Look! We moved the genre forward so much!" after moving it half an inch. Gah, Season 2 is even better. Really took off once she stopped talking to herself. Hold up — is that an erotic pastries van full of ninja nuns? Yeah, there's nothing else like this on television.

Netflix: Omg yaaayy! We knew you'd like it! Um but real quick/JSYK...this isn't on television either. We uh...we canceled it. I knooow, riiiight? Sorry, bb! FWIW, we did renew "Is it Cake?" You said you liked compelling questions. So.

Me: Are...is this a joke? This show has a massive following, you know that, right? Also, the sword kept glowing, you sadists. You can't just not continue the story when a dead person's weapon...it's...it's against all laws of nature. You're really gonna DO THIS? Turn me into a fan that Googles "petition to renew...?!" Ya know what? No. It's fine. I'm fine. We're all fine. YOU WIN, algorithm. You always do. And I always knew this is how I'd go out: crying into a cardigan pocket full of Chex Mix, defeated by a robot corporation, screaming into a computer screen. *Sigh*...R.I.P., "Warrior Nun:" in this life or the next, as you used to s—

My husband: ...who the f*** are you talking to??

Tom Meisfjord - Legends of Tomorrow

I was never an Arrowverse guy. I don't even remember how I started watching "Legends of Tomorrow." Maybe I just wanted to support Arthur Darvill in his decision to only make shows where he got angry in time machines. Maybe I wanted to see how long it would take for Victor Garber to get a musical number written into his contract. Less than two seasons, if you're curious, and honestly? Good for him.

Somewhere along the way, "Legends" outgrew its big, dramatic CW origins and became something ... weird. So, so weird. Glorious and weird and probably too expensive, like a ball gown made of Muppet leather. Lots of fans will point to the time when the gang created a Tickle-Me kaiju monster to fight a giant demon as the tipping point. For me, it started at the top of the third season, with the fresh new thesis statement "maybe sometimes we screw things up for the better."

Yes, the show was getting a little long in the tooth. It was sloughing off characters faster than late-stage "Community." And who has the money for James Taylor songs that resurrect the dead when you've gotta pay for copies of AfterEffects to make the Flash go real fast? Still, it was something special, and killing this televised wildlife preserve of the bizarre right when Donald Faison showed up as Booster Gold technically counts as bullying.

Kieran Fisher - Paper Girls

"Paper Girls" had the potential to be Amazon Studios' very own "Stranger Things" — both series are coming-of-age sci-fi dramas that revolve around teenage characters as they grapple with the trials and tribulations of adolescence in the 1980s. These young people must also contend with otherworldly concepts and the dangerous scenarios that arise from them. Additionally, they both explore the socio-political anxieties that have haunted the American psyche for decades. However, I firmly believe that "Paper Girls" is better than Netflix's hit series — and it scores extra points for featuring one of the most horrifyingly complex iterations of Ronald Reagan in the history of film and television.

Unfortunately, it seems that the world of streaming only has room for show of this ilk. Amazon Studios pulled the plug on "Paper Girls" in September, two months after it premiered. Despite receiving critical acclaim, the series didn't attract a massive global audience and its fate was sealed. Numbers inform decisions at the end of the day, but that doesn't make the cancelation of "Paper Girls" any less infuriating. So, what made "Paper Girls" so special during its short time on this Earth?

While it features an exciting time-travel plot, "Paper Girls" soars when it explores topics such as aging, death, and relationships from the perspectives of youthful optimism and jaded adult cynicism. It reminds us that while our childhood dreams may never come true, we shouldn't allow ourselves to become unfulfilled. The human drama at the heart of "Paper Girls" is beautifully handled, and the sci-fi mystery is just as compelling. It's a shame that we'll never get to see the on-screen story end on its own terms, but we can find comfort in knowing that Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang's comics still exist.

Aahil Dayani - Scoob! Holiday Haunt

While "Batgirl" was the largest casualty in Warner Bros. Discovery's HBO Max purge, most seem to have forgotten that "Scoob! Holiday Haunt" also received the axe. A sequel to the 2020 animated "Scooby-Doo" reboot, "Holiday Haunt" was a spooky Christmas-focused prequel that dived deep into the early sleuthing days of Mystery Incorporated. "Scoob!" received mixed reviews but I'm firmly in the "it was fine, actually" camp. It took the classic "Scooby-Doo" formula and modernized it.

One of the highlights from "Scoob!" was its first few minutes, which showed the iconic Hanna-Barbera characters meeting for the first time as children. Their chemistry is infectious and they immediately bond, jumping right into their first mystery. Scooby and Shaggy's dynamic was convincing and genuine, especially after the heartfelt and comedic opening that showed the two crossing paths. While "Scoob!" did try new things (by trying to be a superhero flick), the best part of the film is its opening minutes, which is tried and tested "Scooby-Doo."

"Scoob!" had its fair share of issues but it really did look like "Holiday Haunt" would capitalize on the best part of the flick: the young characters. With the young cast returning, "Holiday Haunt" was on track to be something special. Just take a look at the prequel's writing credits, which included superstar "Batman" writer Paul Dini. How's that for infuriating?

I can't help but wonder how impactful "Holiday Haunt" might have been, especially for younger audiences who are at the perfect age to fall in love with the gang. "Holiday Haunt" could have genuinely been the true start to the "Scoob!" franchise. Plus, we haven't gotten a scary animated Christmas flick in years, so it would have been nice to spend the holidays with Mystery Incorporated.

Russell Murray - Westworld

Some people choose to think of the ugliness in this world. I choose think of how great Season 1 of "Westworld" was, and how much of a shame it is that the series will never get the chance to complete its ambitious vision. I understand the boring reasons for "Westworld's" demise — the sub-400,000 nightly viewers during Season 4, the increasingly sprawling plot, the slowly declining reviews — but it's still hard to believe it's gone.

Then again, there's a strange sort of silver lining here I first took from another canceled HBO series, "Lovecraft Country." The first two episodes were absolutely brilliant and satisfying, so much so in fact I chose to put down the series there. I tried to persevere (twice actually), but felt the magic fading with each new episode. So I let it be, instead choosing to think on the first two installments as though that were all the series had to offer. After watching them once more, I happily made my peace with "Lovecraft Country." Stories — good ones, at least — can end wherever we choose them to end.

The true ending of "Westworld" was likely never going to be definitive, but the ending of Season 1 is satisfying. Dolores achieves consciousness; William can finally exercise his violent delights; Ford accepts his violent end. Even the Maeve cliffhanger offers some resolution, as she chooses her family over her freedom — the choice itself informs more about the character than any reunion scene ever could. "Bicameral Mind," in many ways, feels like an epic, apocalyptic series finale. Even the lingering questions, possibly answered in convoluted fashion down the line, are more fascinating to just ponder about in grateful ignorance and wonder. Whenever "Westworld" hits whatever FAST service they pawn it off to, I look forward to revisiting the first season one last time. It almost makes me at peace with "Westworld's" untimely departure.


(Honorable mention: "The Wilds")

Nick Staniforth - The Wilds

Before the "Yellowjackets" were the group of teenage islanders left to fend for themselves, Amazon Prime was already returning for seconds on turf already laid out from 2021's show, "The Wilds." Very similar to the Melanie Lynskey/Christina Ricci-starring thriller series, "The Wilds" looked to stories like "Lord of the Flies" and tried to give the classic tale their own twist with a little bit of "Lost" to boot. The series saw a group of girls, all with their own personal issues, head off on a retreat only for plans to take a nosedive when their plane goes down. As is often the case with shows like this, we were given along a non-linear narrative in the first season after realizing the girls did make it out alive. More importantly, another island of boys was visited in the second season.

Unfortunately, expanding to a new location wasn't enough. "The Wilds" withered away thanks to low viewership and the streaming service pulling the plug. It was a huge shame, as, just like "Yellowjackets," the young cast involved was a compelling bunch, and all worked brilliantly together in what played like "Lost: The Younger Years." While we were left with a cliffhanger, just as any abruptly canceled show ends up suffering from, the journey getting there was an okay watch. It's a shame that a more popular clone beat this particular contender with a far more lasting sting. Farewell, "The Wilds" — we sure hope you made it.