I’ve been in yet another writing slump this year. Neo, the cat that I’ve mentioned on the blog before—the elderly one with dementia who yowled constantly—died in April. He was the second of the two who had been my constant companions for more than two decades; Urd, my calico girl, left me at age 21 two summers ago. Still having Neo after Urd’s death kind of delayed the mourning process. There was still a cat in the house. Urd’s things were still mostly Neo’s things, so I didn’t get rid of anything. But when Neo was gone, I kind of lost it. My anxiety went into overdrive, and I had such severe panic attacks every night that I was sure I was having a heart attack and almost went to the emergency room several times. It was my GP who put the two together when I had a phone consultation with her—that grief could be the trigger.
I decided I had to get away from my cat-empty apartment and took a trip up the coast from San Francisco to Mendocino, where I could sit and watch the waves pound against the rocks and soak in a hot tub in my room watching Underworld: Awakening
and not have to do anything else. It was heavenly. But I still couldn’t stop thinking about how empty my house was without cats. As soon as I came back, I started looking at rescue kittens. And on Memorial Day weekend, I brought home Sophie.
Sophie is the best medicine. She’s a ridiculous brat, and I love her.
At any rate, that’s why I’ve been AWOL from the blog for a few months. The words were just not there. And when I can’t seem to focus on words, I binge TV. Which is how I discovered my new favorite show (that I somehow only just now realized the awesomeness of): Lucifer
When the show was cancelled on Fox and the outcry of loyal fans got it picked up again by Netflix, I figured it was time to give it a try. This show is a-MAZE-ing. (See what I did there, Lucifer
fans?) For the uninitiated, Maze, short for Mazikeen, is one of the characters on the show, a demoness who leaves Hell with Lucifer Morningstar and tends bar at his nightclub in Los Angeles. And also kicks a lot of ass. She’s just one of several unfairly sexy characters in this ensemble cast that includes the marvelously snarky and blithely narcissistic—as well as unapologetically kinky and bisexual—Lucifer Morningstar; Lucifer’s uptight brother, the angel Amenadiel (played by a moody, conflicted D.B. Woodside, just to kill me); Detective Chloe Decker, who takes Lucifer on as a “consulting” sidekick in solving homicides; Chloe’s ex-husband Dan, another homicide detective with secrets; Lucifer’s therapist, Linda, who has a sexy librarian-in-glasses thing going on; and Lucifer’s mom, the Goddess of All Creation, played by none other than Tricia Helfer. And I haven’t even mentioned the adorkably perky forensic scientist Ella Lopez yet or the surprising character arc of Smallville
’s Tom Welling that I won’t give away here. And then when Eve shows up after escaping a boring Adam in boring Heaven…
Well, I think you get the picture. This show is chock full of really well-written characters with a lot of unexpected emotional vulnerability—the kind of characters I strive to create in my writing. (I’d be lucky if I could do it half as well.) I understand that Netflix has renewed the show for one more season, but Season 5 will be its last.
Watching and getting caught up in this series made me think of other paranormal TV series that were prematurely cancelled: Dracula
, with its titular character played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, was obscenely cancelled (again by Fox) after one amazing season. Sleepy Hollow
was cancelled after the disastrous decision by (checks notes)—uh, Fox—to kill off the female lead, played by Nicole Behaire. Tom Mison and his eyebrow were amazing, but Behaire was crucial to that show’s success. I didn’t even bother watching Season 4, and I wasn’t surprised when I heard it wasn’t coming back. Then there was Penny Dreadful
on Showtime (hey, not your fault this time, Fox!) that had amazing actors and boasted such fabulous characters as Frankenstein and his monster, Dr. Jekyll, Dorian Grey, and Dracula, among others, but was apparently too expensive to be worth continuing with for the ratings it was getting. It was cancelled at the end of Season 3.
Paranormal television series, of course, aren’t the only ones that suffer this fate, but when they do, it always feels like the networks didn’t quite get their audience—or maybe didn’t respect it. Though sometimes, like with NBC’s Grimm
and Fox’s Fringe
, the shows just seem to have run their course. Thankfully, in those latter cases, they ended with what I consider to be two of the most satisfying conclusions in paranormal television history. It’s worth mentioning that none of these shows were actually billed as romances (because when was the last time romance got any respect on television outside of the Hallmark Channel?), but there are some lovely romantic elements in all of them.
As with television series, it often seems that paranormal book series have a tendency to get prematurely cancelled. (As all of Harlequin’s Nocturne authors sadly can attest.) I hope to one day have a chance to write Laurel’s, Rosemary’s, and Rowan’s stories to finish up the Sisters in Sin
series, but right now I’m just starting to get back to work on some other projects that have been languishing—my out-of-print House of Arkhangel’sk
and Demons of Elysium
series, which I’m hoping to get back into print someday, as well as a paranormal romantic suspense series I set aside back in 2014 to do Sisters
. Over the past few days, I’ve been able to keep up my old daily word count of 1K per day. Here’s hoping that will continue. (Even if playing with Sophie instead is really, really tempting.)
Are there any television or book series whose cancellations you still pine over? Let us know in the comments so we can check them out and be sad together. ;)