From the renewal of Hulu’s Dave and Amazon Prime Video’s Harlem, to the final seasons of Netflix’s Stranger Things and FX’s Atlanta, this is your rundown of TV news this week.
Stranger Things to End With Season 5
Fans of Stranger Things were hit with bittersweet news this week.
Along with announcing the premiere date for its long-anticipated fourth season, Netflix revealed that the popular sci-fi horror series has been renewed for its fifth and final season.
In a letter to fans, show creators Matt and Ross Duffer—also known as the Duffer Brothers—said the fourth season of Stranger Things will be split into two parts. The first volume will arrive on May 27, and the second part will be released five weeks later on July 1.
“It’s also the beginning of the end,” said The Duffer Brothers. The series—which debuted in 2016 and became a pop culture phenom—will conclude with its fifth season.
“Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for ‘Stranger Things,’” the Duffer Brothers said in a letter shared on Netflix’s blog. “At the time, we predicted the story would last four to five seasons. It proved too large to tell in four, but — as you’ll soon see for yourselves — we are now hurtling toward our finale. Season 4 will be the penultimate season; season 5 will be the last.”
They added, “There are still many more exciting stories to tell within the world of ‘Stranger Things’; new mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes. But first we hope that you stay with us as we finish this tale of a powerful girl named Eleven and her brave friends, of a broken police chief and a ferocious mom, of a small town called Hawkins and an alternate dimension known only as the Upside Down. As always, we are grateful for your patience and support.”
The conclusion of the series is logical given that its young cast, including Millie Bobby Brown, Noah Schnapp, Caleb McLaughlin, Finn Wolfhard, and Gaten Matarazzo started on Stranger Things when they were preteens, and they are now approaching their 20s.
But being that the Duffer Brothers cleverly announced the show’s ending with the promise of new episodes in the coming weeks—after a two-and-half year halt—many fans have been reacting with bittersweet emotions on Twitter.
One Twitter user reacted to the news, saying, “stranger things is my favorite show in the world i’m so sad that it’s ending but also???? there will potentially be more stories in the ST universe with different characters??? i djsmjfkffjdkdjd i have no words,” followed by three crying emojis.
“stranger things ending at season 5 is for the best but at the same time i want it to go on forever,” another person tweeted, along with a gif of Grey’s Anatomy’s Dr. Meredith Grey holding back tears.
One user expressed hope that a film could be in Stranger Things’ future.
“They did say that season 5 would be the last season, but they never said there wouldnt be a movie after season 5,” they tweeted.
“Death is Natural” — Donald Glover On the End of Atlanta
Speaking of endings, FX’s Atlanta is also gearing up for its final season.
FX CEO John Landgraf shared the news Thursday during FX’s portion of the Television Critics Association press tour that the previously announced fourth season of Donald Glover’s Emmy-winning comedy would be its last. The announcement comes just months after the network revealed the return date—March 24—for season three of Atlanta, after a three-year hiatus.
Season 4 is scheduled to air this fall, Landgraf said.
“The new season is everything you’ve come to expect from Atlanta,” Landgraf said.
During the press tour, Glover spoke about initially wanting the series to wrap up with season two. He added that ending the series with four seasons felt like a natural conclusion for Earn Marks, Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles (Brian Tyree Henry), Vanessa Keefer (Zazie Beetz), and the other characters.
“Death is natural,” Glover said. “I feel like when the conditions are right for something, they happen, and when the conditions aren’t right, they don’t happen. I don’t feel any longevity. Because then things start to get weird.” He added that his deal with Amazon didn’t factor into his decision to end the show.
Beetz, who plays the mother of Earn Marks’ daughter on the show, shared a similar sentiment.
“I was a little emotional,” she said, “but I agree with Donald that we’re ending on what feels like a peak and not letting it peter out. I think the best thing is knowing when to end it, and knowing when to move on with things.”
Although some fans said they were sad about the show’s ending, many seemed understanding of Glover’s decision.
“Atlanta ending this year hurts but all the actors are super famous and busy so it’s not really surprising,” one user wrote.
Another person tweeted, “All good things I guess.”
“Fair enough. It’s complete when it’s complete, no point dragging it out. I can respect that. Rare,” wrote another user.
The First Lady Trailer Revealed
Showtime has unveiled a first look at the upcoming anthology drama The First Lady, which follows presidential couples throughout American history.
The First Lady features an all-star cast to portray the former U.S. presidents and first ladies including Viola Davis who will play former first lady Michelle Obama, opposite O-T Fagbenle as Barack Obama. Michelle Pfeiffer portrays Betty Ford, and Aaron Eckhart is Gerald Ford. Gillian Anderson stars as Eleanor Roosevelt and Kiefer Sutherland will play Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Produced by Lionsgate Television, the 10-episode series is slated to premiere on April 17.
Other TV News
Dave, the quirky comedy based on the rise of rapper and comedian Dave Burd (stage name Lil Dicky), has been renewed for a third season on FX. It will premiere in 2023, Deadline reports.
Ahead of its season four premiere on Feb. 18, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was given the green light by Prime Video for a fifth season, which will be its last. Production for the Emmy-winning comedy is currently underway in New York City.
Harlem will be returning for a second season on Amazon Prime Video. The comedy series follows four best friends—played by Meagan Good (Camille), Jerrie Johnson (Tye), Grace Byers (Quinn), and Shoniqua Shandai (Angie)—as they navigate their careers, dating, among other issues.
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