It’s a new year, and a perfect time for fresh entertainment — or fresh to you, anyway. What I’m saying is, it’s time to start that show your friends have been raving about for years. I recommend picking one that is headed toward a definitive ending this year — the earlier seasons will be ripe for bingeing, and if you enjoy it, you can join in on the fun of catching the final season as-it-happens.
Between acclaimed series — Better Call Saul has a lot to pack into its last season — and new hits like Netflix’s suburban dramedy Dead To Me (which has been on my watchlist for months), there are enough soon-to-end series to fill your streaming queue for some time. Here are 10 shows you can binge now, before their big finish.
Grace and Frankie
In Grace and Frankie, two rivals (played by Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda) are forced to interact after they discover their husbands have been sleeping together and are planning to get married. The lively ladies will give it one more go this year, ending the series with a seventh and final season. Watching these seasoned characters cope is like mashing up The Odd Couple and Absolutely Fabulous. There are six seasons to catch up on, so start watching on Netflix now.
Everyone I know who watches it assures me the money laundering crime drama Ozark is incredibly addicting. It follows Jason Bateman’s Martin ‘Marty’ Byrde, who uproots his family to the Ozarks to appease a very intimidating drug lord. The first episode alone has a hefty body count, and after episode three, you’re hooked. Bingeing the first three seasons is relatively easy; the fourth is set to drop late this year and include a whopping fourteen episodes.
Better Call Saul
This prequel to Breaking Bad reveals how Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) transformed into drug dealer Walter White’s criminal lawyer Saul Goodman. In contrast to its predecessor, which spread its final season across two years, this spinoff doesn’t want its ending to drag on; the show will end after six seasons, with the finale airing late this year. Five seasons is a lot to catch up on, but you’ve got time, and who doesn’t love a gritty backstory?
Everything is a reboot these days, from Charmed to Supermarket Sweep, and Disney’s DuckTales is one of the best of the lot. The remake is an upgrade over the classic ‘80s incarnation, peppered with deeper family tension (as the series begins, Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck are estranged) and clever pop culture allusions (including references to the classic NYC film The Warriors). The show delivers unexpectedly strong doses of Millennial humour that play to our need for nostalgia.
Unfortunately, it will not last past the three seasons currently available. Rumours suggest the announcement og the show’s cancellation is part of an effort to push viewers toward the Disney streaming service and away from shows on cable. There’s still hope DuckTales could make a comeback on Disney+, but in any case it will get a streaming spinoff in the form of Darkwing Duck. An epic final episode is coming this year to close out the series, so catch up now.
Dead to Me
Dead to Me’s two seasons are packed with enough twists and turns to last a typical show for a lot longer, which is perhaps why the creators have decided to bring the storyline to a close with a third and final (probably thrill-packed) season. Christina Applegate plays widowed housewife Jen Harding and Linda Cardellini, her new friend Judy Hale. Both women bond over the loss of their husbands, but it goes a bit too far when Jen (Applegate) invites Judy (Cardellini) to live in her guest house. It starts to look like Judy may have murdered her husband. Dark humour and murder mystery will fuel your binge as you prepare for the final season, which, based on the previous season premiere dates, will should arrive in late spring.
This series, about a Floridian nail salon that serves as a front for a drug operation, ends this year. Nicey Nash and her crew of nail technicians are flashy mob level entrepreneurs who will give you an acrylic manicure makeover by day and shoot their rivals with a golden gun by night. It is wet and wild fun. Network executives and the show’s creators mutually decided to end the show on a definitive note after the third season aired back in 2019. The fourth season will be released this year, wrapping up the ongoing plot lines in a big way.
Lost in Space
This unexpected reboot of the space western Lost in Space excited fans in its first season by being pretty good — by no means a sure thing considering the woeful 1998 film version starring William Hurt and Gary Oldman. The Robinsons in space proved to be worth watching, and their life-threatening adventures have kept viewers on the edge of their seats. But after just two seasons, the creators have decided to end the series with a third and final run of episodes, which will drop on Netflix before the end of the year. You can catch up quickly on the existing 20 installments in time for the final season.
An atypically “typical” coming of age story about a boy wanting to date in his teenage years, this series stars Sam Gardner, a teen on the autism spectrum juggling advice from all corners of his life, from parents, to therapists, to co-workers. Atypical is reminiscent of a family-friendly version of Netflix’s more salacious coming-of-age drama Sex Education, and a show parents and teens can watch together. Sam is so gentle yet so forward, you just love to watch him succeed. Sadly, to fans’ dismay, the heartwarming series will end after season four, dropping in the middle of this year.
Dear White People
Based on the book of the same name, this Netflix original series follows young college students at fictional ivy league school Winchester University. Over three seasons, it has addressed issues of race relations and identity head-on, from colorism to appropriation and everything in-between. Narrated by Samantha White (Logan Browning), it serves as a nice complement to the 2014 feature film adaptation, though one catering to a younger audience. The metaphors can be a little too on the nose for me (the cultural appropriation Halloween party being a prime example), but there is rich value in the subject matter the show chooses to tackle. The series will conclude with its fourth season, expected to premiere later this year.
The devil himself comes to earth and gains a soul (or something like it) in the former Fox television show Lucifer. Fox previously cancelled the crime drama after four seasons. The show was quickly picked up by Netflix for a fifth and sixth season. Based on a graphic novel of the same name, Lucifer gives the Castle/Bones procedural a supernatural twist. Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) solicits the help of Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) after a murder is linked to his nightclub. Lucifer — yes, that Lucifer — turns out to be perfectly willing to use his devilish power of desire to obtain confessions from suspects, and he begins working as a consultant to the LAPD.
Like his Biblical counterpart, this Lucifer isn’t one to shy away from publicity, but most people just don’t believe him when he tells them who he really is. Amid the cases, sparks fly between Morningstar and the detective (as you might have guessed), making it addictive on several levels. It’s a playful show, but catching up will take work: the first five seasons are on Netflix, with the final one set to be released late this year.