The decision isn’t terribly surprising: BrainDead debuted to mixed reviews (I loved it, but hey, there’s no accounting for taste), and while a solid 4.5 million people tuned in to the first episode back in June, by September’s season finale, the viewership had dwindled to less than half that.
But in a way, BrainDead felt like a one-and-done deal even outside the context of ratings and reviews. The hourlong comedy/thriller centred on a mysterious infestation in Washington: Tiny little bugs begin crawling into people’s ears and feasting on their brains, turning them into politically-motivated zombies. The real-life presidential election formed the backdrop of the series, with actual footage of Trump and Hillary constantly blaring out of TV screens. It’s hard to imagine how the show would maintain the same sense of relevance or urgency in a year from now. And the concept is just so silly, it’s probably not a tragedy that creators Robert and Michelle King won’t have to figure out how to keep it going for another season.
So pour one out for BrainDead; at the very least, it gave us one of the year’s best will-they-won’t-theys, between Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Democratic idealist Laurel and Aaron Tveit’s jaded yet hopeful Republican Gareth. May they live happily ever after in TV heaven.