It’s the Ides of March, and already Netflix has come to bury Caesar. That is to say, the streaming service has already made headway in phasing out some of its best acquired TV shows before even reaching the halfway point in the month: On March 14, seven seasons of FXX’s animated comedy “Archer” left Netflix.
“Archer” taking its leave is part of the exodus of Fox, FX, and FXX series from Netflix for Hulu. Most FX series will eventually live on Hulu, with the exception of “American Crime Story” and “American Horror Story,” which have Netflix deals for now, and “The Americans,” which streams on Amazon. But even though “Archer” has already jumped ship, there are still other entertaining series you can catch up on. With Netflix promising (threatening?) to release 700 original series this year, it’s just a matter of time that these other shows are eliminated to make room. Binge them while you can. We’ve compiled the best shows leaving Netflix and have highlighted the best episodes of each.
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”The Carmichael Show” (Leaving March 31)
Why You Should Watch: Maybe we’re still bitter that NBC unceremoniously pulled the plug on one of its most audacious comedies, but we believe that everyone would benefit from checking out the fictional version of Jerrod Carmichael’s family. While it may look like a typical multi-cam sitcom, it certainly doesn’t sound like one. “Carmichael Show” doesn’t just discuss some of the most controversial topics of the day, but it does a damn fine job of representing multiple sides of the argument, not just the expected liberal/progressive one. In that way, it encourages dialogue long after the 22 minutes are over. Also, we should all properly celebrate a show that brought the joys of Tiffany Haddish to a mainstream broadcast audience on the regular. The show also boasts the talents of David Alan Grier, Loretta Devine, Amber Stevens West, and Lil Rel Howery.
Best Episode: “Shoot-Up-Able” is the only episode that got pulled before it could air, and that’s a testament to how topical the show could be. In the episode, Jerrod (Carmichael) returns home after witnessing a mass shooting at a shopping mall, deals with being treated as and feeling like a victim, and comes to the realization that he might be suffering from post-traumatic stress. At the time, Carmichael discussed with Chelsea Handler his disappointment that the episode didn’t air, saying, “A lot of times when things like this happen and someone wants to talk about it in an outlet that’s not the news, people will say, ‘too soon.’ But when is it not too soon? Unfortunately, these things happen constantly.”
”The Chicago Code” (Leaving March 31)
Why You Should Watch: Although this isn’t “The Shield,” Shawn Ryan brings his cop drama sensibilities to this energetic and high-speed series that eschews the typical procedural trappings, but is still just as satisfying. Jennifer Beals plays Teresa Colvin, Chicago’s youngest and first female police superintendent, who taps her former partner Jarek Wysocki (Jason Clarke) to help her clean up the city with the help of his callow new partner, Caleb Evans (Matt Lauria). Delroy Lindo is fantastic as the influential and sharply dressed alderman who is giving Colvin so much trouble. In addition to this gripping intersection of law enforcement, politics, and citizenry, the series is also just plain fun to watch visually, from its dynamic car and foot chases to the killer cityscapes. While vastly different in tone from Showtime’s “The Chi,” “The Chicago Code” is a welcome addition to the oeuvre attempting to capture the complexity of the Windy City.
Best Episode: According to IndieWire’s Special Project Editor Steve Greene, the series makes a leap in Episode 3, “Gillis, Chase & Baby Face,” which gives a full view of where the show is going. While the installment begins with chasing down a bank robber, by the end it’s revealed just how deep the corruption runs and how formidable and ruthless a foe Gibbons is… and how Colvin plans to meet this challenge.
”Awake” (Leaving March 31)
Why You Should Watch: The concept of this series is intriguing and should be a big downer, but someone manages to be beautiful, contemplative, and even a bit hopeful. Det. Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs) loses his son (“13 Reasons Why” star Dylan Minnette) after a car accident, but when he wakes, he’s in an alternate reality in which his wife (Laura Allen) is the one has died. He keeps shuttling between the two realities, where whom he’s lost is not the only difference. He has two different shrinks also and two different cop partners, and wears a red rubber band on his wrist for the “red reality” where his wife is alive, and green for his son. The show is a surprisingly effective look at how we deal with loss.
Best Episode: The full season is worth watching, but Episode 4, delightfully titled “Kate Is Enough,” has fun with how one of Michael’s therapists is really intent on proving that the other reality is a dream though so-called evidence dealing with a babysitter named Kate. It’s a head trip in the best way.
”Voltron 84” (Leaving March 24)
Why You Should Watch: Viewers who pine for ’80s cartoons, this one’s for you. This particular series is actually a dozen handpicked episodes of the 1984 series “Voltron: Defender of the Universe,” but introduced by “Voltron: Legendary Defender” crew members. While the series’ original pizzazz remains intact, it’s important to realize that the storytelling was utterly ridiculous at times. The commentary acknowledges these narrative blips while also paying homage to their charm and energy.
Best Episode: We’re going to go with Jeff Adams’ pick, which is Episode 10 here, “The Witch Gets a Facelift,” in which Haggar disguises herself as Allura’s aunt Orla, which only fools some of the team members. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Haggar’s blue cat Cova makes an appearance to terrorize the adorable space mice either.
The Rest of Outgoing TV
“Lab Rats, Seasons 1-4 (March 4)
“What About Me?” (March 7)
“Breakout Kings,” Season 1 (March 13)
“Archer,” Seasons 1-7 (March 14)
“The Gates,” Season 1 (March 29)
“Life in Pieces,” Season 1 (March 30)
“Bordertown,” Season 1 (March 31)
“Breakout Kings,” Season 2 (March 31)
“Brickleberry,” Seasons 1-3 (March 31)
“Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life,” Season 1 (March 31)
“Friends With Benefits,” Season 1 (March 31)
“Lights Out,” Season 1 (March 31)
“Rosewood,” Season 1 (March 31)
“Small Shots,” Season 1 (March 31)
“The Crazy Ones,” Season 1 (March 31)
“The Finder,” Season 1 (March 31)
“Traffic Light,” Season 1 (March 31)