High Fidelity May Be Canceled, But the Show's Wardrobe Is Forever
At least we'll always have that black leather coat.
Back in February, before the coronavirus pandemic rendered most of us housebound and largely dependent on streaming TV and movies for entertainment, Hulu gave us a gift in the form of High Fidelity, starring Zoë Kravitz: an inclusive reimagining of the 1995 Nick Hornby novel and the 2000 John Cusack movie.
Whether you caught the show before or during pandemic times, it was a balm — like the universe's way of saying, "You might be in need of comfort soon. Here, have about five hours of Zoë Kravitz acting her heart out in a comforting romantic comedy, wearing the hell out of every single outfit her character puts on." But as is par for the course for 2020, the universe gave and it just as quickly took away. On Tuesday night, Deadline reported that Hulu decided not to renew High Fidelity after just one season.
Though the reason behind the cancellation was unclear, Deadline said the "decision was not easy and came after lengthy deliberations," and even though the show was "well received by critics," finding another platform for the show is a "long shot."
In an Instagram post on Tuesday evening, Kravitz shared photos from the set of the show, writing, "i wanna give a shout out to my #highfidelity family. thank you for all the love and heart you put into this show. i'm in awe of all of you. and thank you to everyone who watched, loved, and supported us."
As with any reboot, there are sure to be hardcore fans who prefer the "original" — but the show, which gender-swapped the male protagonist, Rob, to Kravitz's Rob(yn) and showcased a cast of characters – was much more representative of real-life Brooklyn than the film version's mostly white cast.
High Fidelity had everything! A cameo from Debbie Harry! A killer soundtrack! Rob's incredible outfits! Who can, after all, forget the way she single-handedly redefined the Hawaiian shirt trend? And who among us won't be looking for a leather coat just like the one Kravitz wears, for when the time comes for us to wear real clothes again?
Aside from all that, the show also introduced many of us to the incomparable Da'Vine Joy Randolph, who plays Rob's friend and co-worker Cherise (a role analogous to the one originated by Jack Black in the movie). After her character won fans' hearts in the first season, producers promised Cherise would get her own spotlight episode in season two — which, of course, will no longer happen now.
Perhaps what's most devastating about this cancellation, though, is that after years of playing best friends, side characters, and love interests, Kravitz finally got a three-dimensional leading role deserving of her talent. It's an extra blow that it's a role she seemed to genuinely love and be excited about (she was an executive producer for the show in addition to starring in it). She's spoken in interviews about the show being one that connects her to her mother Lisa Bonet, who starred in the film as one of the love interests, and she's said that the role feels very close to who she is as a person.
Not to mention, during a time when streaming platforms are rushing to compile and spotlight content about and from Black artists, it seems remiss to let go of a great show with a Black queer woman as the lead character. At least we can look forward to seeing Kravitz as Catwoman.