For the past three glorious seasons, renewal was granted for The Librarians as the current season began. It allowed me to watch without apprehension because I knew that we would see the same faces the following year continuing to live out their stories on the small screen. Early renewal brought me peace. Now, we’re one episode away from the season finale and the fate of the show is still up in the air.
So here’s the thing TNT, my buddy, my pal: you have to renew The Librarians. Not just because I want you to, of course. That would be silly. So let me break it down for you.
Here are five reasons that The Librarians absolutely, positively deserves a fourth season.
The Librarians is the only show I can watch with my entire family.
We are in an age of really good television, I get it. Lot of nitty, lot of gritty, a lot of high quality filming and deeply dramatic story lines. It is all fine and well and I enjoy a great many shows on my own. The Librarians, however, has opened up a new opportunity that no other show on television has: I can spend time with my family. My whole family. We’re talking my mother, my older siblings, the sibling-in-laws, and my four year old niece.
Over the holidays we sat down in the living room together, my niece chomping at the bit to watch The Librarians and lamenting the end of an episode when she realized there was not another one ready to be queued up. It is liberating to watch it and know I don’t have to ask my niece to leave the room, or exchange awkward glances with my mother whenever she gives me the “you watch this?” look. Family television that is engaging from ages four to sixty-four is rare and nearly impossible to find. The Librarians is a gem.
The Librarians has some of the best themes on television right now.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I love Mr. Robot and how it questions authority and tosses us to and fro in the story line as we struggle to follow an unreliable narrator. I love Elementary and the way it handles social issues. The superhero shows are all fine and good, too. But what The Librarians has is better than that. It focuses on core themes that are universal and everlasting: family, goodness, forgiveness, and the reminder that at the end of the day it is people that matter most.
“Wholesome” is generally a world that makes me lift my upper lip and wrinkle my nose, but in this case it is the best way to describe The Librarians. It approaches story telling innocently without dampening the impact of the dramatic beats when they hit. It is genuine, true to itself, and easy to digest.
The Librarians tickles the imagination and encourages people to dream big.
Can The Librarians be cheesy? You bet it can. When Noah Wyle flashes his boyish grin or flails wildly as he tries to avoid certain death the show has a certain lilt to it that borders on ridiculous, but the show uses it instead of being defined by it. Honestly, there’s not enough whimsy in television these days. Everything takes itself so seriously, which is perhaps a response to the serious-seeming world we exist in. But sometimes we need a little fun. We need to play.
Across the board, most lists of universal human rights indicate the importance of a “right to play,” a right to engage with the world creatively and dynamically. The Librarians does that by winding magic into our every day lives, blending the real and surreal together, while never allowing it to get so dark there is no returning. It goes back to the sense of innocence with which the show approaches its story telling, and it is altogether enchanting.
The Librarians also dances with the darkness by tackling the things we fear most.
In contrast to the point above, The Librarians is able to turn on the fear, too. Whether our heroes are facing an external monster or an internal one, the show handles conflict and hard situations with tact and kindness. Cassandra’s battle with her tumor, for example, played with themes of identity. Would she be the same person without it? Would she still be a Librarian? Or, would it all come crumbling down and she would be once more alone?
It is an honest and common fear, but The Librarians showed a positive resolution. It used the core themes that it is so good at portraying in order to wrap Cassandra up in the blanket of family and forgiveness and quench the boiling fear lingering in her mind. It danced with the darkness but reminded us that light always prevails.
The Librarians blatantly and purposely grows its characters in clear and real ways, while also celebrating what makes them unique.
In short, The Librarians celebrates people. Period. It rejoices in the wandering friend returning to the fold and admitting he does not have to be alone anymore (Flynn). It is glad when individuals finally accept that they are loved and can love in return (Ezekiel, Cassandra). The show has a party when people express themselves, even when the outcome is not always pretty (Eve), and always provides a place of belonging even when someone fights against it (Jake). Even Jenkins, the stoic immortal knight, has warmed in the presence of the bubbling young Librarians and their guardian.
The show never intends for people to stay still. Instead, it pushes its characters into positions of growth and change so that the characters we met in the first episode are not exactly the same ones we now see.
I once criticized the show for this very thing back when I started writing about it, but now I understand. It is uplifting to see the sometimes brutal change because it resonates with what so many people experience in their every day lives.
So you see, TNT, you have a good show on your hands. A great show. One that the whole family can watch because of the themes it explores, the people it celebrates, and its encouragement to give into our imagination.
It is a show that deserves to be renewed, to be given the chance of another season, because it is so unlike anything else on television today. The writing team, producers, actors, and the rest of the crew who make it happen have created a wonderful show that I enjoy watching week after week, season after season, and I know I’m not alone.
I’ll be waiting for the notice of renewal.