“Chasing Life” gets cancelled and we mourn the loss of Brenna

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Well, friends, the chase is over. ABC Family has chosen not to bring back our beloved Chasing Life for a third season.

Cue wails of despair.

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I can’t even tell you how bummed I am about this. I know I shouldn’t be that surprised; the first warning bells started sounding when ABC Family only ordered 13 episodes instead of 21, as it had for Season 1. But it doesn’t take the sting away.

Supposedly, the cancellation comes in preparation for a network-wide rebranding, where they’ll cater to what they call “Becomers”—teens and young adults who are becoming who they really are, finding themselves and learning who they are—with an emphasis on music-themed projects.

Well this is how I feel about that:

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Apparently a 20-something journalist widow with cancer trying to publish a book with support from her fashion-designer best friend, who finds out that her uncle dated her mother after he sort of helped her father commit suicide while visiting his secret family isn’t relatable enough for millennials. WHATEVER.

All they need to do is rename the show Chasing Lesbians, make Brenna the main character, throw in a musical episode here and there, and it would fit right in!

In all seriousness though, losing this show is a bit of a blow because we’re losing one of the best teen bisexual characters on television. (I’d argue the actual best, but I’m biased.) From day one, Brenna was unabashedly not straight. Eventually she adopted the ‘bisexual’ label, and stood her ground on it. She called people out on their heteronormativity and biphobia, and refused to be judged for what her heart wanted.

Plus, her family was always supportive.

REBECCA SCHULL, HALEY RAMM

Though she experienced some ignorance from her LGBTQ+ group at school, her bisexuality was never an issue in her relationships. With Kieran, it was her unwillingness to be exclusive with him. With Greer, it was distance/timing. With Margo, it was Alice Piesziecky. With Finn, it was his illness. Even Ford, known for her deep-cutting insults, only teased Brenna about her bisexuality good-naturedly. And look at all those people she dated over the course of 34 episodes! And not a one was a meaningless one night stand.

Chasing Life 1

In the season finale, Brenna had just been dumped by Finn, but also found out she was his bone marrow donor, and also Greer had just announced she was moving back to Boston after being gone for the entire second season. Season 3 was full of potential for Brenna, balancing all of those things while also trying to mend her relationship with her half-sister Natalie, and being there for April, whose own fate was up in the air by the end of the episode.

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The writing and acting around all of the queer characters that popped up over the two seasons was so great, and the way the actors and creators talked about them were always so smart and thoughtful and respectful. It was never a gimmick, it was never for ratings, it was just talking about people and how we all have our own stories, each one different than the next.

But sadly, Brenna’s story was cut short.

I look forward to seeing what Joni Lefkowitz and Susanna Fogel come up with next, because between Life Partners and Chasing Life, they have created some really great LGBTQ+ characters and stories that have helped start to raise the bar for representation in entertainment.

So, let’s hold hands now…

Chasing Life 3 TURNS OUT LOVE MEANS ZERO IN TENNIS

 

…and hug goodbye…

Chasing Life 4 Past tense. 🙁

I will miss writing Chasing Life recaps, and tweeting with you all in the #ChasingLesbians hashtag. But the Grenna ship will always be in the Present Tense of our hearts.

Since I can’t throw the show a funeral with a thousand balloons and a ballad-belting drag queen, I leave you with some gifs to ease the parting blow.

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What will you miss most about Chasing Life?