It’s been a little over 24 hours since Ellen Barkin and her (presumed) final episode of Animal Kingdom, and we don’t think the discussion is over.
Why did Barkin leave the show? As we discussed late Tuesday, it wasn’t so much an issue of her leaving as it was executive producer John Wells and the writers deciding to move in a creative direction where they could tread on some new ground. It doesn’t seem like it was her choice to leave, and we’ve gotten various hints of that throughout the year if you look at some of her social media posts. That includes the one that she shared last night. In that, she jokes that her character Smurf left the Cody boys a “hit TV show.” The subtext here is apparent — Ellen was the biggest name on the series at the time in which it first kicked off, and we’d certainly still wager that is now the case even with Emily Deschanel coming on board this year. Without Barkin as Smurf, maybe Animal Kingdom never gets the attention that it does.
Nonetheless, here we are now, trying to picture a future for this show where Smurf is not a part of it.
Want some more Animal Kingdom video coverage? Then watch our finale preview video at the bottom of this article! Once you do that, remember to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube and view our series playlist.
Barkin’s message is one thing, but then you go through some of the messages that she’s “liked” on Twitter over the past 36 hours, including some criticizing the show for the decision and people claiming that they no longer have any interest in watching. These are not often the moves of someone who is thrilled about losing their spot in a TV show.
Our feeling on it is this — Animal Kingdom has a right to do what they want as they continue to tell their story, and if they believe that this is the right move to keep things crazy, more power to them. That doesn’t take away from the fact that Smurf was the show’s best character and that Barkin gave an stellar performance Tuesday night. Everyone has an equal right to be upset that she’s gone, especially when there was so much more she could have brought to the table.
What do you think about Ellen Barkin making these Animal Kingdom comments?
Be sure to share in the comments below, and remember here to stick around — we’ll have some other news about the series soon enough. (Photo: TNT.)