Friends: It is with great sadness that I inform you of a terrible casualty suffered in the world of television. You would think I’d be used to it by now: the pain of a too-soon cancellation for a freshman series.

It’s something I’ve been dealing with since “Freaks and Geeks,” and it’s something that will forever continue. For network executives will be network executives (by which I mean they will always be the worst).

Fans of “Political Animals” know exactly what I’m talking about. On Friday, USA officially dropped the soapy political drama that garnered instant attention this summer. The announcement shouldn’t be all that surprising. After all, USA prepared us. They branded the show as a “limited series event,” avoiding the more commonly used term “miniseries,” so expectations for a second season should have been cautious.

Throw into the mix that the series never pulled in big numbers — especially compared to USA’s more established content — and there’s really no reason I should have gasped upon receiving a text from my friend about the show’s demise.

And yet, gasp I did. Because no matter how expected, it’s always shocking to hear when a show with so much potential and so much to give is ripped away from television entirely.

“Political Animals” premiered during a shift toward female-led political narratives on television. Before now, we had “The West Wing,” “The Wire” and “Battlestar Galactica” as paradigms of politically driven dramas. But just in the past year, new series have popped up that tell the tales of politics and power through the eyes of women.

There was the unapologetic, zany HBO sitcom “Veep,” which followed Vice President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and her dysfunctional staff; ABC’s “Scandal,” a serialized thriller starring Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, who runs a Washington crisis management firm; and the Emmy award-winning HBO movie “Game Change” about the 2008 Republican presidential ticket that focused heavily on Julianne Moore’s incarnation of Sarah Palin.

Enter “Political Animals,” which hinges so critically on the woman at its center. It’s no secret that Sigourney Weaver’s Elaine Barrish is a stand-in for Hillary Clinton, and the show offers an altered, made-for-TV take on Clinton’s story. As a former first lady, Elaine leaves her cheating husband, runs for president, loses her party’s nomination and becomes the secretary of state. Sound familiar?

But the series is much more than a cheap dramatization of Secretary Clinton’s journey: It’s a seductive family soap and an exploration of the intersection of emotions and politics. The Barrish family has problems like anyone else, but their conflicts are amplified by their spotlighted presence as Washington’s powerhouse.

It’s almost like a work of political fan fiction: There’s an openly gay U.S. Supreme Court justice (played fabulously by Vanessa Redgrave) and Elaine’s son T.J. is a drug addict who still struggles with the tumultuous way in which he was forced out of the closet as a teenager in the White House. Furthermore, his twin brother Doug constantly blurs the line between his family and professional lives as the right-hand man to his mother.

Outside of being an impressive and smart series, “Political Animals” is a rarity: It’s a television show that truly loves powerful women. Elaine’s perspective as a woman and a mother shapes the show’s voice, driving its themes and developments. It’s an addicting, sexy series with plenty to say about current affairs, the American political atmosphere and modern journalism (fun fact: “Animals” more accurately and deftly captures a newsroom than Sorkin’s “Newsroom”), but creator Greg Berlanti also has a lot to say about the women of Washington — women who are sometimes relegated to supporting roles in political dramas.

Most importantly, it’s a show that could have all-too-easily pitted its women against each other. Carla Gugino’s Susan Berg is a spin on Maureen Dowd, who rose to fame by covering Bill Clinton’s scandals. Susan similarly benefited from writing about Elaine’s ex-husband, former President Bud Hammond (whose salty vulgarity is so perfectly delivered by Ciarán Hinds, with the help of a faux Southern accent) and his frequent philandering.

Susan isn’t Elaine’s enemy though, and Gugino made it clear to Berlanti early on that she had no interest in simply portraying a woman v. woman dynamic. While the downright crazy cliffhanger of the last episode is probably what has most fans reeling in its immediate aftermath, the loss of these two incredibly well-written female characters and their complex relationship is the worst part about “Animals” ’s early exit.

But alas, all of my praise and geeking out can’t bring the series back. The best I can hope for right now is that the series gets lots of attention come awards season, something that would have boosted viewership had USA not pulled the plug (I want USA to regret all of their life choices, basically).

I also hope that other series — particularly of a political nature — learn lessons from “Animals” on how to write powerful women and how to challenge or complicate the persistent portrayal of ambitious women as just bitches. The writers nobly attempt to reclaim the label, with a line so perfect that it gets repeated in the pilot: “Never call a bitch a ‘bitch.’ Us bitches hate that.”

While “Veep” and “Scandal” have female leads, neither is more vocal about the intricacies of being a woman in Washington than “Animals.” I miss you already, show. But Susan and Elaine, I especially mourn for.

“You know, I am just sick of it all,” Elaine tells Doug. “I’m sick to death of the bullshit. The egos and the men. I am sick of the men.”

Me too, girl. Me too.

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