Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City premiered June 7 on Netflix, and if you’ve already blazed through the 10 episodes, you might be wondering if this is truly goodbye to Barbary Lane.


The limited series ends with Anna Madrigal (Olympia Dukakis) passing away in her sleep, but not before leaving 28 Barbary Lane to her old friend Ysela (Daniela Vega).

Anna’s story might be over, but the lives of the other residents of Barbary Lane are left unresolved. Mary Ann (Laura Linney) is still in San Francisco, Shawna (Ellen Page) leaves the city to head out on a new journey, and Ben (Charlie Barnett) and Michael (Murray Bartlett) are still in limbo.

“We didn’t want to tie everything up with a pretty pink bow,” producer Alan Poul told NewNowNext, noting that Anna’s death had always been envisioned as the end of the new series. “[Death] is the only form of completion. It makes perfect sense. Olympia is 87 years old, she gives an amazing performance, but she was very happy to bring it to an end as well.”

Although she has been playing Anna since 1993, Dukakis wasn’t heartbroken when she learned her character’s fate.


“When I had to break it to her that it ended with her dying, I thought it was going to be so touchy for her because she’s 87 and she has mortality on the mind,” Poul continued. “So I said, ’You’re going to die,’ and she said, ’Okay, great! What do I do? Do I off myself with pills or what?’ It was such a classic Olympia moment so that’s when I knew we were okay.”

Tales of the City was filmed as a “one-and-done” limited series, but Poul warns that in today’s TV climate “never say never,” citing another big premiere happening the same weekend as Tales:

“In today’s world, when you can shoot a novel like Big Little Lies and have it end, and then there be a clamoring [for more] and come up with a second season… I cant foretell the future, but our intention is this is it. Netflix very much wants to present it as a limited series. So that’s what I’m going with for now.”

Dia Dipasupil/WireImage

Laura Linney, Lauren Morelli, Olympia Dukakis, and Alan Poul attend the New York premiere at Metrograph

Showrunner Lauren Morelli added to Poul’s comments at the recent New York premiere of Tales when asked if there was anything she didn’t get to include in this season that she would love to have in a future installment:

“I loved how intergenerational the show is. For older queer people, so many of us have this lost childhood, I love the idea of this older queer prom at the old folks home.”

But before fans get too excited, Morelli stresses that “it’s a limited series. That’s my official answer.”

Before adding, with a smile, “Maybe one day.”

I write about drag queens. Dolly Parton once ruffled my hair and said I was “just the cutest thing ever.”