With Netflix’s recent plunge in subscriber numbers and an overall drop in the company’s stock value (via Business Insider) the company has been canceling shows at a much higher rate than usual. The last crop to be cut includes raise Dion, Archive 81and Steve Carrells Space Forces (Per TechRadar).
While Netflix in its early days became synonymous with funding large-scale productions that would otherwise have struggled in the traditional studio system, in recent years the studio has been criticized for welding the cancellation ax far too frequently, much to audiences’ dismay. Fans on Reddit have spoken out about shows they feel Netflix should never have canceled.
One of the most popular Netlfix original shows, sense8 is an immersive multinational sci-fi drama created by matrix Creators Lana and Lilly Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski. The story revolves around a group of eight people scattered across the globe who suddenly discover they are “sensations,” meaning they are emotionally and mentally connected.
The series was praised for its positive messages of inclusivity, LGBTQ+ representation and acceptance of global cultural differences. However, after the second season premiered in May 2017, Netflix announced that the show had been canceled. That decision drew the ire of many fans, including Redditor Justahalfing, who said, “I’ll never be mad if they cancel Sense8…” Netflix eventually revived the series for a two-and-a-half hour series finale in 2018, but this was an extremely hasty conclusion to one promising show.
Netflix’s first major period drama, which debuted in 2014, Marco Polo traced the Venetian explorer’s early years with Kublai Khan in China. The budget for Marco Polo was huge and became one of the most expensive Netflix shows of all time. However, the show never became the monster-period hit Netflix wanted. After the second season premiered in 2016, Netflix announced that the show had been canceled.
During Marco Polo was far from a universally popular show, but it did have its fans, including Redditor DerpySauce, who bemoaned the show’s cancellation: “I’ve been looking forward to the next season. Such a shame.” While Netflix has been keen on making big bets on shows with colossal budgets, they’re just as keen to pull the plug when they see them as failures, especially in the current competitive streaming climate.
Based on the science fiction novel by British author Richard K. Morgan, modified carbon was another big-budget sci-fi show produced by Netflix that didn’t bring much success to the streaming platform. Focusing on a world where consciousness can be transmitted from body to body, the show follows former soldier Takeshi Kovacs (played by Joel Kinnaman in Season 1 and Anthony Mackie in Season 2) turned investigator.
While the show’s two seasons received mixed to positive reviews across the board, Netflix pulled the plug shortly after the second season’s release. Fans of the big-budget sci-fi series were understandably upset at the streaming platform for the show’s cancellation. something the Redditor personwriter felt acutely: “I felt so DIFFICULT when Altered Carbon was canceled.”
One of the latest victims of Netflix series cancellations and another sci-fi show, Cowboy Bebop, starring John Cho, was canceled just three weeks after its first season ended. A live-action adaptation of the 1998 Japanese anime of the same name, Cowboy Bebop revolves around a group of space bounty hunters hunting down intergalactic criminals in the year 2171.
While the series wasn’t a critical critics’ favourite, it had a passionate fanbase who bemoaned Netflix’s decision to cancel it so soon after its first season premiered. Redditor tofuDragon is one of many Reddit fans of the series who have expressed frustration with Netflix for canceling the series, especially after teasing one of the series Cowboy Bebops Most Powerful Characters at the End of Season 1: “It felt like a punch in the stomach to find out that they dropped it so soon. They’re just getting started!”
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
A prequel to Jim Henson’s 1982 cult classic, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance came to Netflix in 2019 and received critical acclaim. With his adherence to the dying art of puppetry, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance was a bold decision for Netflix. The original 1982 film is not as well known as some of Jim Henson’s classics, such as labyrinth starring David Bowie, and yet the move seemed to pay off in the form of a well-received season one revival.
Featuring high-profile speakers such as Taron Egerton, Mark Hamill, Benedict Wong and Anya Taylor-Joy, among many others, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is a charming revival of Jim Henson’s puppet tradition. Despite this, Netflix decided to cancel the show just over a month after its first season launched, disappointing many Redditors including BastionDar: “I was pissed when I found out that The Dark Crystal was cancelled. That was a great show. I felt it captured the spirit of the original film pretty well.”
One of Netflix’s most critically acclaimed series to date, to get your marching orders, GLOW focused on fictional events surrounding the real-life phenomena of women’s professional wrestling in the 1980s. Running for three seasons between 2017 and 2019, GLOW was supposed to end with its fourth and final season, but Netflix canceled the show shortly after season 4 was in production.
Filming for season four began just before the COVID-19 pandemic, and with uncertainty as to when production might resume, Netflix made the decision to cancel the show mid-production; something Redditors like Tomsprigs were very disappointed about: “So sad about Glow.”
This could be a scam since Netflix didn’t technically cancel the series right away. Instead, they’ve suspended it indefinitely since 2019. The crime series created by Joe Penhall, mind hunterbased on the book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit, follows two FBI agents as they travel across America profiling many famous serial killers such as Charles Manson and Ed Kemper.
The decision to pause the show indefinitely appears to stem from frequent episode director and executive producer David Fincher pursuing other projects. Although the director confirmed that the high cost of the series to Netflix played a part in that decision (via vulture), so it might only be a matter of time before Netflix drops this crime drama as well. The decision to cancel excellent shows like Mindhunter is one of the main reasons fans like Redditor Goonertay believe Netflix is losing subscribers at an alarming rate: “Show cancellations have to be the number one reason for canceled subscriptions. Big shows like Archive 81, OA and Mindhunter all cancelled…”
Tuca & Berti
Another anomaly on this list than Tuca & Berti was saved from Netflix’s termination hammer by Adult Swim, who picked the show up for renewal after Netflix canceled it after the first season. Despite the same animation style as Bojack riderone of Netflix’s best comedy series, Tuca & Berti is its own anarchic entity.
The termination of Tuca & Berti was met with widespread criticism of Netflix and its algorithm from fans of the series, including Redditors such as leslieknopeirl, who stated, “Tuca and Bertie was the other show that I felt was particularly brutal to cancel, although there are a few others there.” gives consolation to fans of the series that Adult Swim picked up the series after a vocal fan campaign.
One of Netflix’s first major forays into sci-fi, The OA debuted in 2016 to much critical and fan acclaim. Blending elements of fantasy, sci-fi and the supernatural into one, The OA was a mix of different genres. It centers on the titular OA (Original Angel) Prairie Johnson, who reemerges after seven years with wondrous powers and abilities. The OA ran for two seasons before Netflix canceled it in 2019.
Despite the cliffhanger ending and strong fan drive to revive the series, Netflix has taken no steps to revive the series for a third season. At this point, no other network has offered to revive the series, so fans like Redditor gabyrelda are unlikely to get a closure: “Loved Dark Crystal, the OA and GLOW. All cancelled…”.
The come down
Co-created by bombastic filmmaker Baz Lurhmann (Romeo + Juliet, The Great Gatsby), The come down was one of Netflix’s most expensive productions to date. Set in the Bronx area of New York City during the R&B and disco heyday of the 1970s, the series stars Justice Smith, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Shameik Moore and many others. The come down was canceled after the first season wrapped with the second part airing in 2017, leaving fans like Redditor Sneakerislife without a second season despite it being “easily one of the better shows”. [they’ve] seen for some time.
While Netflix didn’t give an official reason for canceling the show, it’s safe to assume that the massive budget played a role. Since its inception, it’s become increasingly difficult to gauge what Netflix represents as a success or failure, and a lot of great shows like it The come down got hit by it.
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