The COVID-19 pandemic had a drastic effect on people all over the world. Little did any of us know that we would one day be living in a world where simple acts such as shaking hands with someone could prove to be fatal. Alas! That is the harsh reality of the world we live in.
Lockdowns and social distancing have left people with no choice but to stay at home. For a lot of people, it was the perfect time to make the most out of their Frontier high-speed internet connection and catch up with all those TV shows they had added on their Netflix’s watch list.
Except there was a problem here as well. The COVID-19 pandemic had been unforgiving to the entertainment industry and caused production delays, in some cases, cancellations of popular TV shows. Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse!
Netflix: the Platform for Resurrection
There was a time when Netflix was the platform that resurrected TV shows that had been canceled by their original networks. Shows such as Full House, Arrested Development, and Gilmore Girls got a new lease of life on the streaming giant.
Make no mistake, Netflix did nostalgia better than any other entertainment company, and this strategy contributed to the platform’s popularity in its formative years.
The company famously relies on data for decision making, and there’s no doubt that data played a role in the company’s decision to revive a lot of these shows. It also endeared the company to fans of canceled shows and bought in new subscribers to the platform.
However, as the number of subscribers on the platform grew, the company faced a new dilemma. It now had to ensure that viewers never ran out of content. This led to the development of Netflix originals such as House of Cards, Orange is the new black, and Stranger Things.
The intense competition from Amazon Prime and Disney Plus only fueled Netflix’s drive to produce more original content instead of relying on licenses. At the beginning of 2020, reports suggested that Netflix was going to spend more than $17 billion on original content in 2020.
Adding to that is the fact that during lockdowns movie producers had no choice but to either delay their films or release them on streaming websites.
This influx of original content put Netflix in a position where, for the first time, it had to figure out how to accommodate new content on the platform. The writing was on the wall; the leaders had no choice but to cancel a few shows.
The cancellations certainly came as shock to fans. They had been following the show for quite some time and wanted to see resolutions of incomplete storylines and character arcs. Even more shocking was the fact that a lot of the canceled shows had dedicated fans and good critical reception. Let’s now take a look at some of the shows that got the ax from Netflix:
Let’s start with the most recent cancellation. Glow was a comedy-drama that was a fictionalized story of the 1980s syndicated women’s wrestling circuit. The show title itself was an acronym of the phrase “Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling” and featured Allison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Sydelle Noel in lead roles.
The show was the latest offering by the team behind Orange is the new black and already had 3 seasons under its belt. Netflix had even greenlit the production of season 4 only to reverse its decision when the production for season 4 got suspended due to COVID-19.
The show’s cancellation was as devastating for the fans as it was for the cast and crew of the show. Here’s hoping we will get to see them again somewhere down the line.
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj was a unique show because it gave people from South Asia representation on the platform. The show in itself was smart as well as informative in the way it broke down topics that were happening in the United States as well as overseas.
The show had run for six seasons before it got the ax. We might not know the reasons behind the show’s cancellation, but we do know that we will miss it immensely.
Body swapping and psychological manipulation were just two of the many Sci-fi topics that Altered Carbon touched upon during its short run on Netflix.
The show was set 300 years in the future and tackled subjects such as race and gender. It even had a spinoff animated movie and featured actor Anthony Mackie (popular for playing Falcon in Avengers) along with Renee Elise Goldsberry in the lead role.
The show’s blend of Sci-fi and high concepts drew comparisons to another Netflix original, Sense8. Like Sense8, Altered Carbon was also recently canceled by Netflix after just 2 seasons.
The French horror show Marianne was a creepy and spooky show that reminded one of Stephen King’s best work. The author himself endorsed the show on his Twitter. The show featured Victoire Du Bois as Emma, an author whose characters step out of pages of a horror story into the real world.
The show came to Netflix in September, just in time for Halloween, and terrified viewers all over the world. The worst part about the show’s cancellation is that it ended on a cliffhanger, and now fans will never get a satisfying resolution to the story.
Spinning out was a unique show that revolved around Kat, a patient of bipolar disorder and a figure skater who is trying to get back into the highly competitive world of figure skating after suffering from an injury. Spinning Out’s case is unique because the show was canceled by Netflix just a month after its premiere.
It was a controversial decision because the show had a promising intrigue, and fans wanted to watch a show that dealt with serious issues such as mental illness.
Another show that was a victim of COVID-19, The Society’s season 2 had been greenlit by Netflix before the producers reversed their decision. Its abrupt cancellation drew the ire of series creator Christopher Keyser and rightly so because the show was just hitting its stride.
The show had intriguing elements such as parallel universes, and it is a shame that fans will never get to see more of them. Keyser has assured fans that he will tell them what he had in store for them in season 2, but that doesn’t come close to experiencing the show on the screen.
I Am Not Okay With This
Now here’s a cancellation that none of us are okay with (pun intended). The coming of age comedy/drama had Sophia Lillis and Wyatt Oleff (of IT fame) and was based on the comic book of the same name by author Charles Forsman.
What was interesting about the series was that by the end of its only season, the show was veering into horror territory. It would have been interesting to see where the series went from there, but unfortunately, Netflix had other plans.
The Final Word
The decision to cancel popular shows has affected Netflix’s reputation, but the platform already has several new productions lined up for fans.
Several of the canceled shows have been given opportunities to wind up remaining storylines through Christmas specials, but of course, that’s not possible in the case of all shows. What we can all agree upon is that it is tragic that a lot of creators never got the chance to show fans what they had in store for them.
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