What is with Netflix’s cancellation of hit shows?

At a time when ratings couldn’t be higher, the streaming giant continues to disappoint fans with recent cancellations of hit shows


Sophie Shram, Arts & Culture Writer

With the world staying at home due to COVID-19, many people have turned to online streaming services as a way to entertain themselves. Though a new year usually promises new successes, the popular streaming/production service Netflix is already facing backlash from fans after the cancellation of their favorite shows. 

After the trainwreck of 2020, Netflix subscribers were eager to hear news about the renewal of their favorite shows, but were sorely disappointed and angered to hear shows such as “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” “Atypical,” “The Dark Crystal” and many more being cancelled. Considering the circumstances, people were expecting productions to halt for several months, but were completely taken aback when some shows were cancelled despite some being green-lit for new seasons. 

“Glow,” for example, a comedy-drama that follows the fictional story of 1980’s women’s professional wrestling, had started filming for a fourth and final season, but was scrapped despite its average 92% critic score and 86% audience score according to the reviewing website, Rotten Tomatoes. The creators of the series, Liz Flahive and Carley Mensch, disappointedly informed the online news site, Deadline, describing how, “Netflix has decided not to finish filming the final season of ‘Glow.’ We were handed the creative freedom to make a complicated comedy about women and tell their stories. And wrestle. And now that’s gone.

Additionally, Netflix cancelled several shows that followed queer storylines and featured characters in the LGBTQ+ community such as “I’m Not Okay With This,” “The Society” and “Everything Sucks.” Each show was short lived with only one season despite each having a high score among audiences, some reaching over 90% Rotten Tomatoes score, and critic ratings over 85%.

Junior Lauren Daw, like many others, expressed her disappointment in Netflix’s cancellation of shows that predominantly featured women and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“It is vexing,” Daw said. “It is annoying how shows with minority characters of any community just get cancelled and don’t have a chance to thrive.”

Many shows focusing on minorities are cut short despite having avid fans and high ratings. Furthermore, Daw even brought up a comparison with a successful show that featured many women and LGBTQ+ characters .

“Why do you think ‘Euphoria’ did so good?” Daw said. “The cinematography, the writing, and the plot was amazing, but also people wanted to watch because the main character was a queer girl of color; that’s why I started watching it.”

Additionally, in spite of the fact that Netflix is thriving with even more subscribers due to the stay-at-home order, they are still cancelling popular shows with low production costs. Shows such as “Teenage Bounty Hunters” and the fantasy puppet live action show, “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.” Both were highly successful and well received by fans, but were cancelled after one season. 

Fans of “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance,” were especially upset as the season ended on a major cliffhanger. Additionally, Senior Contributor Erik Cain, on the “Forbes” website commented on how the show’s production cost for another season would be significantly lower, due to the fact that many of the props and sets could be reused since the show is created using intricate puppets.

Many of the puppets used in Season one could be reused. Same with the sets and props and so forth,” he said. “This was a massive production that I’m sure cost a small fortune, but producing a second season would have been easier and cheaper. Why cancel such a cool show? Netflix is hardly hurting for revenue especially in COVID-19 times.”

A common pattern can also be seen throughout Netflix’s cancelled shows, such as strong female protagonists and LGBTQ+ characters and storylines. Now, while that isn’t the reason why they were cancelled, it’s a fairly noticeable theme that isn’t a good look for Netflix. Regardless, subscribers and fans can only hope for Netflix to listen to their wishes by bringing back their favorite shows, all the while, keep demanding more transparency on why the shows were cancelled in the first place.