Worst Netflix Cancellations We’re Still Not Over
Ever since its inception, Netflix has made some amazing TV shows followed by questionable decisions to cancel said shows for a variety of different reasons. Sure, there were some that had satisfying endings or did not need to run for long like Dark and Orange Is The New Black which gave us closure or Riverdale and Stranger Things which could have wrapped up after the first few seasons. But we are here to talk about some of the worst Netflix cancellations ever.
And there are always two ways such shows end – either the writers are not given a heads up which leads to the show ending on a cliffhanger or the writers cram everything in the last season as Netflix tells them to wrap it up before the story ends. Both are, inevitably, not great for the story at hand and end up tarnishing the reputation for what’s come before.
Here, we take a trip down memory lane and remember all those shows that fell victim to Netflix’s Grim Reaper of cancellation executions.
Possibly one of the most expensive shows of its time, the investment for Sense8 was worth it for the fans as we had 8 individuals from 7 different countries mentally linked and coming together to take down a corporation hunting them.
The diversity and representation created a cult-like fan-following who were heartbroken when the show was cancelled after 2 seasons in the worst type of cliffhanger possible. The ending was bittersweet as Netflix allowed one special episode a year later to wrap up the loose ends, partly due to the sheer amount of fan backlash it received. However, this meant cramming all of the cancelled season 3 plot in one episode — a rushed and hastily assembled extended episode.
It seems that a good plot and multiple awards backing this masterpiece were not enough to save Ozark. Every decade needs a simple ordinary man getting into the crime business and letting his pride get the better of him. If the 2000’s had Breaking Bad, for the 2010’s it was Ozark. But this black comedy had us rooting for the Byrdes who were dark and twisted but as normal as anyone, making them relatable.
Netflix, unfortunately, ended their story on a cliffhanger despite giving us a two-part season 4, making us wish for just one more episode.
All-female wrestling drama GLOW managed to do well to maintain its momentum through 3 seasons of action and drama. With a cult-like following (not unlike wrestling!) and preparations already underway for season 4, Netflix made the surprise decision to completely cancel the show midway through production, thanks in part to a certain pandemic doing the rounds. Hitting harder than an elbow drop from the top rope, GLOW will forever be a smackdown we weren’t prepared for.
I Am Not Okay With This (2020)
Teen dramas can be found in abundance on Netflix but few show promise to really expand beyond their central premise. I Am Not Okay With This felt like an exception to the rule. With a believable cast of characters and a really tasty cliffhanger, fans were dismayed to learn this one had been cancelled not long after airing the first season on the platform. It’s too bad really as this had a lot of promise.
Umbrella Academy (2019-2023)
You know you are in for disappointment when your favourite book is made into a live adaptation, only for it to get cancelled before the story is complete. This also goes for Umbrella Academy, which despite its hugely successful popularity will end in season 4. The final nail in the coffin is the fact that it will only have 6 episodes unlike the usual 10-episode run of the previous seasons.
While to non-fans it may seem boring to have each season be apocalyptic with the Hargreeves trying to save the world, the originality and their disharmonious relationship while still having each other’s backs made it a fun watch full of action, comedy and adventure.
The Defenders Series (2015-2019)
Remember the first few Marvel series before Disney went on to make the likes of Loki and Wandavision? The Defenders – Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil, The Punisher (we shall not talk about Iron Fist) – had a rough and gritty edge that added to their charm. And the worst part was that these shows were not cancelled due to reception as evidenced by the huge outcry from the public over the cancellation news but because of Marvel’s migration from Netflix to Disney.
To add insult to injury, fans of these gritty series will have to look elsewhere for hard-hitting superhero action, as the new Daredevil series will dial back on the violence and instead cater for a “younger audience.”
The OA (2016-2019)
You’d think that a blind woman who can see after 7 years of disappearance and can rescue people by travelling through dimensions would guarantee at least a couple of seasons as The OA tries to answer these questions. However, Netflix gave us an exciting sci-fi only to cruelly take it away from us right when the show was starting to pick up in season 2. And now we will never know what happened in those different dimensions despite a wild finale that had meant to serve as the foundation for season 3.
First Kill (2022)
First Kill was to sapphics what Heartstopper was for gays. And while First Kill had its issues, it was one of the first mainstream shows on a huge OTT platform for young, queer girls who could enjoy and relate to this fantastical story. It had vampires and hunters, forbidden love, a dark-skinned Black woman as one of the main leads, queer representation and the like which would have been a recipe for success if Netflix had allowed it to go past its first season.
But what’s for sure is that this vampiric Romeo and Juliet story would have shined during the fanged phase of pop culture along with the likes of Twilight and The Vampire Diaries.
Dear White People (2017-2021)
Dear White People is a Netflix original bringing together an all-Black cast to talk about important issues of race, discrimination and activism on mainstream TV.
But this satire drama kept it funny and lighthearted while still sending their message across that made it relatable to all people of colour. And so no one could have guessed that Netflix would cancel this episodic TV show in season 4 as it did not face the problems of most plot-based shows that had run their course.
The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance (2019)
One of the few fantasy IPs that actually did well to stick to the source material, Age of Resistance brought together a whole bunch of puppets and an all-star voice cast to deliver one of the best fantasy series in years.
It’s too bad then that Netflix decided to axe this one. With the sets already designed and the puppets done, one would assume the cost of production would drop significantly for a second season. Alas, it was not to be and this one will remain a one-season wonder.
Archive 81 (2022)
It didn’t take long for Netflix to bring the chop to its latest mystery box series. Part cult mystery, part supernatural drama, Archive 81 did well with its limited run to exude an eerie atmosphere throughout. Sure, it was a bit slow at times but that huge cliffhanger ending left more than enough in the tank to long for another season.
Unfortunately, Netflix’s decision didn’t go over well as many took to social media to express their annoyance at this cancellation.
Dead To Me (2019-2022)
It looks like the writers wanted the audience to suffer just like they do when they learn Netflix has pulled the plug on their show. And that is what it feels like with Dead To Me which was announced that season 3 would be its last. With enough time to create the final season plot, we still had the dark comedy end on a cliffhanger as the all-burning question is finally answered. But the catch is that the explosive aftermath is not shown, making us wonder what season 4 would have been like.
The Society (2019)
Damn you Covid! A lot of shows like Glow and I Am Not Okay With This suffered due to the pandemic, which created complications during filming. Another show that we wished had not succumbed to the 2020 epidemic was The Society which was cancelled despite its thrilling season 1.
With a dystopic premise like The 100 or Under The Dome, The Society did well enough to lay down the foundation and create enough exposition for its next couple of seasons to be full of mysterious and thrilling adventures had it been given a chance.
What is it with Netflix giving us representation, fun stories and a diverse cast only for them to cut it short? 2021 really was the year of some questionable cancellations and Atypical was one of them as season 4 became its last. Following the life of an autistic teen and his family, the comedy was a relatable and light show that shed light on neurodivergence.
It also added real autistic people to its cast and crew to bring authenticity, which is why many were surprised with Netflix’s decision after being commended for promoting diversity.
Santa Clarita Diet (2017-2019)
It goes without saying that Santa Clarita Diet adopted a really fun style that absolutely gripped its audience. When Netflix saved the show and brought it back for season 3, everything looked to be going swimmingly…until the streamers decided to axe this one not long after season 3’s release. Whether it be the viewing figures or a way of cutting their losses for what they perceived to be an expensive project we shall never know.
This is one of the bigger cancellations that hit the hardest though, especially since the Hammonds were finally so close to answering all their unnatural questions.
Anne With An E (2017-2019)
Anne With An E managed to showcase some great character work with its titular character, Anne, winning over the hearts of the masses. Unfortunately, those masses were left disappointed when Netflix decided to cancel this one at the end of season 3, leaving many annoyed and dismayed to learn the period drama wouldn’t be returning, despite the ambiguous ending.
Warrior Nun (2020-2022)
Warrior Nun is one of the bigger cancellation surprises to come from 2022. The first season won over a good chunk of the public, who turned up in droves to watch this. The second season kept that great work going, with a decent screenplay and some impressively choreographed fighting. The ending hinted at a larger fight to come, but unfortunately, the cancellation means it’s unlikely to materialize, leaving things on a frustrating cliffhanger.
There are many more Netflix Originals in the proverbial graveyard but these are our highlighted shows that tugged at our hearts the most upon learning of their cancellations.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!