The streaming behemoth Netflix has been behind some of the biggest and most highly praised shows of the year. Be it the unexpected explosion of the incisive Squid Game or the monumental achievement that was Midnight Mass, the shows that dominated the platform were ones that captured our interest.
However, even as there are many big hits, there are always going to also be some misses amidst the best of programming. These are the series that may not have found an audience or just didn’t quite connect with viewers like some of the best shows on the platform. Many of these shows met an early end that cut short narrative threads that were being established and any plans to continue their stories into additional seasons.
These are all the shows that Netflix has canceled in 2021 so far in the often ruthless world that is streaming television. It is possible some of them may find other life elsewhere as many shows try to resurrect what could have been. However, for many of these series, cancellation marks an early end that will likely be a permanent one.
Oh poor Cowboy Bebop, we barely knew you. An adaptation of an anime series that was one of the platform’s most talked about new shows, it was unceremoniously canceled after less than a month. The quick end to the show’s future came as a surprise to many as it had been moderately successful with an apparent 75 million viewers out of the gate. However, mixed reviews and a declining interest seemed to have marked doom for the show.
In Collider’s review of the show, it was described as being a “soulless remake of a landmark anime series, one that is constantly drawing attention to the original while changing enough to take away the impact of what it's trying to emulate.”
For those wishing to reminisce about the now gone show, the first season is streaming on Netflix along with the entirety of the original animated series.
Dead to Me
The dark comedy Dead To Me was a generally beloved show and isn’t quite done yet as there is a third season that is still upcoming. However, that season will be its last. Starring Christina Applegate & Linda Cardellini, who both were praised for their performances in the show, the show was all about their friendship that grows following loss.
The final season is set to air sometime in 2022.
The Last Kingdom
A show that originally premiered on the BBC, The Last Kingdom was a historical fiction drama series based on Bernard Cornwell's The Saxon Stories series of novels. It followed the adventures of warrior Uhtred of Bebbanburg (Alexander Dreymon) who was born a Saxon but raised by Vikings as he seeks to claim his ancestral birthright.
The show was canceled this year meaning the upcoming fifth season will be the last. Netflix had initially renewed the series in July of 2020 though that was followed by an official cancellation of April of this year. However, all is not lost as it was recently announced that the story would conclude with a feature-length film called Seven Kings Must Die with filming set to begin next year in Budapest.
A show that received mixed reviews, The Irregulars centered around a group of teens who live on the streets of Victorian London where they do work for John Watson and search for the missing Sherlock Holmes.
Despite a strong cast that made the most of the material, it was canceled on May 4 of this year around six weeks after it premiered in March.
A superhero show that reportedly cost $200 million, Jupiter’s Legacy was quickly canceled despite the streamer's high investment in it. Praised for being a more subversive take on the genre, it wasn’t as much of a hit as the streamer was expecting it to be.
However, an offshoot of the story will find new life with an anthology series called Supercrooks that will continue on in its predecessor’s place.
A teen drama that follows the struggles of a group of students at a public high school in New York, it premiered in October of last year and was canceled this past June.
The show was another example of strong central performances from its young cast that never quite lived up to its full potential.
A fantasy drama based on the illustrated novel of the same name by Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler, Cursed was a retelling of Arthurian lore that centered on Katherine Langford's Nimue. It served as an origin story of sorts as she would go on to be the Lady of the Lake of ancient legends.
Any other adaptation would have to take another form as this iteration won’t see an end as the cast were all released from their contracts in July after only running for one season.
The first of many comedies Netflix went on a canceling spree with, Bonding was a sitcom of sorts about a psychology student who moonlights as a dominatrix. It all centered around how to find that balance in life while entering into the world of professional BDSM. It ran for two seasons and was canceled in July.
The cancellation came as little surprise as, when members of the dominatrix community criticize your show as not just unrealistic but harmful, you likely have missed the mark of whatever you were trying to be.
A comedy that never found an audience who connected with its humor, Country Comfort centered around a country singer who takes a job as a nanny while figuring out what to do with her career. Reviews were not kind to the show, panning it as being far too predictable and clichéd for it to actually be considered clever.
It premiered in March of this year and was canceled in July after one season.
A show that sounds like it is made up if you haven’t seen it, The Crew was a Kevin James comedy vehicle that centered around a NASCAR racing team that has to deal with a new boss. James is Kevin Gibson and is the crew chief who butts heads with said new boss in a show that can only be described as being stuck in neutral.
It premiered in February of this year and was canceled in July after one season.
Another series with a higher profile comedy presence, Mr. Iglesias starred stand-up comedian Gabriel Iglesias himself as a high school teacher trying to inspire a group of misfits.
It premiered in June of 2019 and did get renewed for a second season, though that would be its last as it was canceled in July of this year.
Dash & Lily
A Christmas show defined by its sweetness, Dash & Lily was based on the young adult series Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. Starring Austin Abrams and Midori Francis as the titular Dash & Lily of the title, Collider praised the duo’s performances though said “it can get a bit too cutesy and twee at times.”
It premiered in November of 2020 and was canceled in October of this year.
Hit & Run
An espionage thriller that ended on a cliffhanger with the intention to continue on, Hit & Run instead will end with loose ends left unresolved. When news of the show being canceled first came out, it was reported that the primary reason was due to the cost of the show being too high.
Season one debuted in August and it was canceled just over a month later in September.
Dad, Stop Embarrassing Me
Hailed as Jamie Foxx’s triumphant return to the sitcom, Dad, Stop Embarrassing Me was not the hit series some were hoping it would be. The show centered on Foxx as a dad who, you guessed it, is embarrassing his daughter Sasha who moves in with him after her mother dies.
There was praise for Foxx’s humor, though the general feeling was that the rest of the show around him just wasn’t all that funny. It premiered in April of this year and was canceled a few months later in June.
#blackAF was a family comedy that closely aligned with creator Kenya Barris' real-life. Initially renewed for a second season, that was subsequently reversed and the show was canceled after one season.
However, the show may live on in a couple movies that continue the story in a different way.
And the Oscar goes to...
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