With its wide array of series, Netflix has given us a rollercoaster of emotions, but sometimes the ride ends abruptly. Some of the best Netflix canceled shows captured our hearts and imaginations, leaving us yearning for more. This article pays homage to those exceptional series that were cut short, leaving their narratives hanging and their fans craving closure. Though no longer continuing, these shows remain unforgettable in their viewers’ hearts.
1. ‘Sense8‘ (2015-2018)
“Sense8” was a groundbreaking science fiction drama by Lana and Lilly Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski. It debuted on Netflix in 2015 and immediately caught attention for its diverse cast and unique premise. The show revolves around eight strangers from various parts of the world who become mentally and emotionally connected, navigating challenges related to identity, sexuality, and politics.
Despite critical acclaim and a dedicated fanbase, Netflix canceled “Sense8” after two seasons, citing high production costs. The show concluded with a special finale in 2018, tying up loose ends left by the abrupt cancellation.
2. ‘The OA‘ (2016-2019)
“The OA,” created by Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, was a mystery drama with elements of science fiction, supernatural, and fantasy. Premiering in 2016, it featured Marling as Prairie Johnson, a woman who reappears after being missing for seven years, now with her sight restored and calling herself “The OA.”
The show was known for its complex narrative and ambitious storytelling. Despite plans for a five-season arc, Netflix canceled “The OA” after two seasons in 2019, leaving fans with an unresolved cliffhanger.
3. ‘Santa Clarita Diet‘ (2017-2019)
“Santa Clarita Diet,” a unique blend of comedy and horror, premiered on Netflix in 2017. Created by Victor Fresco, it starred Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant as Sheila and Joel Hammond, a suburban real estate couple whose lives take a dark turn when Sheila becomes a zombie.
The show was lauded for its witty writing, Barrymore and Olyphant’s chemistry, and a fresh take on the zombie genre. Despite positive reception and a growing fanbase, Netflix canceled the show after three seasons in 2019, leaving fans disappointed and many storylines unresolved.
4. ‘Daredevil‘ (2015-2018)
Netflix’s “Daredevil,” part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, debuted in 2015 and was widely praised for its gritty tone and compelling storytelling. The series starred Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer who fights crime as the vigilante Daredevil in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. The show was known for its strong character development, particularly the antagonist, Wilson Fisk, portrayed by Vincent D’Onofrio.
Despite critical acclaim and a loyal fan base, Netflix canceled “Daredevil” after three seasons in 2018, a decision thought to be influenced by Disney’s upcoming streaming service and their reclaiming of Marvel properties.
5. ‘Luke Cage’ (2016-2018)
“Luke Cage,” another Marvel series on Netflix, introduced viewers to Harlem’s hero in 2016. Created by Cheo Hodari Coker, it starred Mike Colter as Luke Cage, a man with superhuman strength and unbreakable skin. The series was celebrated for its cultural relevance, strong performances, and its portrayal of African-American culture.
Like “Daredevil,” “Luke Cage” was canceled after two seasons in 2018 amid speculation of creative differences and the looming presence of Disney’s own streaming ambitions.
6. ‘The Get Down‘ (2016-2017)
“The Get Down,” set in the 1970s Bronx, was a vibrant and colorful portrayal of music, culture, and dreams. It focused on teenagers navigating the birth of hip-hop, disco, and punk. The show was rich in musical and cultural exploration, capturing the essence of a revolutionary time in American music history. However, despite its artistic value and critical acclaim,
“The Get Down” was one of the most expensive shows for Netflix, costing about $120 million for just the first season. This high cost and less-than-expected viewership led to its cancellation after just one season in 2017. Its untimely end left fans yearning for more of its unique storytelling and musical journey.
7. ‘Marco Polo‘ (2014-2016)
“Marco Polo,” a show that delved into the rich and complex history of the Mongol empire through the eyes of the Venetian explorer, was a visual spectacle. It was praised for its grand sets, beautiful costumes, and intriguing plot. However, despite its grandeur and ambitious storytelling, “Marco Polo” struggled to maintain a substantial audience.
The high production cost, reportedly around $200 million over two seasons, couldn’t justify its modest viewership. In 2016, after two seasons, Netflix decided to cancel the show. It was a significant financial loss for the streaming service, and the show ended without tying up many of its storylines, leaving fans hanging.
8. ‘Everything Sucks!‘ (2018)
“Everything Sucks!” was a charming and nostalgic trip to the 1990s, focusing on a group of high school students in the AV and Drama clubs. The show was celebrated for its heartfelt portrayal of teenage life, dealing with love, identity, and friendship issues. Despite its positive reviews and a dedicated fan base, “Everything Sucks!” was canceled after just one season.
The decision in 2018 surprised many, as the show had seemed to resonate well with its audience. Unfortunately, it didn’t gather enough viewership for Netflix to continue investing in it. This cancellation disappointed fans who had found something special and relatable in its characters and story.
9. ‘GLOW‘ (2017-2019)
“GLOW,” short for Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, was a show that combined humor, drama, and the colorful world of women’s wrestling in the 1980s. The series was praised for its diverse and dynamic female cast, unique premise, and ability to handle serious themes with a light-hearted touch. “GLOW” successfully ran three seasons and was even renewed for a fourth.
However, in the course of events, the renewal was retracted in 2020, citing COVID-19-related production challenges. This sudden cancellation was a blow to fans and the cast alike, as the show had developed a strong following, and the fourth season was eagerly anticipated. Its cancellation left many storylines unresolved, a common frustration among viewers of abruptly ended series.
10. ‘Altered Carbon‘ (2018-2020)
“Altered Carbon” was a sci-fi spectacle, set in a future where consciousness could be transferred to different bodies. The show was known for its high-concept storytelling, stunning visuals, and thought-provoking themes about identity and morality. It ran for two seasons, offering a complex narrative and rich world-building that attracted a niche audience.
However, “Altered Carbon” was not renewed for a third season, with its cancellation in 2020. The reasons cited included high production costs and a viewership that, while loyal, was not large enough to justify the expense. For fans, the show’s cancellation meant an abrupt end to its intricate storyline and a universe that had much more to explore.
11. ‘The Society‘ (2019)
“The Society” was a modern take on the classic “Lord of the Flies” story, set in a mysterious world where teenagers must create their own society after the rest of the population disappears. The show was a gripping mix of drama, mystery, and survival, gaining a fan base that appreciated its character development and plot twists.
Initially, “The Society” was renewed for a second season, but in a surprising move, Netflix reversed the decision in 2020, citing COVID-19-related complications. This cancellation was particularly hard on fans, as the first season ended on a major cliffhanger. The lack of closure and unanswered questions made its abrupt end all the more disappointing.
12. ‘Anne with an E‘ (2017-2019)
“Anne with an E,” a fresh adaptation of the beloved “Anne of Green Gables,” won hearts with its beautiful storytelling, strong performances, and modern touch on classic themes. The show reimagined Anne’s story with new layers, exploring contemporary issues while staying true to the spirit of the original novel.
Despite its growing fan base and critical acclaim, “Anne with an E” was canceled after three seasons in 2019. The decision, a result of a co-production deal between Netflix and CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), left many viewers upset. The show had become a beloved series for portraying Anne’s journey, and its cancellation felt premature to those who followed her story.
13. ‘I Am Not Okay with This‘ (2020)
“I Am Not Okay with This,” a blend of teen drama and supernatural elements, told the story of a high school girl discovering her superpowers. The show was well-received for its quirky style, engaging narrative, and relatable portrayal of adolescence. After a successful first season, it seemed poised for a second.
However, in a move that shocked fans, Netflix canceled the show in 2020. The decision was part of a string of cancellations attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on production and budgets. For fans, this meant an abrupt end to a story that had just begun, leaving many questions unanswered and the characters’ potential unexplored.
14. ‘Teenage Bounty Hunters‘ (2020)
“Teenage Bounty Hunters” was a unique mix of comedy, action, and teenage drama, following the lives of twin sisters who become bounty hunters by accident. The show stood out for its humor, witty dialogue, and fresh take on the teen genre. It quickly gathered a fan base, impressed by its originality and entertaining plot.
However, despite the positive reception, “Teenage Bounty Hunters” was canceled after just one season in 2020. This decision was a part of Netflix’s broader strategy to cut down on shows that didn’t achieve massive viewership. The show’s fans were left disappointed, as the series had shown great promise and had set up intriguing storylines for future exploration.
15. ‘Julie and the Phantoms’ (2020)
“Julie and the Phantoms” brought a unique mix of music, teen drama, and supernatural elements. It followed Julie, a talented high schooler, who discovers her passion for music with the help of a ghostly band from the 90s. The series was known for its catchy tunes, heartwarming storylines, and messages about friendship and healing. It resonated particularly well with younger audiences, combining entertainment with meaningful themes.
Despite its positive reception and a compelling first season that ended on a cliffhanger, the show was canceled by Netflix in 2021. This decision came as a surprise and disappointment to many fans who had connected with the series. The cancellation highlighted a pattern with Netflix, where even well-received shows sometimes don’t make it past their initial seasons, leaving their story arcs incomplete.
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