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The Netflix Curse

Netflix has a strange tendency to cancel shows with significant potential. It’s quite infuriating. After weeks of patiently waiting for news regarding a show’s renewal, we are often met with bitter disappointment: the dreaded cancellation announcement. Even mentally preparing myself for the unexpected can't help soften the blow. It's upsetting to let go of the characters you loved, even after just a season or two…. Okay, perhaps I’m being overdramatic, but it is disappointing. Well-scripted shows with solid plotlines and dynamic characters are often snubbed from showing their true potential. In contrast, toe-curling teenage dramas (Tall Girl, After, He’s All That) with overused scenarios, cringy dialogues, and lifeless characters are featured time and time again. Why? What is the appeal of feeding us the same bland story over and over? Listed below are four shows I believe have fallen victim to ‘The Netflix Curse’ . 

Anne with an E

Anne with an E, set in Canada at the end of the 19th century, is an adaptation of Lucy Montgomery’s Novel Anne of Green Gables. It follows the life of a young, orphan girl attempting to find her place in society. After spending years of her youth in a string of orphanages and ‘foster homes’, she is unable to settle down. Consequenty, 13-year-old Anne finds herself in the small town of Avonlea and is taken in by the Cuthberts. In her new hometown, young Anne learns to overcome the obstacles that come along her way with support from her family and friends. 

Anne with an E

This one felt personal. After watching the first three seasons of this show, its sudden and unexpected cancellation left me bewildered and heartbroken. I can’t deny that in the first few episodes of season one, I found Anne’s character quite insufferable. However, as the series progressed the young girl with auburn hair, bold opinions, and dreams taught me many meaningful lessons. Watching her grow and mature into a young woman, despite the hardships she encounters, was truly heartening. What’s more is that this series sheds light on several significant issues ranging from childhood trauma, abuse, gender discrimination, racism, sexuality, etc. Anne with an E truly has a special place in my heart, and apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Since news of its cancellation hit the web, the show’s fanbase decided to take matters into their own hands. Up until now, they have amassed more than 1.6 million votes in hopes for the revival of season 4. Whilst it seems highly unlikely that the series will return, remembering that season 3 came out on Netflix in 2020, we can still be hopeful. 

The irregulars

Next on our list is the British TV series ‘The Irregulars’. This series follows four young, poverty-stricken delinquent youths, Bea, Jessie, Billy, and Spike, and a young Prince incognito. They are put to the test and tasked with solving several mysterious occurrences taking place in Victorian, England. They soon realise that the supernatural forces roaming around London's streets are a far more terrifying threat to humanity than they ever fathomed. So, now it's up to them to solve these crimes and save the world from danger.

The Irregulars

This show had serious potential to perform well. After all, who doesn’t like a spin on Sherlock Holmes? It seems like an apt plot for a mystery series. A group of amateur, teenage detectives investigate a series of strange, supernatural crimes on the streets of Victorian England. They are under the watchful gaze of Mr. Watson. Throw in the mix a disoriented Sherlock Holmes, and it sounds like a success. What could go wrong? Apparently, something happened, because after just one season Netflix pressed the break and cancelled the series.

While this series was certainly far from a masterpiece, it was an enjoyable watch and a solid first season. The characters were relatable and fun, the story was well written, the supernatural murder mysteries were intriguing, and the backdrop of Victorian England made for an excellent location to set the premise. All in all, it was a well-rounded series and it is a shame that we have to say goodbye so soon.

Spinning out

American drama series ‘Spinning Out’, features next on our list. It recounts the story of a promising, young figure skater, Kat Baker. Kat tries to resurrect her career after taking a terrible fall which leads to an enormous head injury, and equally, a broken morale. To reclaim her shattered self-esteem Kat pairs us with resident playboy Justin Davis and together the duo compete to make their dreams of reaching nationals a reality. However, the road to success is not so simple, and Kat has her own secret battles to overcome. 

Spinning out

If I am being honest, I don’t know how to feel about this one. I certainly see the appeal, and I believe this show also offers potential. However, I wasn’t particularly attached to any of the characters, and it’s a storyline previously explored. So, whilst I can’t deny that this wasn’t anything awe-inspiring, in fact in moments the show seemed more like a teen romance/soap opera, it still stood out for me. It was more than just the typical trope of a pretty, young ice skater overcoming her struggles to become a world champion. It felt more real in some respects. This show dealt with many pertinent issues often overlooked in the glamorous world of ice skating e.g. mental health, broken families, financial issues, self-harm, etc. At times it got really dark and forced me to consider the true reality for many ice-skaters, and that’s why I feel it deserves another season.

The Society

The last show on this list is American tv series The Society. This series unfolds in West Ham, Connecticut. After a storm forces students from a local high school to cancel their school trip and abruptly return home, they realise that all the inhabitants have mysteriously disappeared. Whilst at first this doesn’t seem all that problematic, the joys of a life free from parental guidance are short-lived. With no access to the outside world and limited resources at their disposal, the students are left with no option but to come to terms with their changing reality and adapt – After all, it’s a matter of life and death. 

This show was intense, and I can honestly say it is my worst nightmare come true. Imagine leaving society to be run under the authority of a bunch of mindless, dim-witted high school students – I would not make it past one day. However, getting back to the point, this show was a delight to watch. The series offered us so much; multi-layered characters, thought-provoking storylines, and excellent acting performances. Everything about it; the power plays, the conflict, the corruption, the implementation of some form of functional societal structure, and ultimately the survival of the fittest, it all came together perfectly. So, why would such a promising show get cancelled?  As far as this case is concerned, Netflix is not to blame. The show was renewed for a second season, but then the pandemic happened…what more can I say?

So this concludes my list of series affected by the Netflix curse.

These four are just a drop in the ocean. I’m sure there are many more victims. What are your thoughts? Is Netflix justified? Should these shows stay cancelled? 

Image Credit : Movie, Pilot, Variety, RT, Quizur

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Tags: #Netflix #SpinningOut #The Irregulars #AnnewithanE #The Society, #MustWatch


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