Cancelled: The Big Problem With Netflix


Recently, the Netflix audience has been sparking with outrage. This is due to the fact that Netflix has been cancelling a multitude of shows known for their quality and representation. Among those shows we have: “Anne with an e”, “The Society”, and a variety of others. These shows are overall hailed as amazing, so why have they been cancelled?

Public comments

Generally, the public have been highly critical of Netflix’s decisions on the cancellations. “I’ve honestly never understood why they do that. It makes no sense and is frustrating for the viewers.” Commented Desiree Conde-Gomez, a junior at Lake Mary. Some people are indifferent on this situation as they regard the cancellations as a logical move on Netflix’s part. Some also argue that the quality of the shows are often subjective and therefore people cannot say that the shows that are being cancelled are good. This statement can be combated by the high ratings that these shows have, both or either critic-wise and audience-wise. For example, “The Society” sits at a comfortable critic score of 86% while “I am not okay with this” has an audience score of 86% and a critic score of 87%.

Why do they cancel good shows?

There are multiple reasons why Netflix decides to cancel their shows. One reason is that it depends on the production costs, if it’s too expensive, Netflix will stop pursuing the show. The other reason depends on the overall popularity. Arguably, many of these good shows do not become popular due to the lack of promotion on Netflix’s end. They’ve also been cancelling a bunch of shows recently due to the pandemic. This is due to the fact that production costs have gone up to ensure safety procedures during COVID-19.

Why do they promote mediocre shows?

This new question has arisen as a response. Why does Netflix focus on promoting mediocre shows instead of their good ones? After all, the lack of promotion of good shows leads to their cancellation. People speculate that it is due to the reason that Netflix is aware of which shows are likely to blow up. In this day and age, people seem to be big recipients of well-known ‘mediocre’ shows such as “Riverdale” or movies like “The Kissing Booth”. These two are notorious for their awkward plots and cheesiness. This sort of cheesiness draws in a grand audience, those who watch just to laugh at the ridiculousness and those who genuinely enjoy it. Most of their mediocre, over-promoted shows are also Netflix Originals. By pushing their own shows on the audience, they guarantee people to pay for their subscription as they cannot find the show anywhere else.

The effects and further problems

How are the audience and Netflix affected by these cancellations? Netflix has hundreds of other shows that generate money. These cancellations do not affect them whatsoever. The public is the most affected party in this situation since they lose shows laden with representation and quality in order for Netflix to maximize their revenue. Representation has become increasingly important in today’s society. People like to see characters on the screen that they can identify with.

On this note, the public became angry when they heard the news of the cancellation of “I am not okay with this” since it was a show that featured a prominent LGBTQ+ main character. Many claim that Netflix has been known for cancelling shows that contain LGBTQ+ leads. Netflix also heavily promotes shows that feature ‘token characters’. Token characters are either or both POC and LGBTQ+ characters. They are in the show for the sole reason of appealing to the public’s thirst for diversity. Even worse, they are usually minor characters that act as sidekicks to the main lead. They usually have no relevant plot lines, or ones that are there simply to play off of the main lead’s story.

“The Kissing Booth 2” is a relevant example of this. Two random gay characters had a romantic subplot in this movie. These characters only appeared for brief moments and their story brought nothing to the plot of the movie. They could easily be cut out of the movie without anything changing. People are not striving for this type of representation. This hurts the audience that belongs to the specific minorities affected, since it makes them feel like irrelevant side characters, incapable of being main characters on screen.

The cancellations will always lead to such reactions since the loss of good shows with actual representation is saddening.

What can we do to counter this?

There is not much people can do to stop these heartbreaking cancellations. All people can do at this point is comment on Netflix’s social medias or sign petitions that correlate to the shows they want to save. This will not guarantee the revival of the cancelled shows, but it is a start. Netflix may be willing to further pursue the shows if they see that there’s an increasing demand for them. This can be seen in the case of the show “Lucifer” that was set to be cancelled at season 4 before Netflix swooped in to save it. But in the end, Netflix is a business which focuses primarily on money and income. If a show seems to be struggling to gain an audience or money for them, they will not hesitate to drop it, regardless of quality.