Netflix giveth, and Netflix taketh away.
The streaming giant might dominate the small screen — but it’s also become infamous for its habit of failing to let shows last.
And 2021 was a particular bloodbath, with an eye-catching 16 shows canceled.
“Let’s have Netflix run the next pandemic. They don’t let anything get three seasons,” one person joked in a viral tweet.
Although some of these 16 shows were obscure choices you probably hadn’t heard of — such as “Hit & Run,” “The Duchess” or the dominatrix series “Bonding” — there were also several high-profile cancellations that made waves and prompted fan outrage.
For instance, the fantasy series “Cursed,” a sexy and gritty spin on the King Arthur story starring Katherine Langford (“13 Reasons Why”) and helmed by Frank Miller (“300,” “Sin City”), got the ax after just one season. Even having a comic book legend and a previous Netflix darling’s names attached wasn’t enough to save this show.
Similar series with big stars attached include Jamie Foxx’s sitcom, “Dad, Stop Embarrassing Me!,” Kevin James’ show “The Crew,” which was set in the world of NASCAR and axed in July after premiering in February, superhero epic “Jupiter’s Legacy” starring Josh Duhamel and Leslie Bibb, and of course the much-hyped live-action adaptation of anime epic “Cowboy Bebop” starring John Cho — which prompted an outpouring of devastated messages from fans and the cast.
Even middle-tier shows with devoted fans weren’t safe, and genre didn’t make a difference.
The winsome musical comedy series “Julie and the Phantoms,” helmed by Kenny Ortega (“High School Musical,” “Dirty Dancing”), was bizarrely canceled last week more than a year after its first season premiered in September 2020, prompting fans to beg the streamer to save the show.
“Country Comfort,” co-starring Katherine McPhee and TV staple Eddie Cibrian, was a crowd-pleasing cowboy spin on “The Sound of Music” set-up (she’s a country singer taking a job as a nanny for a widower cowboy). But apparently, that didn’t have broad enough appeal to last. And period piece “The Last Kingdom” will end with its upcoming Season 5 after getting the ax.
The platform is notoriously opaque about viewership numbers, so reasons were not provided for any of these cancellations.
Here’s the complete list of axed Netflix shows this year:
“The Last Kingdom”
“Dad, Stop Embarrassing Me!”
“Hit & Run”
“Dash & Lily”
“Julie and the Phantoms”