Just when you thought Netflix’s latest cancelation spree was over, another original show won’t be getting a second season. Although, in this case, it’s not a huge surprise that this particular show has received the axe after a fairly underwhelming debut run.
The canceled show in question is called Q-Force, an adult animated comedy that hit Netflix back in September 2021. The show’s first 10 episodes dropped concurrently, and What’s On Netflix (opens in new tab) discovered that these episodes will comprise the show’s complete run.
Q-Force’s fate has actually been known for a while now. Matt Rogers, one of the show’s writers and voice actors, revealed that “it did not get a second season” on the Attitudes! podcast (opens in new tab) back in May.
What was Q-Force about?
Q-Force is an adult animated comedy that focuses on a group of LGBTQ+ superspies, known as Queer Force, who are looking to prove themselves to the American Intelligence Agency (AIA) that undervalues them.
The group is led by Steve Maryweather, nicknamed Agent Mary (voiced by Sean Hayes), who was once one of the AIA’s hottest young prospects before he came out as gay and was subsequently ostracized by his colleagues. Now he leads Q-Force alongside Twink (Rogers), a French Canadian and “Master of Drag”, Deb (Wanda Sykes), a lesbian mechanic, and Stat (Patti Harrison), a transgender hacker.
The show sees the team not only fight against national security threats but also workplace discrimination and the fact AIA Director Dirk Chunley (Gary Cole) has taken a disliking to the plucky underdogs.
To keep a close eye on them, he assigns Agent Rick Buck (David Harbour) to the team, who is the first-ever straight agent in the history of Q-Force. At least Deputy Director V (Laurie Metcalf) is fighting their corner in the agency boardroom.
The 10-episode first season follows the whacky hijinks of Q-Force as they operate out of their West Hollywood base. Across each 25-minute episode, the motley crew attempt to stop terrorist plots and foil evildoers while also dealing with a whole rafter of personal problems and interpersonal fallouts.
What did the critics say about Q-Force?
Q-Force didn't enjoy a strong critical reception at just about any point in its lifecycle. Even pre-release, it courted controversy with its first trailer being met with significant backlash for its perceived stereotypical representation of LGBTQ+ characters.
When the show did hit Netflix in September last year, its reviews weren’t quite as negative as the pre-release chatter had predicted, but it was still by no means positive. The show currently scores 29% on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab) — although its 6.4/10 score on IMDb (opens in new tab) is rather more respectable.
Michael Blackmon from BuzzFeed News (opens in new tab) gave the animated series a fairly negative appraisal saying “Weighed down by derivative characters and dull gags about queerness, Q-Force is hit or miss.”
The Guardian (opens in new tab)'s Rebecca Nicholson was even harsher giving the show just 2 out of 5 stars and saying its biggest problem is how “it is not particularly funny,” while making unflattering comparisons to better-written adult animated shows. She concluded that “in its opening episodes, you can see the jokes coming a mile away, and it left me thinking that animation and comedy are all much more sophisticated now.”
The reviews weren’t universally negative, Brian Tallerico writing for RogerEbert.com (opens in new tab) said “a few too many of the jokes are dated and easy, although the show leans so far into its cheesy sense of humor that it becomes increasingly likable as the season goes on.”
Analysis: Why was Q-Force canceled?
Netflix seems to be extremely fond of adult animated comedies. The streamer offers subscribers a wide range of options from critical darlings such as Bojack Horseman and Big Mouth to less well-received shows like Hoops, Chicago Party Aunt and Paradise PD.
With so much competition on the platform within the same category and unflattering reviews, it’s not a huge surprise that Q-Force doesn’t appear to have generated enough interest to tempt Netflix into greenlighting a second season.
However, it should be noted that the show does appear to have its fans. While its critic score on Rotten Tomatoes is fairly poor, fans gave it a strong 78% audience score on the site, which perhaps suggests that subscribers who gave the show a shot appreciated the blend of quirky characters and gross-out gags. Unfortunately, its swift cancelation would suggest the number of viewers who gave Q-Force that initial chance was on the low side.
Netflix has proved many times over the last few years that it’s not afraid to be ruthless when it comes to canceling shows even when they’re well-liked by viewers. Plus, there is also the possibility that the ongoing controversy spooked the streamer away from producing more episodes.
Whatever the specific reason, Q-Force is now the latest entry on the ever-growing list of Netflix shows canceled in 2022. This animated series is further proof that when it comes to Netflix, never get attached to your favorite shows as they could be next on the chopping block.
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