It seems Netflix is fully embracing its reputation for being trigger-happy with cancellations — it's just axed yet another show.
The latest to join the list, according to TVLine (opens in new tab), is Pretty Smart, a sitcom starring Emily Osment, best known for her days in Hannah Montana. The show centered on Chelsea, a self-proclaimed intellectual, who is forced to move in with her carefree sister and three quirky roommates. It also featured Gregg Sulkin, Olivia Macklin, Cinthya Carmona and Michael Hsu Rosen.
Pretty Smart joins the ever-growing ranks of Netflix shows canned after just a single season. Its first collection of 10 episodes only debuted in October 2021, but it's been confirmed that Chelsea’s story won’t be continuing any further. This cancellation is especially cruel, as the season finale ended on a romantic cliffhanger that now appears to be destined to remain forever unresolved.
To be honest, this cancellation doesn’t come as a great surprise. While Netflix is often fairly coy about providing viewership numbers (unless a show is breaking records), Pretty Smart barely even registered on the Netflix most viewed list when it launched. It also received a lukewarm response from critics, with just 40% on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab). Pretty Smart season 2 always seemed something of a long shot. Netflix isn't the only one canceling shows this week: TBS just canceled a Tracy Morgan show.
Nonetheless, it's yet another addition to the rapidly swelling list of Netflix canceled shows in 2022, joining the likes of Archive 81, The Baby-Sitters Club, Gentefield and On the Verge. In fact, Pretty Smart isn’t even the only Netflix show to be axed this week: it was confirmed just yesterday that Raising Dion won't be returning for a season 3.
Analysis: Another one bites the bust
It’s been a bruising few weeks for Netflix. The streamer is reportedly in trouble, having lost subscribers quarter-over-quarter for the first time in over a decade and the situation is expected to get worse before it gets better. It's even had to deal with the creator of a canceled animated show hitting back via a hand-drawn cartoon.
The last thing Netflix needs right now is more negative headlines in the wake of another shock cancellation. However, as Netflix decisions go, killing off Pretty Smart seems like a fairly predictable move. The show doesn’t appear to have made much of a splash with subscribers, and the writing seemed to be on the wall long before the decision was finalized this week.
Osment was also just promoted to series regular on Young Sheldon, one of the biggest shows on network television, so scheduling conflicts may have played a part in this decision too. Either way, Netflix clearly didn’t see the value of ordering a second season of Pretty Smart, and that’s a shame for the show’s viewers, especially in light of its cliffhanger ending.
Subscribers to the world's biggest streaming service are rightly asking whether there’s any point in starting a new series on Netflix. Original shows not getting beyond season one is becoming a pretty regular occurrence, so why get invested in the first place? While we still rank Netflix as one of the best streaming services available, there’s no denying that its frequent cancellations are getting a little tiresome.
Also, we've discovered that the PS5 and Xbox Series X aren't the media players you may want them to be, if you still love optical media. Also, Netflix is losing Schitt's Creek to one of its biggest competitors in a big blow to big red that appears to be more about Netflix's relations with Canada than anything else. And there's a big new Doctor Strange 2 TV spot revealing possibly 2 cameos and more Professor X.