You should cancel Netflix for May 2023 — here's why

A TV with the Netflix logo sits behind a hand holding a remote
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Will you join the 1 million who canceled Netflix because of its password-sharing crackdown? I ask this question because when I felt let down when the list of May 2023 Netflix releases dropped.

First off, the list of licensed movies feels a bit uninspired. The Austin Powers trilogy shows up to remind us that a fourth title could still happen, and Arnold Schwarzenegger's Kindergarten Cop and Last Action Hero drop to supplement his new Netflix series FUBAR (see below). Léon: The Professional is the sole movie on that list that seems worth revisiting.

Then, I looked through the list, and saw that Netflix is continuing to treat some audiences better than others. If you want dramas or big returning series? You might feel disappointed. 

So, while Netflix gets ready to make you pay more, you should rethink whether or not you want to fork over another up-to-$20. Yes, its library ensures it's one of the best streaming services, but this month doesn't offer enough.

Right now, with the economy in far from a great place, we're all trying to find ways to save money. And while cutting Netflix's price doesn't save you a lot, I'd say it's definitely worth doing if you're not feeling like Netflix is catering to your interests this month. Especially when our other picks for the top streaming services will. Of course, this column comes with a major "your mileage may vary" proviso.

Sure, one of the best Netflix shows that yours truly really likes is coming back, but it's so late in the month that you might as well call it a June release. 

But since I think others may be right to cancel Netflix with me, I've decided to explain how my thought process continues to keep me away this month. This way, others may start finding new ways to be frugal with their streaming budget.

Netflix's May is giving a lot to reality TV fans

Netflix continues to super-serve its reality TV fans with, and the biggest title is Queer Eye season 7 (May 12), which finds the "Fab Five" headed to New Orleans.

The other biggest Netflix reality TV series of May is Selling Sunset season 6 (May 19), which finds the drama in a glamorous set of Los Angeles real estate agents.

Earlier, Japanese series Love Village (May 2nd), brings singles who are 35 years and older meet to a "house of the countryside for another chance at love." Then, the producers of Indian Matchmaking deliver Jewish Matchmaking (May 3), The Ultimatum: Queer Love (starting May 24th)

Siren: Survive the Island, a competition series with 24 women of varying careers — including police officers, athletes, soldiers, firefighters and stuntwomen — is also coming in May (date TBA).

Bridgerton and To All The Boys fans should also get excited

Were Netflix spinoffs a bit more trustworthy, I'd believe in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story (May 4), the prequel series that focuses on Young Queen Charlotte's marriage to King George of England. It might be great, so maybe keep Netflix until the 4th to find out.

But with The Witcher: Blood Origin too fresh in my mind, I cannot feel that confident.

Admittedly, May could just set a new track record for Netflix spinoffs. XO, Kitty (May 18), sees Anna Cathcart back as Katherine "Kitty" Song Covey, from the To All The Boys films series. Here, Kitty's trying to re-connect with her long-distance boyfriend.

Big stars show up in Netflix Originals

Netflix loves big stars, and two of them star in May projects. First up is Jennifer Lopez as the titular antihero of The Mother (May 12). Jenny from the block plays an assassin who is forced to help the FBI when her daughter is put in danger.

Then, we get a similar-sounding story on May 25th, as Arnold Schwarzenegger gets a Netflix series of his own. In FUBAR, Arnie and Monica Barbaro (Top Gun: Maverick) star in a story where the former plays a retired spy who has to go back into work because of a missing operative. And she turns out to be his daughter.

We're not sure why Netflix is releasing parent/daughter action movies so close together, but it almost devalues both. 

Documentaries and comedy specials galore, of course

Just like with reality TV, I understand why standup comedy and documentary fans will keep their Netflix accounts forever. Hannah Gadsby (May 9) and Wanda Sykes (May 23) both debut new Netflix specials in March.

Later on in the month, we get two documentaries about controversial figures as Anna Nicole Smith: You Don't Know Me (May 16) and Conor McGregor doc McGregor Forever (May 17) debut on back to back days. The former is told through the eyes of those who knew Ms. Smith, and the latter is a more intimate doc, likely similar to Pamela, A Love Story.

But more documentaries are coming to Netflix, Barack Obama narrates Working: What We Do All Day (May 17). One week earlier, Executive Producer Jada Pinkett Smith delivers Queen Cleopatra (May 10), a documentary about African queens. 

True crime is also served up, as Missing: Dead or Alive? (May 10) tracks missing persons cases investigated by a South Carolina sheriff’s department. Victim/Suspect (May 23) pokes at the stories of women charged with falsely reporting rape. 

MerPeople (also May 23rd) focuses cameras on the people who make their lives all about the mythical sea creatures.

I'm willing to wait for June for one Netflix show

Netflix does have one show I'm excited about, though. Absurdist sketch comedy series I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson season 3 debuts on May 30th. ITYSL is a hilarious show that's spawned a series of instant memes. 

If you've never seen it, that's where we got the hot dog suit guy trying to claim someone else drove the hot dog car through the front of a store. Other memorable segments include Coffin Drop on Corncob TV and the visually intense shirts of Dan Flashes.

Not to be nit-picker, but this date is part of my rationale. I love ITYSL, but its end-of-May date puts it as basically a June series for me. That's especially the case since the show drops on a Tuesday, and I probably won't get to it until the weekend.

Outlook: Make sure Netflix is still worth it

Personally, I make this recommendation because I know plenty of people out there may be keeping Netflix who aren't really reality TV types (my parents and myself, for example).

So, to the folks who want more, more, more when it comes to reality TV and  documentaries? To the Bridgerton and To All The Boys crowds? I get it. I'm not here to speak ill of your properties. But there's something kinda missing this month.

Spinoffs are cool and all, but Netflix's May is pretty much without a big signature release to tie everything around. Nothing here truly feels "must see."

More from Tom's Guide

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.

  • astargzr
    My 2 cents worth:

    I'm not really sure why you are advising ppl to cancel Netflix. I don't have the luxury of watching 24/7. There are many Netflix original shows that I have not watched yet. And, added content from other sources.

    I have Prime, too. Just between these 2 streaming services, I can't catch up with my watch lists. Pretty sure I'm not the only Netflix customer in the same circumstance.
  • theflo
    admin said:
    Our streaming editor thinks some audiences should Netflix's latest crop is worth canceling over. Here's why you should drop the Big Red Streaming Machine this month.

    You should cancel Netflix for May 2023 — here's why : Read more
    I don't mean any harm at all. Maybe I have more empathy or understanding for business. It cost Netflix lots and lots of money to make content. They have to pay for it. Some of what they pay for is garbage and they cancel other content is great and entertaining and there is an escalated cost for returning shows that people love to watch. Why is it people feel that they can cheat and steal content and get MAD when the Company puts a holt to it or adjust the rules for a level playing field???? Why do the many feel they have the RIGHT to free access and the few pays for it. I applaud Netflix for doing the right thing. I enjoy the many shows from Countries all over the world to broaden my vision and thinking and perspective. You have to Pay to Play.
  • Tumblerbkk
    This must be the 10th time or so in recent years, that I read an article on Tomsguide with the main purpose to get people to cancel their Netflix subscription. To me it seems like the editor must have a personal hate towards Netflix and should let us all know the true reason why.
  • theflo
    Tumblerbkk said:
    This must be the 10th time or so in recent years, that I read an article on Tomsguide with the main purpose to get people to cancel their Netflix subscription. To me it seems like the editor must have a personal hate towards Netflix and should let us all know the true reason why.
    Agreed Tumblerbkk, makes no sense to cancel Netflix because opinionated people DISAGREE with their reasoning for removing content that is just not getting the viewership that Netflix deems binge worthy. I do get upset that some of my favorite shows end up on the chopping block. I do feel money is wasted on bad products, programming, and overpaying for some Celebrity stars on the platform. I would like to see better marketing of GOOD content and yes CRACK DOWN on users that are stealing content and services. The answer is not in Cancel Culture. It is being Responsible and Accountable. Netflix to subscriber's and Subscribers to Netflix.

    Funny Disney is horrible in providing consistent NEW content to its service, but they go UP in Monthly fees and regurgitate the same old Disney Stories over and over and over again and Subscribers eat it up. Makes no sense.