After three seasons, Netflix and Disney have decided that Marvel’s Daredevil is not going to return for another. The streaming service has never been afraid to brandish the axe of cancellation, neither recently nor historically, with many shows not getting beyond the first series. We’ve picked out some of our favourite now extinct Netflix series as a tribute to the programmes good and bad taken from us over the years.
One of Netflix’s early attempts at original content was three seasons of this horror series based on the 2012 book of the same name. Taking place in a small Pennsylvanian town, a murder during a full moon leads to rumours of a werewolf and other horrific creatures in the inhabitants’ midst. While some aspects of the production were praised, others were considered to be below average.
There was outcry when Sense8 was cancelled. So much so, the makers were granted a two-hour plus last episode (pretty much a movie) to make sure the show actually had an ending. While there was a lot of cult love for the show, which focused on eight strangers from around the world with a psychic connection, Sense8 was just too expensive. The Wachowskis were given around $4 million an episode for the first series and this ballooned to $9 million for the second series. Those costs would have had to ensue popularity akin to the likes of Stranger Things and that, unfortunately, was never the case.
Netflix’s first step into offering exclusive content was made in partnership with Norwegian broadcaster NRK, telling the story of a ex-Mafia member in witness protection trying to start a new life in Norway, but remains a wanted man back in New York. The show got three seasons before being cancelled in 2014, but NRK says it is interested in continuing the series.
Gypsy had real promise. The show starred the ever-brilliant Naomi Watts and was pitched as a psychological thriller, where clinical psychologist Jean Holloway (Watts) oversteps the mark with her patients, forging unhealthy relationships with them. Sam Taylor-Johnson, fresh from 50 Shades directing, was brought into helm and they even got Stevie Nicks to re-record Fleetwood Mac’s Gypsy for the theme song. But, all of that was for nothing as the show was canceled after just one season.
This 2018 one season-long teenage drama covered the AV and Drama clubs at Boring High School in Oregon, as they come to terms with various aspects of their lives and identities. The 90s setting nostalgia combined with a more modern exploration of characters’ emotional development worked well together, but sadly not well enough for Netflix to consider renewing it.
After buying the series for a staggering $90 million, Netflix supported the Game of Thrones-style take on Marco Polo’s story for two seasons between 2014 and 2016. Although the tale of Polo’s time in the court of Kublai Khan was lavishly produced and showed an oft-neglected time and place in history, it reviewed fairly poorly, and viewer interest waned.
Iron Fist’s first season was terrible. Full of ham-fisted acting by most of the cast (not to mention a fair bit of whitewashing), a boring legal subplot and the whole thing tarnished with fight scenes that were seemingly choreographed by someone who had utterly no insight into how to make kung fu look good. Given the main focus on the Marvel superhero is his fighting skills, this was not great. The second season improved things but the writing was on the wall for Iron Fist - the Marvel series that had potential but never gave itself a fighting chance of survival.
The first half of the first season of Luke Cage was superb. Mashing together a brilliant hip-hop soundtrack with a decent storyline, it was very much a superhero series that focused on the human side of Luke Cage first and foremost. Then it hard reset and the second half of the show felt a little flaccid. Season 2 righted a lot of these wrongs and it’s a real shame that we won’t see a third season. Well, not on Netflix at least. Here’s hoping we will see the character again in Jessica Jones: Season 3.
The Get Down
One of the most expensive Netflix shows ever made, The Get Down married the overblown, and lavish, sensibilities of its creator Baz Luhrmann with the grit of 70s New York and the birth of hip hop. Some impressive musical numbers and brilliant acting from the ensemble cast make the first part of this saga a must watch. The second part sags a little, though, and when it was announced that there would be no more series of the show it’s easy to see why viewers started to lose interest. If you did like the show, though, we would recommend tracking down the accompanying The Get Down: Bronx Tales documentary on Netflix. Seeing the real-life characters that helped build the scene and give birth to one of the biggest music genres is a must watch.
The high-school based parody of true-crime series lasted two series, covering two young documentarians investigating major but amusing crimes with complete seriousness, but also touching on the issues affecting the lives of the students and teachers who are suspects or victims. While it was announced in October 2018 that Netflix was dropping the series, the producers are said to be looking around for a new company to help them continue the show.