There is a mind-blowing amount of content on Netflix. From movies to limited series to docuseries to just regular series, there are millions of minutes of content on the streaming platform. According to a study conducted in 2020, it would have taken you over four years to watch everything that was on the platform back then, and we can only assume that that number has increased as Netlfix has continued to add more content.
However, while Netflix is constantly adding new content to the platform (with hundreds of movies and series being added to the streaming platform every year), they also make their fair share of cancellations. And it’s really starting to piss some people off. Netflix users have been noticing a trend of series getting canceled after two seasons, even if those series are performing fairly well.
Of course, the suits at Netlfix’s corporate headquarters have to look out for their investors. And, if a show is costing more money to produce than its pulling in through viewership numbers, it’s going to get the axe. But that doesn’t mean we can’t lament the deaths of some of our favorite series.
Yes, this article is dedicated to the canceled Netflix series that should have never been canceled. And, just maybe, some Netflix executive out there will read this article and decide to reinstate your favorite canceled series. Probably not though.
1. Luke Cage
All true fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will remember the tragic day in 2018 when it was announced that there would be no third season of Luke Cage. While the show’s writers had already drafted out the first half of the third season and lead actor Mike Colter was still under contract, creative differences and an unfortunate lack of viewership broke this show up.
This show centered on the titular character, a former convict with superhuman strength and unbreakable skin that used his abilities to fight crime. This show touched on important issues of race, blaxploitation, and the thin line between hero and villain. It was so well-made that it even won a Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award. Unfortunately, Netflix decided that this show’s third season would never see the light of day.
2. Altered Carbon
Sci-fi fans around the world went absolutely crazy for Altered Carbon, which premiered on Netflix in February 2018. The show starred Anthony Mackie as a mercenary who has been brought back to life using alien technology to solve a murder mystery. What could possibly be more badass than that? This show was all about Mackie flying around futuristic cyberpunk cityscapes and dual-wielding pistols. And it was amazing.
Unfortunately, in 2020, it was announced that there would be no third season of Altered Carbon with Netflix citing “unexpected budget increases” and “uncertainty” over air dates as the reason. It would seem that Altered Carbon was just one more victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. The Society
The cancelation of the apocalyptic-style series The Society was like a giant middle finger to all fans of the show. First of all, the first season ended with some serious cliffhangers, leaving viewers to hold their breath until a second season came out. After the first season ended, though, fans were relieved once it was announced that The Society would be renewed for a second season. Unfortunately, Netflix retracted that statement and canceled the series for good shortly after.
The premise of this series was that a group of teenagers return to their hometown from a field trip to find that everyone else in their town has disappeared (and the world outside of their town has also, apparently, disappeared). This forces the characters to form their own society and come up with rules to help themselves survive with their limited resources. The Society was supremely eerie and intense and full of great characters. It’s a shame it was canceled.
4. The Irregulars
The character and universe of Sherlock Holmes has been well-covered in popular media from movies starring Robert Downey Jr. to series starring Benedict Cumberbatch. However, the Netflix series The Irregulars offered an incredibly unique perspective to the Sherlock Holmes canon. The show follows a group of raggedy teens living on the streets of London and working for Dr. Watson in trying to locate the great Sherlock Holmes. As the group continues their search, the supernatural forces at work in the city become increasingly evident.
Sadly, the series was canceled after just one season despite topping Netflix’s daily streaming chart in the U.S. and several other countries on the day of its debut. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend watching the first season of The Irregulars. It’s pretty frustrating to get invested in the show’s mystery with the knowledge that it’ll never be solved.
5. Iron Fist
If there’s one thing we know about Marvel, it’s that they’re good at churning out large quantities of content. So, it’s no surprise that a Marvel series is going to get canceled every now and again. However, that doesn’t make the cancelation of Iron Fist, which debuted in 2017, any less painful.
This show starred Finn Jones as Danny Rand (also known as Iron Fist), a martial arts expert with the ability to call upon superhuman powers. This certainly wasn’t Marvel’s greatest production of all time; however, the storyline was fairly interesting and the series featured quite a few amazing displays of martial arts. So, most fans were disappointed to hear that it would never see a third season.
6. Patriot Act
Premiering in 2018, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj was similar to other political talk shows like Last Week Tonight with John Oliver or The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. It was a great mix of useful information, irreverent comedy, and political criticism. And Hasan Minhaj was a quality host with a great delivery style and some hilarious quips.
Unfortunately, two years after the show was first released, it was announced that Patriot Act would be canceled. Like most other shows on this list, the viewership of this series didn’t justify the cost of production. Its cancelation might also have something to do with the fact that the last episode was an incredibly boring exposé on TurboTax. But that’s just speculation.
7. Teenage Bounty Hunters
The comedy-drama series Teenage Bounty Hunters was every bit as campy, quirky, and ridiculous as you might imagine. The show starred Maddie Phillips and Anjelica Bette Fellini as the Sterling sisters, a duo of teenage girls who dent their father’s pickup truck and turn to bounty hunting as a means of paying for the repairs.
Honestly, it came as no surprise that Teenage Bounty Hunters was canceled after just one season. It was pretty much impossible to take this series with any semblance of seriousness. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable. And, personally, I’m going to miss watching these two teenage girls track down criminals.
8. American Vandal
The concept behind American Vandal was incredibly timely and pretty ingenious. It was a mockumentary parodying shows like Making a Murderer and Serial. This show premiered in 2017 right around the time when the true crime genre was really starting to explode in popularity. The series had some hilarious characters and was filled with endearingly offbeat humor. It had all the makings of a great success.
Unfortunately, only a month after the second season of the show was unveiled, Netflix announced that it would not be renewing American Vandal for a third season. It seems as if the novelty of the show’s concept wore off by the time the second season was released and viewers were no longer interested in a mockumentary series about teenage crimes.