Netflix keeps making me angry.
The company has canceled a Netflix Original show that I love seemingly every month of 2019. It stings every time, but it hurts even more when the shows earned massive critical acclaim and seemed like surefire candidates for renewal. I never would have guessed Netflix would cancel “Tuca & Bertie” ― a show I consider one of the very best shows of the year ― and so the shock of the cancellation hit hard.
I kind of get that Netflix doesn’t have unlimited money and that it’s not cheap to make a show. But the company also plans to spend about $15 billion on original content in 2019, according to Variety. Surely with that amount of money, Netflix could find a way to not cancel a few of the best shows on the entire service.
Below are five Netflix Original shows that deserved to stick around (including “Tuca & Bertie”). You can still watch the previously debuted episodes on Netflix, but the shows ultimately have storylines that end abruptly. This article will not bring these shows back from the dead, but at least it feels a bit cathartic to yell, “For shame, Netflix!”
Sum-up: Two best friends, Tuca and Bertie, live in the same building in a city of anthropomorphic birds and other animals. As they age into adulthood, the duo must figure out which habits of youth should die and who they truly want to be in the world.
Stars: Tiffany Haddish, Steven Yeun and Ali Wong
Why the cancellation especially hurts: Lisa Hanawalt created this show, using the same aesthetic she lends to the massive Netflix hit “BoJack Horseman.” The latter show struggled to find a massive audience in the first season, but Netflix stuck with the show and let it grow into a hit. It’s beyond me why, in this case, Netflix would cancel a critically beloved show so soon, especially from a creator that they’re indebted to for a still-running hit.
Sum-up: A group of people figures out how to jump between dimensions, but one of them asserts power and traps the others. Outside of this group, a few other ragtag teams try to solve various mysteries that lead them to the dimension jumpers in San Francisco. Also, there’s a telepathic octopus.
Stars: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Brit Marling, Phyllis Smith and Sharon Van Etten
Why the cancellation especially hurts: The first season took many creative swings that didn’t hit and the show ultimately didn’t deserve much critical attention. The second season is a television marvel, though. With a rebooted directorial style reminiscent of “Twin Peaks: The Return” and with much stronger character-based story work, Season 2 became an unlikely must-watch. The new episodes are full of strange moments that reward viewers willing to go through one of the most bizarre TV journeys of the year. It’s a shame that Netflix cut the show off right after “The OA” figured itself out and became such a unique viewing experience.
Sum-up: Now a couple of decades out from their dorm days, friends from (you guessed it) college still hang out together in New York City. Even in their 40s, the friends keep stumbling through relationships and get caught in all sorts of sophomoric hijinks.
Stars: Billy Eichner, Keegan-Michael Key, Annie Parisse, Fred Savage and Cobie Smulders
Why the cancellation especially hurts: Much like “The OA,” the first season didn’t really work. But the show returned for its second season greatly improved. The writers clearly realized “Friends From College” should pivot toward a script style with as many jokes as possible and the A-list cast of comedic actors expertly perform the various screwball set-pieces of the second season. This is yet another show that got punished right after figuring itself out.
Sum-up: A sitcom that focuses on a Cuban-American family living in Los Angeles. Within the sitcom format of constant, often groan-worthy jokes, the show tackles weighty topics such as immigration, sexuality, mental health and money. This is also an adaptation of the original sitcom from the 1970s and 1980s. Netflix made a funny teaser video with the new cast playing the former character roles in a parody of a title sequence. You can watch that beneath the trailer below.
Why the cancellation especially hurts: So this one actually has a happy ending ― Pop TV (the station that has aired “Schitt’s Creek” in the United States) picked up the show for a fourth season. So “One Day at a Time” actually will return, just not on Netflix. That said, viewers may not go through the annoyance of tracking down how to watch the new episodes outside of the Netflix platform.
And that parody title sequence:
Sum-up: A superhero show in the Marvel universe about an alcoholic private detective working in New York City. The detective has superhuman physical strength, but she must battle with various demons of the mind, including a villain that can literally get inside her head and the more internal struggle of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Why the cancellation especially hurts: Netflix canceled all of its Marvel shows earlier this year, but “Jessica Jones” deserved to stick around the most. While the other Marvel shows often just spent their runtimes featuring action sequence after action sequence, “Jessica Jones” had much more to say. With the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies being stakes-less, schlock vehicles to showcase CGI and childhood wish-fulfillment, “Jessica Jones” aimed and often succeeded in using the superhero narrative to comment on the human condition.