Sadly, there are so many cancelled Netflix shows out there that ended prematurely and without a satisfying conclusion. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not worth watching.
Quite the opposite actually.
Sure, not everything on Netflix is of quality and some things perhaps deserved to be cancelled. However, there have been so many shows that have been cancelled that were really solid and interesting in their storytelling, not to mention had strong fan bases.
But, for some reason or another, cancelled Netflix shows are the norm. The most frustrating thing about that is the fact that it’s almost impossible to know why they were cancelled.
Because Netflix shares very little about ratings and show performance, or even what their benchmarks are for what they consider to be a “success,” cancellations often come as a shock and at the most unexpected times.
Some shows are given months to prove their longevity and success. Others are only given weeks, if that.
But nevertheless, there’s an ever-growing collection of cancelled Netflix shows on the streaming service.
The largest misconception about these shows is the fact that they’re not worth watching. Some people refuse to watch cancelled shows, thinking that they’re not of a suitable quality. Most, however, feel that they’re a waste of time because they won’t have a gratifying ending. And it’ll hurt to have to live with that sort of dissatisfaction.
But for the shows listed below, the pain is completely worth it. These unceremoniously cancelled Netflix shows have fascinating stories, nuanced characters, and a whole lot of heart.
Should you watch these cancelled Netflix shows? The answer is absolutely and unequivocally yes.
These are some of the ones we can’t recommend enough.
Cancelled Netflix shows you should still watch
Premiering on January 1, 2020, and cancelled just over a month later, Spinning Out follows the lives of individuals in a close-knit ice skating community, some of which are battling (and simultaneously trying to hide) their mental health issues on a daily basis.
It’s hard not to invest in all of the characters and their successes, as well as feel sympathetic to their failures. And the romantic relationships are so addictive that they’ll keep you coming back for more. With such a great cast, it’s a real shame this show wasn’t given more of a chance.
“Another zombie TV show?” you may ask. Sure, yes. Daybreak takes place in a post-apocalyptic world with zombies everywhere. But that’s just the surface. Daybreak involves those story details, but it’s so much more than that.
It’s a story of boy-meets-girl and boy-searches-for-lost-love-during-the-apocalypse. It’s wicked smart and certainly up to date with its pop culture references (or at least up-to-date references as of air date), but more than that, it’s hilarious.
It’ll make you forget about your troubles for the short amount of time that you’re watching it. It’s a true travesty that this show had to join the list of cancelled Netflix shows because it had so much promise.
For all of its weirdness, there has never been a show like The OA before. Part sci-fi, part fantasy, and part drama (just to name a few of the dramas it plays in), this show centers on a woman who resurfaces after being missing for seven years and what she experienced in that time.
It explores faith and the supernatural as well as just what it means to be human. Brit Marling, who recently penned an op-ed in the New York Times on what it means to be a “strong female lead,” gives a nuanced and perplexing performance as “the OA” that has to be seen to be believed and appreciated.
It’s not a huge surprised that this show was cancelled (just because of how unusual it is), but it’s a fascinating piece of art that makes for an interesting binge.
Soundtrack is a beautiful show about life, love, loss, and grief. It’s first and foremost a moving character piece. There’s not a lot that “happens,” one would say, in terms of plot, but it’s not that kind of show.
It’s like the Casual Vacancy of television. There’s a lot of drama and interesting character interactions, but not a lot of plot or story occurs. But where there’s a lack of development on that front, there’s a whole lot of relationship development and character growth.
In fact, out of everything, the lip-syncing is probably the least interesting (and perhaps the most embarrassing) aspect of the show. While the ending isn’t all that satisfying, the series is worth the investment.
‘Tuca & Bertie’
Where BoJack Horseman gave us the story of a washed up celebrity, Tuca & Bertie provided a buddy comedy between two 30-year-old women who live in the same apartment building, are best friends, and lead very different lives.
Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong lend their voices to the two female bird leads as they navigate workplace sexual harassment, sobriety, and trying to sustain a fulfilling life even when you don’t know what that means for you.
Pile on meeting familial expectations, finding the confidence to speak up for what you want, and the 10 episodes will leave you wanting more. The guest cast includes Tessa Thompson, Tig Notaro, and Awkwafina as a breast. Yes, a breast.
This incredibly smart comedy is layered with visual gags in addition to the brilliant writing, but it also manages to be grounded in one particular bumpy patch in this friendship.
In the penultimate episode, “The Jelly Lakes,” Tuca and Bertie discover that for as much as they know about each other, adult friendships take on a lot of baggage. It’s a shame that Lisa Hanawalt’s comedy didn’t get more time to unpack it all.
Before Sex Education and I Am Not Okay With This and their spotlight on sex and sexuality in young teenagers, there was Everything Sucks!. Set in the nostalgic 1990s, this show explores the awkward exploration of sexuality and urges in young people who aren’t the cool kids.
Not only that, but Everything Sucks! ’s story focuses on the sexual awakening and the coming of age of a young woman who discovers she’s queer. What follows is a series of cringe-worthy (but completely relatable) moments of teenage angst and miscommunications set to some of the greatest 90s music of all time. The fact that this is a cancelled Netflix show is heartbreaking, but it’s still worth a watch.
(Most of) the Marvel Netflix shows
While some of the Marvel Netflix shows had more of a heads up that they were going to be cancelled after their most recent season than others, as is common with serialized storytelling, they all count here because each of these shows had so much more story to tell. And so much more story that audiences wanted to see.
But even with their premature cancellations, these shows (namely Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and The Punisher) have very tight storytelling and wonderful character arcs.
Sure, their endings will leave you wanting more, but that’s no reason to never start them in the first place. Even if you’re not usually a comics fan, you’re sure to find something you love in these shows.
We’ve talked at length about our love for Sense8 and how its cancellation was an incredible travesty. This show has so much heart and really restores faith in humanity.
It shines a light on the experiences of different people of different sexualities, cultures, and walks of life and brings them together in an accepting and loving way. It also has a really fascinating sci-fi concept and overarching mystery.
Sure, this may be the only show on the list to have been granted a wrap-up movie after it was cancelled, but there’s still so much world and characters to be explored. Sense8, perhaps more than any other cancelled Netflix show on this list, is worth your time and investment.