5 Great Shows Netflix Shouldn’t Have Canceled This Year

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!”

And if you want to stay informed on everything joining Netflix on a weekly basis (i.e., the content Netflix didn’t cancel yet), subscribe to the Streamline newsletter.

The first and only season of "Tuca & Bertie."

The first and only season of “Tuca & Bertie.”

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.

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Brit Marling in "The OA."

Brit Marling in “The OA.”

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.

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Billy Eichner, Fred Savage and Keegan-Michael Key in "Friends From College."

Billy Eichner, Fred Savage and Keegan-Michael Key in “Friends From College.”

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.

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