Tuesday, August 16

Squid Game season 2? Are you season 4? Hey Netflix, stop putting your best shows on the floor

Last weekend I finally finished Your season 3, and while the credits progressed (in the frankly absurd ending) I was greeted with a message from Netflix “it’s official: another season is coming.” This short statement, which would probably elicit enthusiasm, almost made me cry. You see, Netflix’s You (starring Penn Badgley) has gotten more and more intricate and has reached a point where I roll my eyes with every new twist and scheme to keep it killing.

Of course not have for another 10 episodes of the outrageous thriller (which Tom’s Guide considers one of the best Netflix shows), I could quit and cut my losses now. Just leave the continuing misadventures of obsessive serial killer Joe Goldberg forever unknown. Unfortunately, that is not in my nature: I am a completist at heart. Once I start something, I absolutely need to finish it. Be it a TV series, a movie, a video game, a book or an article.

Unfortunately, that personality trait mixed with Netflix’s passion for running any series that gains traction with alarming regularity has proven to be a dangerous combination. Over the years, I’ve watched dozens of hours of mediocre Netflix content out of a sense of obligation rather than actual pleasure. I’m starting to think it’s time to break the cycle.

Milking never stops

(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix extending its biggest hits well beyond its expiration date is not a new phenomenon. The streamer’s first original series (Lilyhammer doesn’t count, debuted elsewhere first), House of Cards, ran over half a dozen seasons, roughly twice as long as the material warranted. It even persisted with an unnecessary sixth season when Kevin Spacey withdrew from the show after allegations of sexual misconduct.

Netflix’s upcoming original show Orange is the New Black also invaded seven seasons when it ended in 2019. An unnecessarily long run for a show that ended up essentially relegating its original lead to a supporting character just to keep things going. Cool a tactic that failed spectacularly.

As fans eagerly await Strangers Things 4, Netflix is ​​already hinting at a main Millie Bobby Brown spinoff, no thanks.

Also, don’t think Netflix has given up this habit in recent years. Take a recent big hit Squid as a good example. While I loved the first season, it always seemed like a unique show to me, even if the ending was quite ambiguous. It seemed that the show’s creator was at least initially hesitant to continue the story as well, saying he didn’t have a “well-developed plan for Squid game 2“In an interview with Variety. But of course, only a few weeks ago Netflix confirmed that Season 2 had the green light. Damn the author’s intention, Netflix has shareholders to please!

Perhaps more egregiously, Netflix has now taken things a step further than just producing shows past their expiration date. The streamer now seems somewhat obsessed with trying to create spinoff shows and features based on its biggest success stories. For example, as fans eagerly await Strangers Things 4, Netflix’s top commander Ted Sarandos is already hinting at a Millie Bobby Brown’s main split in the future no thanks.

(Image credit: Netflix via YouTube)

Also, the fantasy series The Wizard premieres its second season this month (on December 17 to be exact) but in the meantime, Netflix has already released an animated movie, Nightmare of the wolf, and has a series of prequels, Origins of blood, in a pipe to boot. I considered myself a Witcher fan, but it’s already starting to seem like content overload.

Netflix is ​​even worse when it comes to its popular reality TV content. The guilty pleasure series Selling Sunset has a Florida spin-off, Selling Tampa, launching this month and a second supporting show, Selling the OC, coming in 2022. I suppose this is a barrel Netflix will continue to draw from. until we get Selling. Detroit. To be fair, I’d probably see that.

Rise or fall is too binary a world

Interestingly, Netflix’s habit of milking its biggest hits stands in stark contrast to its ruthless selection of any show that doesn’t immediately find a substantial audience. This was shown again this week when the live-action adaptation of the anime Cowboy Bebop he was fired without grace less than a month after his debut, audience numbers weren’t strong, but it was one of Netflix’s most hyped offerings for 2021.

This year alone, Netflix has canceled 18 shows, 12 of which increased after just one season. That continues the trend from last year when the broadcaster canceled 20 shows. I’ve written before about how frustrating I find Netflix’s clear unwillingness to let a show find its place.

(Image credit: HBC)

Why is this so important? Many classic shows, like The Office (US) and Parks and Recreation, stumbled a bit on their first series while finding their groove, Netflix might remember that.

Couldn’t Netflix have taken some of the money it’s funneling into another unnecessary Witcher animated movie, or the Stranger Things spin-off that no one is asking for, and allowed promising shows like I’m Not Okay With This to get a second chance at find an audience?

I guess on Netflix, or you die a Jupiter’s legacy or live long enough to become an Orange is the New Black. The days of the three seasons and voila (goodbye GLOW) seem to be a thing of the past.

There must be a middle ground

I’m not stupid. I understand that Netflix is ​​looking to attract as many subscribers as possible, so naturally, if a show connects with the audience, it will roll over until that audience disappears. Similarly, if a project fails, it is not in Netflix’s interest to spend more money on an underperforming show in the hope that the problems will be fixed during its second year.

However, there must be a middle ground somewhere. It doesn’t have to be six seasons and a movie, or an almost instantaneous cancellation without seemingly mercy. I’m not suggesting that popular Netflix shows shouldn’t be long in length when the material warrants it, far from it. However, Netflix doesn’t need to jump between the two extremes as often as it currently does. It’s time for Netflix to learn that sometimes less is more when it comes to giving the public what they want.

Of course, there is a possibility that you are misinterpreting the room. Most fans of The Witcher and Stranger Things may want to consume every ounce of those possible worlds, but I definitely have a breaking point. Maybe I need to start recognizing when I have reached it and walk away instead of moving on on a mindless mission to see everything I start to the bitter end.


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