Wave of cancellations leaves critics, creatives, consumers concerned
March 4, 2019
When the show you watch religiously gets canceled, it is almost as if you lose an important part of yourself, and suddenly you don’t know how to cope with this loss. To the big disappointment of many fans and critics, Netflix continues to cancel favorites. At the end of February, “Jessica Jones,” “The Punisher” and “Friends From College” faced the chopping block. It left many people wondering what the reason is behind Netflix ending shows, and which show is next.
The five-year partnership between Marvel and Netflix has come to an end. Netflix announced on Feb. 18 that the two remaining Marvel dramas would be canceled — “The Punisher” and “Jessica Jones.” “Daredevil” was the first of live-action superhero TV show launched on the streaming service, followed by “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage” and “Iron Fist.”Fans and critics overwhelmingly loved and supported these shows. It is not surprising that it left Marvel fans in tears when they found out that Netflix decided to cancel these shows. The cancellations even promoted hip hop artist Eminem to protest on Twitter on Feb. 20.
“DEAR @NETFLIX, REGARDING YOUR CANCELLATION OF THE PUNISHER, YOU ARE BLOWING IT!! SINCERELY, MARSHALL,” he tweeted.
The cancellation of “Friends from College” closely followed the decision—and fans began to worry that their favorite show could be next. “Friends from College” was canceled within weeks of the release of season two. Show co-creator Nicholas Stoller announced on Twitter that the Netflix comedy is canceled.
“Friends from College will not be returning for a third season,” Stoller wrote. “Thanks to everyone who watched it. Happy Presidents’ Day!”
Many fans felt heartbroken after hearing such sad news, and they didn’t understand exactly why this was happening and what caused Netflix to make such a decision.
“Netflix canceled a lot of shows, even the good ones,” said Marlon Vargas, Loyola student. “‘Friends from College’ was such a great show. I really enjoyed it, and it makes me so angry that I won’t be able to watch it anymore on Netflix.”
In response to their recent cancellations of shows and confusions among fans, Netflix posted a statement on Twitter: “Cancelling shows is always painful – but it’s also a very careful, case-by-case decision.”
According to Forbes, Netflix wants to be the modern-day equivalent of Walt Disney Animation or the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Having exclusive movies and television shows is an important strategy for services like Netflix; the streaming industry grows and becomes increasingly competitive. By the end of 2019, Disney+ will become available to consumers, adding yet another subscription-based service for viewers to invest in. The new service will feature content from “Star Wars” and Marvel, as well as other Disney movies.
“Like any media corporation, Netflix is controlled by its bottom line — money,” said Paul Booth, Digital Communication and Media Arts professor at DePaul. “So, I would imagine that Netflix has decided that it’s more profitable to use their money to create or purchase different shows than to continue making some shows. It’s always a financial decision.”
A service like Netflix found initial value for consumers because of originals like “House of Cards,” “Daredevil” and “Orange Is the New Black.” People were able to find any show or movie they wanted because Netflix provided a huge variety to choose from. Right now, with the recent cancellations, many individuals are left with few options, and it makes them wonder whether it is still worth it to have an account.
“I am genuinely curious to see the direction the company goes in, because they lose so many subscribers for high prices and not quality content,” said Solana Oliver, DePaul junior and Netflix subscriber. “They are supposed to be providing shows for people to watch, and they seem to have lost what kind of service they are with all their original content.”
If a show doesn’t get as many viewers, it won’t bring as much money to Netflix, because it makes revenue directly from viewers who pay to access its content.
“Netflix’s business model is different than traditional television, because it doesn’t rely on advertisers,” Booth said. “So, they need to make sure they retain their current customers by always offering something they want to watch and trying to attract new customers by producing content that would be enticing.”