It seems the lesson Netflix teaches us is: don’t grow too attached to anything. To make space for new productions, the streaming service has become notorious for axing some of its best series.
So, should you invest your time in any of these cancelled Netflix Originals? We’ve scoured the yard and found shows that are still worth watching even though no more episodes are being made.
Looking for a good scare? Then enter the spooky town of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania.
Two teenage girls have been murdered. But this isn’t one of those typical crime dramas. The suspect is a boy who might just be a werewolf. With the assistance of a member of the town’s richest family, the lycanthrope must find the secrets at the heart of Hemlock Grove.
Running for three seasons between 2013 and 2015, the show received mixed reviews, but gained a dedicated fanbase similar to that of Twin Peaks. Famke Janssen (The Blacklist), Bill Skarsgård (Deadpool 2), and Dougray Scott (Mission: Impossible 2) head an impressive cast.
2. The Get Down
Sadly, this drama only lasted one season. Fortunately, that seems to have been the plan all along, meaning its 11 episodes gives you the complete story.
The Get Down is a nostalgia fix for those wanting to remember the birth of hip-hop and disco music; specifically, this is seen through the eyes of a group of teenagers in the Bronx, New York City. A time-jump splits the season in two, with the second half catching up with the teens a year after Episode Six.
Baz Luhrmann co-created the series, so fans of Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby will know what they’re getting into. Expect stunning cinematography, melodramatic romance, and a great score. Luhrmann planned the story for some 10 years, so this really is a labor of love.
Here’s another done-in-one-season narrative, albeit more hard-hitting. Seven Seconds is a real tour-de-force.
Peter Jablonkski (Beau Knapp), a white police officer, accidentally hits Brenton Butler (Daykwon Gaines), a 15-year-old African American, with his car. But when his colleagues arrive at the scene, they assume this is racially-motivated and initiate a cover-up.
Seven Seconds isn’t based on a real-life incident, but creator, Veena Sud was inspired by current events. This includes the tale of the real Brenton Butler, who was arrested for a murder he didn’t commit and whose confession was reportedly a result of physical abuse.
There was massive uproar when Netflix axed this science fiction series—so much so that a Sense8 finale was commissioned to appease fans and bring the narrative to a proper conclusion.
Sense8 examines a sudden psychic and emotional link between eight strangers across the world.
The show is created by sci-fi heavy-hitters, Lana and Lilly Wachowski (The Matrix; Cloud Atlas), and J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5; The Amazing Spider-Man comic). Like all the best sci-fi, the series uses its simple premise to look at global issues: politics, religion, and love. As such, it was praised for its representation of LGBTQ relationships in particular.
5. Marco Polo
When it comes to Netflix’s historical dramas, The Crown is the jewel in the… well, you get the idea. Nonetheless, the streaming service provides further adventure for anyone who thinks the past is a world worth exploring.
Netflix lavished a lot of cash on Marco Polo, yet it only lasted two seasons before the axe fell. Perhaps its slow pace put some viewers off. Still, it built a cult following and explores an era often overlooked.
You’ll know the titular hero’s journey on the Silk Road; this series looks at his time at the court of Kublai Khan (played superbly by Doctor Strange’s Benedict Wong).
Looking for a good laugh? The critically-acclaimed Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is arguably Netflix’s highest-profile comedy—yet its premise is remarkably grim.
Ellie Kemper stars as Schmidt, a 29-year-old who must readjust to life after being held captive for 15 years by cultist, Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (Jon Hamm). Despite this, her cheery personality coupled with the show’s quick wit makes for a joyful experience.
If you watch all four seasons your cheeks will ache from laughing at this, one of those Netflix shows worth binge-watching.
We go from a headline-grabbing comedy to a show that’s largely remained under the radar. Everything Sucks! didn’t gain a mass following, but its charm will certainly entice anyone who grew up in the 1990s.
This coming-of-age story doesn’t boast the most original concept. A group of teenagers attending the Boring High School (a fictional institution, located in the real-life town of Boring, Oregon) make a movie about their lives. Complications ensue.
Nevertheless, a likeable cast make this easy watching, and you’ll soon be gripped by their puppy-love antics.
As with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the basis of Lady Dynamite is serious. Based on the life of Maria Bamford, who plays a fictionalized version of herself, the series finds the comedian-turned-actor rebuilding her life after suffering from bipolar disorder.
Instead, the situation is mined for comedy value in a similar way to the best British comedies. This results in a feel-good surreal show that remains a solid catalyst for mental health discussions.
It came as quite a shock when Netflix cancelled Lady Dynamite after just two seasons. Then again, it’s always best to leave people wanting more.
9. The Killing
This isn’t a conventional Netflix Original. In fact, it began on AMC, but suffered two cancellations under the network.
It does, however, demonstrate Netflix’s appreciation of its audience, because the company picked up The Killing for a final fourth season to finish the story properly.
The gritty crime drama is based on the Danish series, but relocates the action to Seattle. Here, the body of a girl is found in a car registered to the campaign committee for mayoral candidate, Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell).
Once more, this isn’t your typical Netflix Original. It’s a great fusion between a crime drama and a black comedy. Lilyhammer premiered on the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s main station, NRK1. Its first episode was watched by a fifth of the country’s population, and was swiftly added to Netflix, giving audiences in North America exclusive access to the show.
Lilyhammer is essential viewing for anyone pining for The Sopranos.
Steven Van Zandt is Frank Tagliano, an American Mafia boss who testifies against his peers and is subsequently relocated to Lillehammer, Norway. Across three seasons, his past transgressions catch up with him and his relationships unravel—all in a gloriously deadpan fashion!
Delve Into Netflix’s Back Catalog
You might be aghast at how many series are axed by Netflix, especially when they show so much potential for more.
We’re not really complaining though. Some would say Netflix is right to cancel shows which haven’t gained a considerable following. Better that than eek out stories until they’re thoroughly dead. Regardless, Netflix is still worth the money.