Gone are the days when the success of any show on television was measured by the length of its run. Thanks to streaming platforms like Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV+ and more, content mostly reigns supreme.
Succession, Barry, and Never Have I Ever are the most recent examples of such shows, understanding the beauty of concise storytelling and hopping out on a high.
‘Six seasons and a movie,’ the mantra churned forward by Abed in Community, applies to even fewer shows now. In the era of reboots, remixes, and spin-offs, a few exceptional series recognise the importance of leaving audiences wanting more, gracefully bowing out after just one season.
Sadly, not everyone can have this restraint. UnReal, Westworld, and Big Little Lies all had the perfect one-season runs but ended up overstaying their welcome, diluting the stories that got people adoring them as much as they did.
Here are five more shows on Netflix that should have followed suit and concluded after their debut season.
Five shows on Netflix that should have ended after one season:
13 Reasons Why
When the controversial 13 Reasons Why premiered, it was praised for trying to examine sensitive issues surrounding adolescence and mental health. However, subsequent seasons veered off into unnecessary and near-gratuitous territory, making one misstep after another, nullifying the impact of its debut season based on Jay Asher’s book.
Watch 13 Reasons Why on Netflix.
The Killing, an American crime drama, began with a captivating murder mystery that kept audiences on the edge of their seats. The first season, starring the phenomenal Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman in an almost anti-buddy cop narrative, was outstandingly good. The second season was decent but harrowing.
Unfortunately, subsequent seasons struggled to maintain the same level of intensity and became entangled in convoluted subplots. By concluding after the first season, The Killing could have retained its status as a riveting standalone crime thriller.
Watch The Killing on Netflix.
Squid Game, the South Korean sensation that took the world by storm, delivered a unique and gripping premise centred around death games and wealth inequality. Its inaugural season was a masterclass in tension and social commentary.
However, the popularity of the show has led to its renewal for a second season as well as a reality show spin-off that has already faced criticism and concern for missing the point of the show.
Watch Squid Game on Netflix.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
The reboot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina promised a fresh take on the beloved character. While the first season showcased potential, with its feminist tones, nostalgic feels, and campy goodness, its subsequent seasons struggled to maintain a consistent tone and narrative direction.
How to Get Away with Murder
How to Get Away with Murder, an intense legal drama, made a powerful impact with its debut season, delivering twists and turns that hooked viewers. However, as the series progressed, it became increasingly convoluted and struggled to maintain the same level of intrigue. After all, how many murders can you get away with, especially when your job is to be a lawyer?
By concluding after its first season, the show could have retained its reputation as a tightly woven legal thriller.