Netflix is a go-to streaming service for many LGBTQ+ people, offering a category dedicated to queer cinema and television. While the streamer has helped to fill some of the gaps in mainstream media, providing viewers with shows such as Heartstopper and Sex Education, which feature prominent LGBTQ+ characters, they have also been responsible for cancelling a significant handful of queer shows.
2022’s First Kill, a lesbian vampire series starring Sarah Catherine Hook and Imani Lewis, was cancelled after the release of its first season, despite building up a substantial following of queer women.
According to Netflix, the show was cancelled due to “low viewership”, which “didn’t warrant the price tag of making a second season.” Yet, First Kill totalled 30 million watched hours in its first three days, whereas the explosively popular Netflix-favourite Heartstopper only achieved 14.5 million hours in its first few days.
Next, is Modern Family writer Jeffrey Richman’s romantic comedy series Uncoupled, which follows a newly-single gay middle-aged man, played by Neil Patrick Harris. Despite one well-received season, the show has not been renewed for another. Furthermore, the animated queer spy series Q-Force was cancelled after one season last year. However, the show received largely negative reviews, criticised for portraying queerness as overwhelmingly white and cisgender.
However, Netflix decided to cancel two shows that were immensely popular amongst young people: I Am Not Okay With This and Atypical. The former features a teenage girl who must come to terms with her superpowers, social awkwardness and crush on her best friend. The show was axed due to “circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
As for Atypical, the show was cancelled after four seasons. Not only did Atypical prioritise an autistic protagonist, but it also dedicated a significant amount of time to queer relationships and gender fluidity. Although COVID-19 aided the show’s cancellation, it could’ve easily run for one more season.