'Sense8' Gets Canceled Days After 'The Get Down' Yet 'Iron Fist' Season 2 Is Still En Route?

sense8 guns on netflix
The Wachowskis haven't entirely abandoned action in Netflix Original Series Sense8. Netflix

I’ve already written in great detail about my disappointment in Netflix’s decision to prematurely pull the plug on The Get Down , a magnificent show that felt almost too magical and revolutionary to exist. Turns out I was right; The Get Down was canceled before it even hit one full season. But wait, there’s more: Sense8 is cancelled now too. Happy Pride!

“After 23 episodes, 16 cities and 13 countries, the story of the Sense8 cluster is coming to an end,” Cindy Holland, Netflix VP original content, said in a press statement. “It is everything we and the fans dreamed it would be: bold, emotional, stunning, kick ass, and outright unforgettable. Never has there been a more truly global show with an equally diverse and international cast and crew, which is only mirrored by the connected community of deeply passionate fans all around the world.  We thank Lana, Lilly, Joe and Grant (Hill) for their vision, and the entire cast and crew for their craftsmanship and commitment.”

At least Sense8 was given the dignity of a second season before being ignominiously canceled, but why? Netflix doesn’t share ratings, so we don’t have any objective data before us to help us understand Netflix’s decision. But to lose a deeply racially diverse, sex-positive show like Sense8 on the heels of losing another racially diverse show spotlighting an ignored and erased time, place and people makes me wonder: wyd, Netflix?

When it came to The Get Down , Executive Producer Baz Luhrmann stated Season 2 was contingent upon his personal continued involvement as showrunner, an involvement he could no longer guarantee with his preexisting film directing contract with Sony. However, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings stated at Code Conference yesterday: 

“They [ Marco Polo and The Get Down ] were a small percentage, like one percent of the total budget for original content. So they’re big in absolute dollars, no question, but not as a percentage,” said Hastings. “If anything, what I push our content team on is you should have more things that don’t work out. You gotta get more aggressive. The drive towards conformity as you grow as a company is very substantial.”

“Things that don’t work out” are shows that get cancelled, so it seems Netflix’s drive for original series has pivoted: rather than renew everything aggressively, Netflix’s CEO appears to be cutting things more aggressively. So how big does a show have to be for Netflix not to cut it loose? We don’t know. But it seems that Netflix may no longer be the home of shows that are critically well received but fail to find widespread audience support.

Instead, anything a bunch of people love loudly enough will get renewed, despite anything critics have to say about it. Probably the bitterest pill to swallow in all this mess? That means that we are very, very likely to see Iron Fist Season 2. While the critical reception was lukewarm to ice-cold, enough people glued their eyeballs to the screen to watch Finn Jones fumble his way through 56-cut fight scenes that a Season 2 is insultingly inevitable.

(It’s worth noting that Iron Fist is part of Marvel’s TV universe and The Defenders , starring all the leads from the Marvel Netflix shows, is coming up soon, making the inevitable even more concrete. Is that what will save at-risk Netflix shows? Crossover appeal? The Sense8 Get Down? Polo Grove? )


It's been real, Netflix. Photo: VIA: Netflix

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