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6 TV shows that should have been cancelled this year — sorry

Zac Ntim   

6 TV shows that should have been cancelled this year — sorry
Penn Badgley, Allison McRoberts, and Lee Jung-jae.Netflix, AMC.
  • Audiences enjoyed another strong year of television in 2021.
  • However, there was once again a collection of TV shows that overstayed their welcome onscreen.

'Squid Game' (Netflix) — Season one

Lee Jung-Jae in "Squid Game."      Netflix

"Squid Game" debuted on Netflix on September 17. By November, the streamer announced that the clever Korean drama about the ultra-violent pervasiveness of capitalism had become its most-watched series ever. According to Netflix, the show was the top-viewed program in 94 countries and pulled in 1.65 billion hours of viewing in the 28 days following its premiere.

If the statisticians at Netflix are to be trusted, these viewing figures are groundbreaking. These numbers do not signal, however, that a second season of "Squid Game" is a good idea.

The show's narrative was tight and shaped around a hyper-specific group of characters, which cannot be successfully replicated or transported. The show's thrills and shocks were successful because they were final.

"I don't have well-developed plans for 'Squid Game 2.' It is quite tiring just thinking about it," Hwang Dong-hyuk, the show's writer and creator told Variety in September.

Sometimes, perhaps, it might be best not to create a franchise of every successful production? In early November, Netflix announced that "Squid Game" will return for a second season, and to add insult to injury, Hwang told a Korean broadcaster in December that a third season was already being discussed.

'You' (Netflix) — Season three

Penn Badgley and Victoria Pedretti in "You."      Netflix

Penn Badgley's campy caper "You" is no longer interesting or shocking because the show's dramatic stakes have been drastically lowered by the fact that there are no consequences to any of the character's actions. Badgley's menacing creep Joe Goldberg can commit a savage murder in broad daylight, but he'll always find a crafty way to hide his mess.

It's hard to care about narrative arcs when you know all will be resolved in the end. As a result, season three of "You" plodded along without offering anything new. The show is stale goods. However, thanks to Netflix's shrewd social media marketing (and the help of Cardi B,) Badgley and his co-stars still managed to make headlines.

"You" was renewed for a fourth season by Netflix in October.

'Tiger King' (Netflix) — Season 2

Joe Exotic in "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness."      Netflix

I was informed that Netflix had produced and intended to release a second edition of "Tiger King" by an email correspondence I received on November 1 from Carole Baskin, one of the show's stars, with the subject line "Baskin VS Royal Goode Productions & Netflix." Within the body of the email, Baskin outlined the legal grounds by which she would be suing Netflix for the publication of a second season of "Tiger King."

According to IMDb, the second season of the show aired on Wednesday 17th November. I am a journalist who writes and thinks about television and cinema constantly, yet I have not heard or seen anything about "Tiger King" season two since Baskin's email. Free the tigers and the lions, keep them safe and healthy, but it is time to put Netflix's "Tiger King" to rest.

'Impeachment: American Crime Story' (FX) — Season three

Beanie Feldstein in "Impeachment: American Crime Story."      Kurt Iswarienko/FX

The third season of Ryan Murphy's anthology series "Impeachment: American Crime Story" followed the impeachment of former president Bill Clinton (played by Clive Owen) and the intense scrutiny then-24-year-old Monica Lewinsky (played by Beanie Feldstein) faced after the public found out about her 18-month-long affair with him.

The events of Lewinsky and Clinton's relationship are revealed on the show across a collection of flashback sequences that are difficult to follow or remember. Despite the show's formal complexities, the main goal of "Impeachment" is always clear: the show is attempting to depict how American life has been shaped by a collection of power-hungry criminals.

Unfortunately, this was the show's exact function during its first two seasons. After 10 long and dreary episodes, viewers are left with one question: why exactly was this made?

FX has yet to announce the fate of "American Crime Story."

'Bridgerton' (Netflix) — Season one

Anthony Bridgerton on Netflix's "Bridgerton."      Netflix

In April, Netflix announced that Regé-Jean Page, the star of its hit Regency-era show "Bridgerton," would not appear on the show's upcoming second season.

"We'll miss Simon's presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family. Daphne will remain a devoted wife and sister, helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season and what it has to offer – more intrigue and romance than my readers may be able to bear," a note from Netflix about Page's exit read at the time.

"Bridgerton" is a fine show with the scope and range to pull off several interesting editions but not without Regé-Jean Page. He is the show's spark, and sadly, without him, there isn't much that "Bridgerton" can offer that audiences haven't seen before.

The Page-less second season of "Bridgerton" is set to air in March 2022.

'Kevin Can F**k Himself' (AMC) — Season one

Annie Murphy as Allison McRoberts in "Kevin Can F**K Himself."      AMC

AMC's ambitious dark-comedy series "Kevin Can F**K Himself," which stars "Schitt's Creek" breakout Annie Murphy, swings between two narrative structures. First, the show functions as a traditional multi-camera TV sitcom where Allison McRoberts (Murphy), a stereotypically smart and beautiful sitcom wife, is married to Kevin, a lazy, self-centered man-child who is clearly punching above his weight.

But when Allison walks out of the staged living room, the show's entire production switches into a more contemporary crime caper where Allison teams up with neighbor Patty O'Connor to escape the confines of her life and take control of her fate.

The set-up to "Kevin Can F**K Himself" is a clever meditation on gender in TV sitcoms; however, the show itself is not very interesting. Despite Murphy's efforts, the show's first season is a dull drag.

In November, AMC announced that "Kevin Can F**K Himself" will end after a second season set to air in 2022.


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