Covid seriously messed up programming. Some shows made it through while others failed to finish seasons. As production ramps up once more, we finally get to watch the end of some shows. Sadly that means studio execs are once again trying to create the perfect schedules. News is beginning to break on which shows will return in the near future while other shows are banished the cancellation abyss. While some shows are obvious renew/cancel material, every year a batch of shows end up on the wrong side of the line. Once again Netflix failed their fantasy subscribers as they recently announced, albeit quietly, that their original show, Cursed, would be cancelled.
Netflix has churned out some monster original programming in the past two years. Success followed success until Covid sent the production world into chaos. We may never know what effect Covid had on which shows were cancelled, but once again Netflix has me stringing together a string of obscenities worthy of Yosemite Sam. The Fantasy world once again finds itself on the losing end of Netflix executives. Losing a smash reboot in the form of Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance pissed fans off, and rightfully so. The show garnered critical acclaim as well as a reenergized fandom, yet Netflix said no more.
Their original show, Cursed, may not have had 30 years of fans behind it, but the show proved its metal when it launched a year ago. The show jumped to the top of Netflix ratings for a few weeks, but the summer releases that year made it hard for anyone to stay on top. We do not know what metrics Netflix uses for their shows. Some shows receive a second season before the first even releases. Other shows like Dark Crystal and Cursed leave fans with baited breath awaiting the announcement on their second season. It almost seems like if Netflix does not renew a show within a couple weeks of release, you can kiss it goodbye.
Cursed Cancelled – Abandoning a Worthy Air
Cursed reinvented an age old genre by telling a prequel story to the Arthurian legend. It followed Nimwe, a Fae witch who would precede the tale of the famous Arthur and his round table. She could wield the mighty Excalibur before Arthur would take his turn. This show was not perfect by any means. It did, however, do an amazing job not only representing the well known era, but it gave us a whole new lore to complement the age old tale.
Leading the new cast was Knives Out alum, Katherine Langford. Langford brought a strength and grit to the role, but she also made Nimwe vulnerable and uncertain. Writers did an amazing job making the character warrior worthy, but overdoing it. Nimwe could destroy troops when wielding Excalibur, but they never turned her into some instant Kung Fu expert like many do. Speaking of writers, this project came from legendary writer Frank Miller who gave us legendary tales like Dark Knight Returns. This show succeeded in a genre that goes largely unrepresented right now. Not many fantasy series seem to survive for long these days, regardless of quality.
Losing shows like this make following new shows almost worthless. I fail to understand how a quality show like Cursed gets cancelled when terrible mockeries of the genre like Shannara Chronicles lasts for at least two. Beware of the next quality Fantasy series that lands on Netflix. No matter how good the acclaim might be, prepare for its one and done run.