At this point, Netflix is infamous for their cancellations. But something about the high-profile cancellation of Warrior Nun just feels unique.
Warrior Nun is a fan favorite show, a loose adaption of the independent comic “Warrior Nun Areala.” The series has kick-ass nuns and supernatural powers, but what singles it out in a sea of YA TV offerings is the central pairing. The cast is a diverse international group of actors. (Keep an eye on Alba Baptista and Kristina Tonteri-Young. They are set for big things.)
Words cannot express the chemistry these two generate in their scenes and fans ate it up. There is a lot of talk about the social media engagement that shows can generate, but the content generation from this show’s first season was also remarkable.
The fan videos just showing lingering looks between the pair were everywhere and shared widely. It was clear to anyone who cared to look that Netflix had a hit on its hands.
Warrior Nun is the best audience scored season of a Netflix show ever according to Rotten Tomatoes. As a rule, I dislike scoring shows, but it feels hard to argue against that kind of sentiment. Though it is easy for me to say that ratings that Netflix has access to don’t matter compared to social media reach. With the explosion of streaming options in recent years, I understand why they are nervous.
Netflix and the LGBTQ+ Community
These are some of the most highly-rated Netflix originals with major LGBTQ+ representation:
- First Kill
- Orange is the New Black
Shows like Heartstopper have been praised for representation, but it is still a new show. The main complaint that comes time and time again with Netflix is its tendency to cancel shows after two seasons. In the case of Warrior Nun, the larger-than-normal break between the two seasons, as well as the late nature of the renewal should have affected engagement when the show finally returned. The fact that things were the opposite makes the cancellation even more upsetting.
The Streaming War
Things have been tough for Netflix recently, but they have been fighting back. As soon as the mass exodus of properties from Netflix started, the streamer stepped up its original content. Their year of releasing a movie a week was an incredible undertaking and had something for everyone.
This isn’t just a pile-on for Netflix though. While a lot of the shows aimed at younger audiences with LGBTQ+ characters don’t last more than two seasons, that is two more than other networks can easily point to.
A Potential Solution
Netflix wants to set itself apart as a streamer, to be more than just the first. By highlighting and supporting its LGBTQ+ friendly content, it can set itself apart in a way that the other streamers with their broadcast TV roots will be slow to follow.
Imagine a streaming service that offered more seasons First Kill, Warrior Nun, Heartstopper and the like. The marketing quite literally does itself with heavy investment from the fandom in the forms of tweets, YouTube videos, Tiktoks, memes and more. It gives Netflix back a unique selling point in a time where customers have to make hard choices with dwindling income.