Update: Enough comments on social media convinced me to start up my subscription again because it likely wasn’t Netflix but Disney that canceled the show. Thankfully, starting or stopping is a push of the button.
Following the cancellation of Daredevil after four seasons on Netflix, I’ve cancelled my subscription, removed it from my devices, and renewed my subscription to Hulu. It’s going to be difficult going forward as the “Hollywood guy” here at NOQ Report, but I’ll manage. There’s Amazon. There are other ways to see shows. There’s the upcoming Disney+, which we can only hope has the wisdom to pick up Daredevil for a fourth season and beyond.
But there won’t be Netflix.
It’s not really out of protest, though it’s easy to see why that might be the case. I loved the show and until today I loved Netflix. But “protest” isn’t the right way to look at it. I’ve cancelled my subscription over a broken promise Netflix made to be different from legacy television, to deliver quality entertainment that they see through to its fruition. We’ve all had enough experiences with shows that pull us in and then fail to reach a resolution because of decisions by the studios or distributors. This is Deadwood. It’s Freaks and Geeks. It’s Firefly.
Netflix was supposed to be different. They were supposed to be the shining light that turned the entertainment industry upside down by delivering a fan-focused approach to television instead of one purely driven by profits. Yes, Daredevil was expensive to make, clocking in around $40 million per season. No, the numbers weren’t as good as they were the first two seasons. But when you have something that’s critically acclaimed with a track-record of past success, you double down. You don’t fold. You make the season (even if it’s the last). You promote the crap out of it. You tell fans if they want to see more, they better start telling their friends.
That’s the beauty of social media. We have the power to spread the word better than ever before. If a show needed to be seen, we can help get the eyeballs.
Instead, Netflix took the traditional road. They made a business decision based purely on numbers instead of being a different type of entertainment company. They didn’t trust the fans. This is why the fans can no longer trust them.
When they decided to pull the plug on House of Cards, they did so by finishing up the story. They could have justifiably called it quits after the outcry about star Kevin Spacey’s sexual misconduct, but they finished it (and him) off by seeing it all through to the end. Admittedly, I stopped watching the show midway through the fifth season even before the Spacey controversy, but I’m still glad they finished it off. That made them different. It proved they, like their subscribers, like conclusions.
For now, there will be no conclusion to Daredevil.
They had something fresh and distinct with Daredevil. That’s why I assumed it would have a different fate than Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
I’m late to the game. For the last few years, everyone has told me I should be watching the Marvel shows on Netflix, but my attempts to watch Luke Cage and The Iron Fist ended after 3 episodes and 20 minutes, respectively. It appears that the third time was a charm after starting Daredevil two weeks ago.
It’s 1:24 in the morning and I just finished season three after binging the first two seasons plus a The Defenders. I normally watch three or four episodes a night, but the final six episodes were so enthralling I had to brew some espresso so I could finish it off.
I really thought Netflix was different. Call me naive, but I always assumed they’d break the mold of legacy television by finishing what they started. Tomorrow I was going to write my #RenewDaredevil story, but they made that moot. So be it. Bye.