As another year comes to a close we’re looking back at the many Netflix shows we lost during 2023, either because they came to an end, or because the streaming service canceled it. Some of those cancellations were particularly painful, I’m still mourning the loss of 1899 and what could have been had the dark mystery show gotten the chance to continue, but others, like the ones featured on this list, had cancellation spelled out from the beginning.
In 2023, Netflix canceled over 20 shows, among them Lockwood & Co., Shadow and Bone, Wellmania, Uncoupled, and more. And while Uncoupled got saved from cancellation by Showtime, the others are still very much six feet under.
In this day and age, you never know what’s going to happen next, so it’s possible some of the series axed by Netflix in 2023 will get another day in the limelight, but for now we’re taking a look back at five cancellations that didn’t bother us this year.
Given the way the first season of Sex/Life ended, it made sense to bring the show back for a second season, but man did it jump the shark. Season 2 had some truly wild storylines and fans weren’t crazy about the fact it took Billie and Brad so long to finally get together officially.
However, they did get their happy ending with a marriage and even another baby on the way, you couldn’t wrap it all up much better than that. There wasn’t much direction for it to move narratively in a third season, so it’s probably for the best that it ended when it did.
Man vs. Bee
You’d be forgiven for not even knowing what the 2022 British comedy series Man vs. Bee is considering it didn’t make much of a splash on Netflix despite starring Rowan Atkinson. Spread across nine episodes, Man vs. Bee centers on a wacky battle of the wits between a man housesitting at a mansion and one very clever bee.
The show received decent reviews from critics, but was not renewed for an additional season, which works just fine since this is a simple premise that doesn’t need to be stretched out across additional episodes.
Shadow and Bone
As controversial as this pick might be, Shadow and Bone’s cancellation wasn’t out of the blue. The low viewership numbers paired with the month’s long wait between season 2’s release and Netflix’s eventual cancellation announcement was the writing on the wall. Regardless, just because we’re not particularly sad it ended doesn’t mean we’re glad. We wanted this show and this magical story to succeed.
However, in the same breath, the second season did do that magical story a great disservice by cutting a lot of the Shadow and Bone books’ events, wrapping up the last two in the trilogy by the end of the season. Yes, some things that were cut or changed were necessary, but others made the season feel rushed. And putting such a strong focus on the Crows just seemed to communicate that the powers that be wanted to hurry up and get to that potential Six of Crows spinoff. It’s a bummer, but one we can forgive with Leigh Bargudo’s other projects in the works.
Farzar is another entry on this list you’d be forgiven for missing because it came and went with little fanfare, as did the next entry, Agent Elvis. Netflix is still struggling to figure out its comedy wing, especially when it comes to adult animation. Outside of Big Mouth, not many animated series have really hit their stride on Netflix.
The brilliance of Bojack Horseman is an anomaly at this point since it hasn’t really been replicated since and the streamer dropped the ball with Tuca & Bertie. Farzar was never going to my cup of tea due to its singular focus on gross-out and bathroom humor, but if you liked Brickleberry and Paradise PD, you might be mourning the loss of this one since it came from the same creators.
Despite boasting an A-lister in Matthew McConaughey, Agent Elvis debuted to middling reviews and poor viewership numbers. The animated comedy created by Priscilla Presley and John Eddie followed a fictionalized version of the King of Rock ‘n Roll as he moonlighted as a secret agent working for the United States government.
The series wasn’t even deemed important enough to get its own cancellation announcement as it was added into the news that included Farzar and Glamorous, other one-and-done cancellations that came and went this year.
Which canceled Netflix shows are you not mourning?