Netflix renewed its license on Friends earlier this month after overwhelming fan pressure, leaving many other fandoms feeling jilted.
Netflix is often transparent with its renewals, cancellations and pick-ups in the headlines. This leaves a lot of room for fans to nitpick the company's decisions, drawing correlations where there might not necessarily be any.
This was never more clear than in the case of Friends, a show that many people watch, re-watch and re-watch again. When Netflix announced that the show was leaving its catalog, the response was so great and so fast that it temporarily took over social media and online petition sites.
listen if any of my favorite Netflx shows get cancelled im blaming all you backwards ass yeehaw fucks who cried about Friends so hard that netflix had to dish out $100 million just to appease your tasteless demands— Abby Govindan (@abbygov) December 6, 2018
Whether it was related to fan response or not, Netflix renewed its license on Friends less than three days later. According to The New York Times, Netflix paid $100 million to license the show until the end of 2019, where it used to pay $30,000 per year to host it.
This makes it hard to deny that fan outcry influences the decisions behind the scenes at Netflix. However, after the Friends debacle, many fans are now feeling overlooked. At any given time, countless petitions and posts are directed to Netflix, begging it to keep, revive or renew shows it has canceled.
What really happens at Netflix is hard to say. The company is huge, and different decisions may not be as related as fans think. In addition, the streaming giant has more data than any TV network or cable outlet it could dream of. It knows who watched what, when, and where, yet unlike Nielsen ratings, it does not publish this information.
This means that Netflix knows far better than we do where its money comes from, and which investments are worth it overall. Still, from the outside, it often looks like a giant, faceless conglomerate working to sabotage great series while raising up others.
With the shockingly expensive renewal of Friends, more fans than ever have come out of the wood work to hurl their pleas at Netflix. Here are a few series that Netflix could have brought back instead of renewing its license on Friends.
Netflix cancelled some of our favourite Marvel Netflix Originals, starting with Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and finally Daredevil. Yet are perfectly fine spending 100mil saving a show that hasn’t stopped airing since the 90s? I think all stans can say that, THIS AINT IT
xoxo-? pic.twitter.com/gqRfb31mCd— ??? ?????? ???? (@MCUGossipGirl) December 7, 2018
The most prominent grudge against Netflix right now is over Daredevil. The super hero series just had a momentous third season, which many felt was its best yet. However, that did not stop Netflix from canceling the series a few weeks later.
In reality, Daredevil is likely joining Luke Cage and Iron Fist in cancellation because Marvel's parent company, Disney, is developing its own proprietary streaming app. However, that did not stop fans from lashing out at other shows.
In addition to outrage over the Friends deal Daredevil fans took aim at Narcos as well. Last week, Netflix announced that it was renewing Narcos: Mexico. Many fans were excited about the news, but single-minded Daredevil fans could only relate it to their own favorite show.
"Netflix cancelled Luke Cage and Iron Fist but we get another season of Narcos," one fan wrote exasperatedly.
Netflix canceled Sense8 because it was "too expensive to make" but renewed Friends for one more year for $100 million. Ya'll need to move on from outdated 90s humor and get with the times— Grandma Josephine (@joseisphine) December 7, 2018
Sense8 fans may be the most persistent in their disdain for Netflix. The groundbreaking series was canceled back in June of 2017. After countless petitions and campaigns, Netflix agreed to produce a feature-length special attempting to wrap up the show.
Even after all that, fans are not satisfied. To this day, they call on the streaming service to bring the show back. Now, with the Friends renewal, many are shocked that their favorite sci-fi thriller could not make it a few more seasons.
"Netflix canceled Sense8 because it was 'too expensive to make' but renewed Friends for one more year for $100 million," one fan noted. "Ya'll (sic) need to move on from outdated 90s humor and get with the times."
I like Friends but I’m mad Netflix choose to spoil money in it instead of investing money on tv show like everything sucks and cancelling them— Camille Di Bartolo (@cosmic_mia) December 9, 2018
Netflix dropped its '90s teen culture parody Everything Sucks! after just one season. In that time, it had accrued a pretty vocal fanbase, though clearly not the kind that Netflix wanted. As far as fans are concerned, the show was worth another shot, especially if Netflix had millions lying around for the Friends license.
"I like Friends but I’m mad Netflix choose to spoil money in it instead of investing money on tv show like everything sucks and cancelling them," one fan lamented.
So Netflix paid 100 Million Dollars to keep “Friends” but cancelled “The Get Down” because it was too expensive...... pic.twitter.com/OGyZN0lhvN— YIN-SAMA. (@YinNJuice) December 6, 2018
Considering the criticism of Friends' lack of diversity, many fans brought up The Get Down as a possible alternative. The beloved show was canceled after one season, with Netflix claiming it was "too expensive." To fans, this was simply too ironic.
The fact that Netflix cancelled Haters Back Off after 2 seasons but spent $100 million to keep Friends makes me irrationally angry— kevin (@dweeknds) December 8, 2018
Netflix picked up a series called Haters Back Off, based on YouTube character Miranda Sings, for two seasons. The show was canceled despite its cult following, and the renewal of Friends left a lot of those fans feeling jilted.
"The fact that Netflix cancelled Haters Back Off after 2 seasons but spent $100 million to keep Friends makes me irrationally angry."
When you hear that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is ending pic.twitter.com/y4qLec4l3g— Lauren✨ (@LaurenRumbles) December 9, 2018
Many were surprised when Netflix canceled Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt earlier this year. While the show made it all the way to season 4, that still seemed a little short for a Tina Fey-produced instant classic with an all-star cast. To these fans, the renewal of an old sitcom so soon after the cancellation of another was a huge blow.
netflix has the nerve to spend that much money to keep friends but cancels american vandal after two seasons— actual trash (@bowtieharreh) December 5, 2018
"Netflix has the nerve to spend that much money to keep Friends but cancels American Vandal after two seasons," one fan marveled last week.
The satirical docu-series was a fan favorite, and had just delivered a second season that many were afraid would not live up to the first. Before it could really celebrate, however, Netflix canceled the series.
LETS CANCEL ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK BUT SPEND 100 MIL TO KEEP RE RUNS OF FRIENDS ON , FUCK NETFLIX.— hailee (@haileerenee00) December 10, 2018
Even Orange is The New Black fans came for Netflix after the Friends announcement. The show ran for six seasons and, while many were sad to see it go, they also admitted that it had had its time in the sun. After learning that Netflix was shelling out so much money for a three decade old show, however, they changed their minds.