Fans were devastated by today's announcement that the Hulu Original Series Difficult People has been cancelled. The smart, dry comedy starred Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner as characters not unlike themselves — comedians in their thirties trying to "make it" in New York City. The show was created and produced by Klausner, and counted Amy Poehler among its executive producers.
The series was lauded for its no-punches-pulled brand of cynical, cutting comedy. Difficult People's self-loathing, pessimistic heroes found a wide and receptive audience, who could relate to their gloomy attitudes.
The show enjoyed apparent success, earning consistently high ratings on services like IMDb from both critics and viewers alike. Rolling Stone even named the series "2015's Most Brilliant New Comedy."
With that in mind, the show's cancellation has come as a surprise to some. Speculations are already surfacing on whether this could have anything to do with the series' long-running gag on Kevin Spacey. Throughout the course of the show, Spacey has been one of their favorite punching bags.
He's referenced as an object of derision between the characters, with jokes ranging in topic from his acting skills, to his appearance, to the possibility that he was a closeted homosexual — sometimes even referencing his relations with younger men, which seems rather on-the-nose considering recent events.
Spacey himself has never acknowledged the show's treatment of him, and many regard their jokes as a reference to one of Hollywood's "open secrets." Nevertheless, Difficult People has made plenty of enemies in the entertainment world, simply by the brutal nature of its jokes. It's possible that all this candid comedy contributed to its downfall.
The three existing seasons of Difficult People are still available to stream on Hulu.