Netflix is dead. Long live Netflix.
This weekend marks the end of an era for the omnipresent streaming service, with the debut of the final season of “House of Cards.”
Canceling “Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” (its seventh and final season is due in 2019) officially closes the streaming service’s first chapter of programming, five years after it began. It was a time when the TV sky seemed limitless – no shows seemed to get canceled, old favorites were constantly being saved and streaming was a playground for writers and directors to experiment. And always, at least on the outside, it seemed to work.
It was an era when Netflix sought a handful of high quality, high talent series to lure new subscribers. It was the era when the Kyle Chandler-starring “Bloodline” and the Wachowski sibling extravaganza “Sense8” were among the service’s top offerings due to their pedigrees alone (both series were eventually canceled in early seasons). It was a time when we thought Netflix was just trying to become HBO.
But that was 2013. And maybe 2014 and 2015. In the week ending Nov. 2, Netflix released eight new projects, including documentaries, comedy specials and movies, more than any breathing human could likely watch in a weekend. When the Emmy nominations were announced this summer, for the first time, Netflix had more nods than HBO.
The streaming service has spent billions of dollars on original programming in every genre, from Food Network-style baking competitions (“Sugar Rush”) to foreign language sci-fi (“Dark”) to preteen sobfests (“Alexa and Katie”). Sure, it’s still fun and experimental. But just like traditional TV networks (whose audience size is made public, unlike Netflix), the streaming service is more frequently canceling shows that don’t stick, including Marvel’s “Luke Cage” and acclaimed true-crime parody “American Vandal.”
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