Despite releasing some great Netflix exclusives over the years, there have been several instances where a Netflix exclusive piece of content wasn’t able to meet its user’s expectations. Here we look at the 15 biggest Netflix flops of all time:
15. Disjointed (2017-2018)
This show might as well make on the list of the most forgettable TV shows of all time. Disjointed follows a lifelong advocate for marijuana legalization before getting the chance to open her own cannabis dispensary. You need to be pretty high to enjoy this show because it consists of majorly pot jokes and weak punch lines (also about being high).
Brian Lowry from CNN said it was
“as stale as an unwashed bong.”
The pot comedy also found little favor with critics, with the first season currently holding a 23 percent critic approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This pretty much explains why it was canceled after the first season. It is sloppy and incredibly unappealing.
People who were 5 minutes into the show were compelled to ask why there was even a laugh track being used. Is it funny? Is it ironic? Is it complete garbage? No one will ever know.
14. The Most Hated Woman in America (2017)
The title makes it profusely clear that Madalyn Murray O’Hair was a riveting human being whose story is worth telling for she was a controversial villain to some and an unlikely hero to others. But the film does not do justice to her character because there is an abundance of historical inaccuracies and the movie really just scratched the surface of the case.
Presenting a true-crime biopic about the life and disappearance of America’s most fiercely outspoken atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, Netflix chose to celebrate Women’s History Month in a rather odd way. People found the film quite hard to wrap their heads around.
The most common theory was that the filmmakers had failed to convey the envisioned meaning. The viewers logically understood the cause O’Hair was passionate about, but it was never explained why. Her background, childhood or any sequence of events that might have formed her personality and given rise to her zeal were never portrayed.
“Its desultory storytelling and seesaw of tonal shifts is frustrating in a way that so many poor biographical films tend to be.”
We don’t know about Madalyn but the film could definitely count as one of the most hated ones in America.
13. Insatiable (2018-)
The Disney Channel child star sure added some spark to this series’ name. But it was short-lived. The pre-release chaos surrounding the show was rightfully skeptical. Over 100,000 people signed a petition calling for the show’s cancellation right after the trailer.
It was intended to be a satire but with a really weak and typical high school storyline. With too many characters fighting for the spotlight, character dedications transform at a befuddling rate, the protagonist’s relationship with food, her anger issues, and her insecurities are all inconsistent, the show has an inexplicably casual attitude towards molestation, statutory rape, and boundaries between teens and adults and you don’t get the message even after 12 hour-long episodes. Insatiable feels like one long identity crisis.
It seems like plots of all dramatic shows and movies are snatched and fused into one big failure. Nothing is resolved. Nothing is learned. The main character is not only unexciting, but she’s also not worth the emotional investment.
12. Sierra Burgess is a Loser (2018)
In an effort to pull at our heartstrings again, this Netflix romance was a convenient follow up to “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” but even the teenage populace that’s famished for this genre acknowledged that they would rather watch the latter twice.
The foundation of the movie seemed to have a heartwarming message of body positivity and self-esteem which could have effortlessly earned trust and admiration from an audience. But didn’t Netflix bear awareness that the world has become progressively sensitive towards mental health, sexuality, and consent? The film was unfortunately overshadowed by romanticized catfishing, non-consensual kissing, cyberbullying, trans-phobic, and homophobic jokes and faking disabilities.
Critics could not ignore that there was a series of manipulation that was borderline sociopath and discretization of teenage girls that fight for the validation of their feelings that the protagonist gets away with and never faces the consequences of. It wrongly glamourized a lot of acts that most of the viewers found offensive and inconsiderate.
11. Death Note (2017)
When it comes to a living version of an anime series, the bar has already been set too high and viewers (correctly if I may) assume nothing will ever live up to the original’s glory. Netflix’s Death Note adaption is no exception. The first issue arose the moment the cast was revealed: yet another anime adaptation that supports White supremacy, depriving Asian American actors of their few potential opportunities in the industry.
Many of the series’ original features are not even included in Netflix’s Death Note, so the non-Japanese cast or the filming being in Canada didn’t come off as a surprise. Since it was a movie and not episodic anime or manga, countless loopholes existed, the character development was inconsistent and what was the deal with beefing up the gore and violence right away? The movie never really earned its ending.
It might have flown if it were an independent production, but when made as an adaptation of such a classic anime, there was only so much time before it crashed. It’s bad in precisely the ways that aren’t helpful for Netflix’s reputation as a studio disruptor.
10. The Ranch (2016-)
Capitalizing on the American cultural landscape, Netflix produced a country-themed original with comparatively conventional characters. It had a lot of hope associated with it, what with being so traditional (And Ashton Kutcher of course). To break it down, The Ranch is one part “The Big Lebowski,” one part “Terms of Endearment,” two parts “That ’70s Show,” and revolves around a dysfunctional farming family making an effort to save their treasured ranch.
But even with an accomplished cast, polarizing reviews plagued it, with many finding the characters and narrative to be increasingly predictable. It overuses pop culture references to seem progressive and relevant but is also trying really hard to be fresh and edgy. It’s a disappointment that a show that had so much potential has some people even saying that it might be Netflix’s biggest failure yet. It would be safe to say that it’s a moot point.
9. Flaked (2016-)
This is one of those shows that seem like a winner because of the brilliance in the history of their cast. Will Arnett, known for “Arrested Development” and voice of the popular “Bojack Horseman” is the creator, executive producer, and star of Flaked. But it butchered exclusivity by being so noticeably similar to the popular Showtime series “Californication,” (except with much less heat) which also features a conflicted man living in Venice.
The entire eight-episode narrative seems to revolve around a repetitive love-triangle, which is excruciating, including a cherry on the top: typical personal crisis and battles against circumstances. Also, the recurrence of plot twists has been called thoughtless. So it is very unlikely, that anyone would go even beyond the pilot of this sitcom.
Solid as the production values may be, Flaked failed to excite critics because of its plot holes and tendency towards melodrama. It is filled with awkward silences where laugh tracks could have been, but then again, those would be pointless as well.
8. The Get Down (2016-2017)
One month after “Stranger Things” connected with its viewers, Netflix dropped yet another youth-centric series but with a much higher budget and setting. A wise person wouldn’t call this money well spent. This hip-hop musical drama reportedly cost a whopping 120 million dollars, making it one of the most expensive Netflix originals of the time.
The few audiences that the boondoggle, set in the burnt-out Bronx, had, was kept waiting for 8 months for the second half of the show, further aching the statistics. In the Sunday Times, AA Gill writes a perfect evisceration,
“Nothing I’ve seen recently has made me feel as constantly uncomfortable and occasionally flabbergasted as The Get Down. It is wilfully dumb, and after the fuss about the under-representation of blacks at the Oscars, and their over-representation in morgues, the fact that US non-network TV … can roll out a show like this and fail to make any others that aren’t about OJ is monumentally depressing.”
Given the disconnection, Netflix ultimately had to cover the wound and the show stopped. It should have been named “The All Mighty Let Down.”