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 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 (2018-2019)
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, and 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 the 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 with 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 toward 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 sociopathic 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 (2016-2020)
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,” and 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 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 the 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, were 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.”
7. Amy Schumer: The Leather Special (2017)
This stand-up special was recorded at Denver’s Belko Theatre and was confirmed as a trainwreck by numerous media outlets. Amy Schumer’s crude brand of humor didn’t connect with many viewers, most notably: the alt-right, and enticed plenty of bad press. Neither her satire nor self-humiliation could save her from snide remarks.
People felt violated even having to give it a rating of half a star on Rotten Tomatoes. It was an hour-long torment where all she did was talk about her private parts and recount other experiences that were majorly repulsive. Amy was indeed once entertaining but gradually her comedy got unwatchable.
This special, in particular, was disturbing and very substandard paralleled her earlier specials. Some people thought that it was controversial and never should have aired in the first place. Truly abysmal, Ms. Schumer. Maybe it’s time that she stopped using her sexuality as a tool to inspire.
6. Between (2015-2016)
Created in Canada, this Netflix original amalgams science fiction with teenage angst. There might be an audience for a series like Between but the Netflix distribution deal didn’t turn out to be a success with critics or subscribers and it ruined a perfect premise.
Some even said that no amount of prescription painkillers or alcohol could make them enjoy this series. Not to mention that there was nothing imaginative or even believable about the mysterious fatal disease spreading in town. There are good performances, particularly from lead Jennette McCurdy, former Nickelodeon actress, who adds a certain amount of star power, and because it’s a Canadian production, a handful of Degrassi graduates (and corpses) but the story of Pretty Lake feels bland.
It doesn’t know how to properly express the deep psychological weight and logistical complexity of young people taking on decidedly adult roles without resorting to ferocious extremes. Truly a tragedy of epic proportions.
5. Chelsea (2016-2017)
This Netflix original broke new ground, what with being the streaming service’s first talk show. A former TV network executive, who wished to remain anonymous, said the program just isn’t resonating with viewers. With 3 episodes airing each week and featuring interviews between host Chelsea Handler and various celebrities, none of it had any spark.
The star power is there, yet many fans and critics have cited the bland conversation as a major weakness. What makes it even duller is the redundancy in the back-and-forth encouragement the host and guests offer to each other which many would find cringe-worthy. The New York Post once published an article titled “Why is Chelsea Handler’s new show so awful?” Pretty much explains why it couldn’t get past season 2. Unfortunately, Netflix couldn’t even beat its own TV game.
4. Marco Polo (2014-2016)
Netflix seemed extremely and pointlessly zealous about bringing this historical drama to life. They reportedly spent 90 million dollars on the first 10 episodes alone. Despite the classic production strategy, Season 1 of Marco Polo didn’t amaze critics. The main character Marco is so boring here that you rather wish he was a supporting character in his show.
No really, this show is just so dramatically inert with not a single story within. Just armor and horses. Netflix reportedly lost 200 million dollars: a shortfall from which the series could not conceivably recoil. Hence, Marco Polo became the first Netflix original series not to be renewed for Season 3. That is how off-putting the sequence was. Can we interest you in …. let’s say Game of Thrones?
3. True Memoirs of an International Assassin (2016)
True Memoirs of an International Assassin holds a zero percent Rotten Tomatoes rating as of September 2017, which some would argue is still the film’s utmost accomplishment. Critics were mostly brutal in their reviews. They said that this lifeless and lazy action-comedy only deepens our concerns about Netflix’s feature-length comedy output.
James’ bumbling writer-turned-agent overstays his welcome, wasting some decent laughs on predictability and an ending that never seems to come. Moreover, the original offended many native Venezuelans for the negative depiction of their country, making it a classic international failure. A couple of hours of your life that you’re never getting back. If you like mindless entertainment coupled with some spurting blood and exaggerated violence, this is the movie for you.
2. Hemlock Grove (2013-2015)
The graphics and Hemlock Grove theme music was commendable but critics otherwise picked the show apart because of its slow pace and lack of focus. This original is abundantly dreadful and an unwatchable disorder of horror tropes and painfully creaky dialogue even with noted horror director “Eli Roth” serving as co-executive producer and certainly does not feel like a step in the right direction.
Nobody wants to see fingernails being pulled off in plain sight for no good reason, abnormally huge kids with missing eyes, not-so-convincing werewolf gypsies, or people who believe they were impregnated by angels (you’ve got to be kidding me) on top of violence that isn’t remotely scary but rather leaves you uncomfortable, wishing that you had had pineapple on pizza instead if you were looking for punishment. Netflix put the final nail in the coffin after 3 seasons after it was declared laughably bad.
1. The Ridiculous 6 (2015)
When Adam Sandler signed a 4-movie deal with Netflix in 2014, the viewers were considerably excited. The Ridiculous 6 succeeded in disappointing in unanticipated ways with its absence of cultural compassion and provision of laughs.
The movie was supposed to be a parody of Westerns, but it was downright not funny. Racism was a big part of the script and numerous native actors were so offended that they reportedly marched offset during the early production. Despite subsequent flops like “The Do-Over” and “Sandy Wexler,” Netflix extended Sandler’s deal in 2017.
The amount of cringe at times was too overwhelming and no part of the plot of this film was worth following in the slightest. It just didn’t matter. It all just kind of blurred into one dragging, a continuous moment from hell and you don’t quite get the gist of the characters’ emotions. Regardless of having an all-star cast, this original had nothing redeemable about it.
Did we miss any of the biggest Netflix flops of all time? Feel free to share your views in the comments below!