Netflix is Running Out of Good Ideas


Saisree Kumar/The Owl

Netflix continues to fund mediocre TV that’s insulting to the viewer’s taste by discontinuing shows that are far better.

A recent TikTok I watched told me to go 35 minutes into the fourth episode of a show called “Best New Cherry Flavor,” and I would not be disappointed. I was horrified at what I saw and baffled by what possessed Netflix to create a show this weird. It’s almost as if they have so much money and no idea what to do with it, so they invest in mediocre and safe TV shows and movies with predictable and unoriginal plots while simultaneously getting rid of the best Netflix originals. Why does Netflix insist on “fixing it” if it ain’t broke?

Netflix’s main issues are the lack of ideas and the struggle to be unique. The platforms’ reality TV contributes most to this issue. Shows like “Sexy Beasts” (which promotes that you can appreciate the beauty behind the “beast”) have a good message. Still, it takes dating to a bizarre level by turning people into hideous beasts with prosthetics, and it’s tough to watch. The show was edited poorly and cast horribly. For a show that relies on personalities, they chose the blandest, most uninteresting, and irritating people possible. It’s virtually impossible to cheer for any of them when I don’t know if they’re hot and I hate their personality. Aside from casting, I’ve never had a grudge against a narrator before, but if I ever see Rob Delaney, the narrator of this reality show, I will gladly take him out. He constantly interrupts to make a terrible joke and sounds like he should be a narrator for The Great British Baking Show instead of a dating show. The final straw is how it’s a show that relies on personality over physicality, but all the contestants care about is looks. 

As for Brand New Cherry Flavor, the show tells a story we’ve heard way too many times and adds absolutely nothing. It’s about predatory men and vulnerable women and the #MeToo movement. A woman who was supposed to be the director of a big movie gets the opportunity taken away from her after she refuses her boss’ advances and then begins to fight for it. It’s a repetitive story with a predictable plot, except, of course for the grotesque and horrifying aspects of the show. The main character, Lisa Nova, constantly throwing up live kittens is just one example. The show also attempts humor in addition to horror and feminism, and it’s an unpleasant attempt. It is difficult to figure out who the intended audience is, and the goal of a streaming service should be to provide shows that are appealing to almost everyone or a large crowd, at least. 

And let’s not forget Too Hot to Handle Season 2. Season 1 was acceptable because it was a pandemic show, a time when most of us would watch anything. But the entire show seems scripted because I don’t understand how kissing someone is worth losing $200,000. It’s a show cast with weirdos who want to get rid of their blue balls syndrome and spend their time talking about who they’d like to “love” (or who just want an appearance on screen). It’s not hard. I’d 100% keep it in my pants for that kind of money, even around Chase De Moor and Melinda Melrose. Netflix has a $5.21 billion budget for original shows, and it baffles me how they waste it on shows that aren’t original or particularly watchable.

You may love some of these mentioned shows, but you cannot tell me that they were worth canceling some of the best Netflix Originals. GLOW was a beautiful, original show with an incredibly talented cast. The Society left us on such a good cliffhanger, and we’ll never know what happens. These two originals were well cast, had engaging storylines, and gave opportunities to many newcomers. Still, they were unfortunately axed due to the pandemic and its strain on Netflix’s budget. Netflix chose mediocre reality shows rather than unique originals.  One Day At A Time was cut too short because of low viewers, although there were enough to get one additional season on the POP network, and Netflix also gave all the memorable Marvel shows the ax due to contract issues. The list goes on and on and on, and as more shows say goodbye, Netflix continues to fund the worst performances for God knows what reason. 

Removing shows like Friends, The Office, South Park, Parks and Rec., Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Grey’s Anatomy, etc., has not helped Netflix’s case for storing shows that don’t insult your standards. As Netflix loses many of its shows to Disney+, which merged with HBO Max, they’re forced to create originals like Stranger Things, Bridgerton, or You, but it’s hard with such poor scriptwriting and excessive funding for reality TV shows. It’s only a matter of time before HBO Max takes Breaking Bad, Community, and other classic 2010 shows from Netflix in the coming years. At that point, Netflix will dissolve into cliches, bad scripts, and unwatchable television.