The purge of shows from streaming services that started in 2022 is continuing in the early days of 2023, as the multilingual mystery science-fiction drama 1899 was cancelled by Netflix two days into the New Year. This drew ire from fans who are now wondering what the point of subscribing to Netflix is when the streamer isn't committed to finishing the stories it starts.
1899 follows the story of a group of travelers on a steamship heading from London to New York. The passengers are immigrants from a variety of backgrounds, but they're drawn together when they encounter a second ship drifting alone at sea. With an international cast and a plot filled with lots of intrigue, you'd think 1899 would be a show worth investing in, but Netflix clearly had other plans.
The show premiered on November 17, 2022, and creators Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar envisioned a three-season arc to tell 1899's complex story. The first season of 1899 ending featured a massive cliffhanger to lead into the second season. News of the show's cancellation means that fans won't have a chance to learn what happened after that cliffhanger, and they're not happy.
Fans across social media have been speaking out against the decision, noting that it doesn't make sense to start a story and cancel it without giving fans a chance to learn what happened. One social media user even hinted ominously at a "library of unfinished stories with no ending" and it really makes you think about all of the shows that have been cancelled after one or two seasons without a chance to bring the story to a fitting conclusion.
Netflix is turning into a library of unfinished stories with no ending. If they think this is a good long-term strategy, they will be in for a rude awakening fairly soon. #1899NetflixJanuary 2, 2023
This is such disappointing news. Honestly, what is even the point of investing time into Netflix originals when they never make it past the first or second season? #1899Netflix https://t.co/DqrBDo8PhGJanuary 2, 2023
If #Netflix is going to cancel #1899Netflix what is the point of having a Netflix subscription? If you can’t trust Netflix to finish a story why shouldn’t I subscribe for one month every few years and then cancel? There is not a lot in the pipelinehttps://t.co/LBAkF6qGE4January 2, 2023
This is what I don't get. Numbers aside, why does Netflix choose a team and a story that has a set three-season arc, only to then possibly be willing to cancel it if it doesn't have a set amount of numbers with a story untold? Make it make sense. #1899Netflix https://t.co/4wfQ9u2Sl8January 2, 2023
Netflix canceled the 1899 masterpiece, even though the creators said they had three seasons planned. It's a lot of stupidity for a single stream. The story is really immersive and it would be truly sad not to have a closure to it. #Save1899 #Renew1899 #1899Netflix pic.twitter.com/KGI5VYq4NWJanuary 2, 2023
Usually, I can use viewing data to justify a cancellation from Netflix. This is not one of those times.#1899Netflix's cancellation makes little sense with all of the information we have available.https://t.co/xUviY2r7L4January 2, 2023
I honestly feel like Netflix just need to stop greenlighting complex multi-season stories when they're so jittery about renewals.If you don't want to commit, stick to movies or miniseries and let the other platforms pick up longform storytelling.#1899Netflix https://t.co/K4R0HNNwdVJanuary 2, 2023
In terms of viewing numbers, 1899 had a five-week run in the Netflix Top 10.
Not surprisingly, fans are already calling for 1899 to be renewed or picked up by another platform. There's even a petition to save the show. The irony, of course, is that Netflix was once upon a time the place that cancelled shows received a second chance. That was the case with Lucifer and Manifest, two beloved series cancelled by Fox and NBC, respectively, that found new life on the streamer. Now the table has turned as fans hope 1899 can see a new life on a different platform.
Dear @Netflix - I personally know how it feels to have your series canceled on a cliffhanger. It's deeply heartbreaking. So trust me when I say: Canceling 1899 goes against audience desire, finality & the magic of cinema. So keep cinema magic alive & renew #1899Netflix#Save1899 pic.twitter.com/2OmbUY6KpjJanuary 2, 2023
Is there a chance 1899 can be picked up by another network? It's such a complex and beautiful story and it needs the whole 3 seasons that were planned! #1899series #1899Netflix @HBO @AppleTV @binge @StanAustralia pic.twitter.com/aRNiEyyzL2January 2, 2023
And sign this petition! #Save1899 https://t.co/eXz9VeKCePJanuary 2, 2023
You want to help? Be loud, let everyone know how much you want 1899 to be renewed! #save1899 #renew1899January 2, 2023
Netflix has developed an unfortunate (but deserved) reputation for cancelling shows without giving them proper conclusions. Recent examples include Warrior Nun and The Midnight Club. The Midnight Club's creator Mike Flanagan took the unprecedented step of explaining all of the show’s mysteries to fans after the series was not renewed, providing insight into where the show would have gone if given the time and space to tell it.
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Sarabeth joined the Watch to Watch team in May 2022. An avid TV and movie fan, her perennial favorites are The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, true crime documentaries on Netflix and anything from Passionflix. You’ve Got Mail, Ocean's Eleven and Signs are movies that she can watch all day long.
When she's not working, Sarabeth hosts a podcast dedicated to books and interviews with authors and actors. She’s also very close to realizing her lifelong dream of publishing a novel.
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