Much like Warrior Nun earlier in the summer, Teenage Bounty Hunters was a show that was more than what it said on the tin. The show was created for a specific niche market of teen girls, crossing over a satirized private high school experience with the over the top drama of bounty hunting. The series also seemed to do well despite little to no marketing, hitting Netflix’s Top 10 In TV the week after its release. But apparently, that wasn’t good enough to keep it from getting the ax. The Teenage Bounty Hunters cast’s reactions to being canceled is a reminder that the show was far better than anyone realized.
It’s been seven years since Netflix first premiered House of Cards, staking out a claim to "disrupt television." The streamer took the Silicon Valley tactic of "move fast and break things." It greenlit everything in sight, while promising viewers nothing would be canceled because it didn’t play by the TV industry rules.
That didn’t last long. But summer of 2017, Netflix had bowed to the reality that some shows will never get a big enough audience and began quietly canceling what its algorithms viewed as failures from Marvel’s The Defenders to cult-favorite Sense8. By 2020, it has become like almost any other network. Netflix does not approve new seasons until a full month of data has been collected, big titles with massive marketing budgets are favored over the "little shows that could" it once promised would be its bread and butter.
And yet, each time Netflix cancels another show that should have gotten a chance, it’s a new blow. From One Day At a Time to Teenage Bounty Hunters, Twitter goes into mourning for the smalltime shows they loved.
As for the cast, it’s evident from these social media posts they feel betrayed. Devon Hales, who played April Stevens, summed it up nicely.
Lead actress Maddie Philips was touched by the instant campaign that started up to save the show.
But it wasn’t long before she was also throwing shade at Netflix’s decision.
Actress Anjelica Fellini didn’t mince words in her IG stories. Teenage Bounty Hunters‘ cancelation came simultaneously as another show’s demise, GLOW, which had already been greenlit for a fourth and final season. Now it too is canceled, despite fans having been promised one last round.
Fellini posted several comments linking the decisions, including one that reads: "Two Shows, Two Female Leads, Who Are Sex Positive And Find Their Own Ways In The World. Huh." Another had pictures of the leads from GLOW and TBH and read: "But will mostly miss working with the love of my goddamn life."
But the deepest shade came from TV critics, who saw Netflix’s decision as ongoing proof the system it promised had failed.
Perhaps the campaign to Save Teenage Bounty Hunters will succeed. If so, it will be yet another show for Netflix that got away.
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