Monday, September 25, 2023

Top five cancelled Netflix shows with queer representation


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Featured Graphic by Destiny Mizell

Story by Larry Rincon

It feels like as more television series are released with queer representation, just as many get canceled. 

In the past few years Netflix has released and canceled a lot of fan favorite TV series. Among the more recent ones, “Inside Job,” is an animated adult TV show about the underground government. It faced a lot of controversy when it was canceled. Other series included are “WINX: The Fate Saga” and “The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself.” “WINX: The Fate Saga” was highly anticipated as it had improved after its first season and “The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself” is a book series adaptation. 

A lot of factors go into whether or not Netflix ends up canceling a show. Unfortunately, viewership isn’t the only factor Netflix considers when it comes to continuing a show, so  several series end up being canceled sadly. 

However, as much controversy as the cancellation of many of these shows has caused, I want to focus on my top five shows that were canceled. These shows had really nice and well developed queer representation within their characters. 

“Julie and the Phantoms”

Starting with a show that felt very reminiscent of original Disney Channel shows, “Julie and the Phantoms” lasted one season. It was based off of a show called “Julie e os Fantasmas,” a Brazilian show that aired in 2011. 

“Julie and the Phantoms” stars Madison Reyes, Charlie Gillipsie, Owen Patrick Joyner and Jeremy Shada. It follows a teenager named Julie who, while pursuing her passion for music, helps a trio of ghosts accomplish their goal to play at the Orpheum. It’s a cute and enjoyable musical-comedy hybrid television series. The best part is that it’s only nine thirty minute episodes. The show unfortunately did end up canceled, but it ended in the same place that the original series ended. 

Of course, the aspect that makes this better than any Disney Channel series is the explicit and confirmed sexuality of one of the characters. Owen’s character, Willie, is canonically gay and out to his friends. There isn’t any stereotype being exploited and what I like about this, is that him being gay has no major impact on the story. Shows where queer characters just exist are some of the best. 

If you’re looking for something fun with a little bit of romance, “Julie and the Phantoms” is the way to go. 

“Everything Sucks!”

Some Netflix series do not get a lot of recognition. “Everything Sucks!” released in 2018. It is a classic coming-of-age series that only lasted one season. At times it is fun and a little nostalgic, but you’ll find yourself relating in some way to the different characters on screen. 

The show really just goes back and forth between the main characters, Luke and Kate. Luke has his own personal struggles as a highschool freshman, and Kate is struggling with coming to terms with her sexuality as she finds herself falling in love with an upperclassman. 

Screengrab from “Everything Sucks!”

The show doesn’t have the hyped energy that “Julie and the Phantoms” brings, but in its own way the story told through all the characters is something to look forward to as the story progresses. 

As much as it might be compared to other series that follow the same kind of outline with similar character dynamics, not everything sucks about “Everything Sucks!,” and if you just love Sydney Sweeney, give the show a chance. 

“I Am Not Okay With This”

For fans of the “IT” movies, seeing Sophia Lillis and Wyatt Oleff star together in a dark fantasy television series brings a lot of excitement. Most would agree they were not okay when Netflix decided to cancel “I Am Not Okay With This.” The series is based on the graphic novel of the same title; However, because the creators decided to leave room for more, the series was not a direct copy of the novel. This ends up being detrimental when the series was canceled, leaving the audiences wanting more. 

Screengrab from “I Am Not Okay WIth This.”

The main character Sydney, played by Lillis, discovers she has supernatural powers that react strongly to her emotions. As she navigates controlling them, she also struggles with her growing feelings for her best friend while simultaneously pretending to be interested in Oleff’s character, Stanley. 

This is a series for those who need a break from the typical drama show full of romance, and instead are searching for a show with a plot besides miscommunication. 

“The Society”

The second to last series I want to mention is one of the first few series that truly caused an uproar on the internet because of its cancellation.

In 2019, a mystery drama called “The Society” released on Netflix. The show followed a group of teenagers who get transported to a world that is exactly like theirs, except they are the only ones living there. 

Screengrab from “The Society.”

The series keeps viewers on edge as the world surrounding the group unfolds slowly. The mix of survival makes this series slowly turn into a “Lord of the Flies” situation as people start to take charge, which eventually lead to the first death of the group. 

“The Society” includes different storylines that branch from the main story. The diverse slate of characters adds to the value of the series. Drama and mystery lovers will wish there were more to this series. 

“First Kill”

Finally, a personal favorite series with great queer representation is the 2022 series “First Kill.” A wicked twist on the classic idea of a “first” anything. The twist comes in the form of a Romeo and Juliet, Star Crossed lovers type of situation between a vampire and a monster hunter. 

Screengrab from “First Kill.”

The series follows a purebred vampire, Julliete, who needs to bite and the suck the blood of her first victim. Her love interest, Calliope, is tasked to kill her first monster. The two become interested in each other before finding out the other’s secret, but even afterwards they navigate their relationship knowing they are technically enemies. 

This is a great series with the main leads in a queer romantic relationship. It’s a rollercoaster of tropes, but there is a nice mix of drama, action and romance. For this time of the year, “First Kill” is a great binge.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Destiny Mizell, email For more news, visit, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @MTSUSidelines.

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