Netflix Sucker Punches G.L.O.W and Teenage Bounty Hunters Into Cancellation and We Are Upset

As you know, there is currently a nasty virus overtaking this country and ruining everything (with the exception of its current proximity towards Donald Trump, upon whom I wish nothing but the worst), and now G.L.O.W,, which starting in Season Two featured two QPOC characters and also did a very gay Season Three, has added itself to that list of ruined things. Also on the docket for death is Teenage Bounty Hunters, which is also gay and involves women doing physical harm to others but in a funny way. This comes shortly after Netflix’s cancellation of I Am Not Okay With This, which had a queer tomboy lead.

Despite its Season 4 renewal, Netflix has backed out of completing G.L.O.W. because “resuming GLOW production under COVID safety protocols proved too difficult, not only because of the close physical contact necessary for so many of the show’s scenes, but also because of its large cast and the difficulty of filming in Los Angeles right now.” The budget increase to make this feasible was apparently a hard “no” from Netflix. They have however found the money to keep up with Stranger Things.

In a statement to Deadline, co-creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch told Deadline:

“COVID has killed actual humans. It’s a national tragedy and should be our focus. COVID also apparently took down our show. Netflix has decided not to finish filming the final season of GLOW. We were handed the creative freedom to make a complicated comedy about women and tell their stories. And wrestle. And now that’s gone. There’s a lot of shitty things happening in the world that are much bigger than this right now. But it still sucks that we don’t get to see these 15 women in a frame together again. We’ll miss our cast of weirdo clowns and our heroic crew. It was the best job. Register to vote. Please vote.”

All of the actors have been paid for Season Four although only one episode completed filming prior to COVID’s shut-down. Unclear if this has extended to the crew.

The internet is upset, just like me:

Valerie, who writes for esteemed queer website Autostraddle dot com, summed it up thusly: “The Outer Banks was the worst show I’ve watched in quarantine and Teenage Bounty Hunters was one of the best shows I’ve watched in the past year and I know it’s not necessarily fair to compare them/i’m just one person with opinions but i’m angry That Outer Banks and their heterosexual nonsense got renewed but TBH didn’t.”

Riese is the 38-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

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23 Comments

  1. Nope! That’s it. That’s my comment. Because I’m upset. Because GLOW got better with every season and Teenage Bounty Hunters was a gem of a show in the middle of an all too dry tv landscape; a show that cheered me up during this pandemic and I was already looking forward to a second season. How dare you Netflix?! Whose making those nonsensical decisions? Even from a marketing point of view this is just gallons of spilled potential.

  2. Uggghhhh! Just the other day, I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to watch and I realized it was because all I was in the mood to watch was a second season of Teenage Bounty Hunters!

    Remember when network shows would get canceled and everyone would hope that Netflix would swoop in and save them? And now it seems like Netflix cancels way more shows than the networks do.

  3. I’d be reeeeeaal curious to see what proportion of their recently cancelled Original shows are shows with prominent, explicitly LGBTQ+ characters and storylines. And what percentage of their existing Netflix Original series with LGBTQ+ characters and content remains after the slaughter. Whether or not it’s really the case, it sure feels like they’re de-gaying the service.

    Some of the Netflix Original shows with LGBTQ+ characters cancelled within the last year alone: The Society, I Am Not Okay With This, October Faction, Teenage Bounty Hunters, AJ and the Queen, GLOW, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Altered Carbon, Atypical, Dear White People, and Dead to Me.

    Not all of these shows were great (ahem, AJ and the Queen) and some of them are indeed very, very expensive (e.g. Altered Carbon) or have large casts that might make pandemic logistics difficult (e.g. The Society). But it’s a little weird that so many overwhelmingly straight shows with similar cast sizes and production costs *aren’t* getting cancelled (with that impossible-to-verify, oh-so-convenient “something something pandemic something something” hand wave-y excuse that is only occasionally believable).

    Am I crazy for feeling like there’s something about the slew of recent cancellations here that feels…off?

    • no you’re right it does feel off, especially as they just announced three more of those After movies which are disgustingly heterosexual.

      it frustrates me even more as they make their social media’s seem so progressive but then they never use those socials to promote these progressive shows which leads to them not getting as noticed… it almost seems like they do that on purpose now 👀

  4. I don’t understand the economics of TV production, but Is it really necessary to cancel rather than postpone shows during COVID? Especially for a place like Netflix that doesn’t release on a rigid TV schedule? This seems shortsighted.

    • It’s a little different for Netflix. If a show does solid on broadcast tv it stays on tv most likely. But, for Netflix the show does solid it might not get a season 2 as they want to get more people to subscribe for a season 2.

  5. – I hope they release an outline of what season four of GLOW would have looked like.
    – Teenage Bounty Hunters is shot in Atlanta. With that Gov. screwing EVERYTHING up COVID-wise, I’m not surprised that they canceled it. Republicans ruin everything.

    • If there’s absolutely no possibility of the show being continued somewhere else, then it would be cool if IDW (who already released a GLOW comic) published a series that adapted the story of season 4. And then maybe continued beyond that like the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics did.

  6. With Glow being canceled even after being renewed I’m now super nervous for Warrior Nun’s season 2. It’s been renewed already as well but I won’t feel safe about it until they actually start filming. It’s filmed in Spain so maybe that will work in its favor?

    Something else I think could be playing into these cancelations is that the CEO of Netflix replaced the head of their TV division this summer, the woman who likely renewed Glow, with a new person and when new people come into these sorts of jobs they usually seem to shake stuff up to justify being there.

  7. I don’t understand why these shows are being cancelled because of COVID. In the before times (pre-COVID), there were shows that would take breaks from filming because of budget or whatever. Maybe COVID is just the scapegoat for these cancellations and Netflix just hates happy queer content?

    • I’m honestly heartbroken right now. I’ve been addicted to Teenage Bounty Hunters ever since it released, and loved GLOW as well.

      It just seems like we’re taking hit after hit.

  8. I really don’t understand how some shows can be cancelled due to Covid and others are like fine with Covid like shouldn’t every show be cancelled or at least the straight ones. Netflix is going on my list along with ABC for cancelling Stumptown

  9. Was Teenage Bounty Hunters really that good? I seriously turned it off after the opening scene of the series is literally date rape. What am I missing here? How did you all get past that?

    • Having had this conversation already over on reddit, I can say that for me it was having watched the whole season and how that scene is referenced and looked back on by the characters involved as well as the fact that the power dynamics between a woman being the one to initiate sex and a boy intiating sex are somewhat different.

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