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Netflix greenlit this insane dating show but it won’t save its #1 drama right now

Published Jun 24th, 2021 5:37PM EDT
New Netflix series
Image: Peter Kramer/NBC

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That’s it. I’m calling it. In June of 2021, Netflix officially lost its mind.

This week, the streamer gave us the first trailer for its upcoming dating show, Sexy Beasts — a completely bonkers, utterly bizarre series that looks like a sort-of mashup between The Masked Singer and your normal, garden variety reality dating show (because you can never have too many, apparently). The twist that this new Netflix series offers is that all of the “dating” takes place while the participants are wearing stupid animal prosthetics. Yadda yadda, the whole judge-someone-by-their-personality-and-not-their-appearance angle. It’s really, really stupid, but I bring this up, because this news came the same week that Netflix reportedly also declined to save a decidedly, well, not stupid show — a drama, in fact, that the streamer picked up from NBC and has since become something of a cult favorite, with a passionate fan base that has been engaged in a grassroots campaign begging Netflix to give the show another season, following its abrupt cancellation by NBC.

The show we’re referring to is, of course, Manifest. As of the time of this writing, it’s sitting in the #1 spot on the Top 10 list of TV shows that Netflix maintains on an ongoing basis — and, as a reminder, this is a series about passengers on a turbulent plane flight who end up landing years after their plane took off, only to find that the world has seemed to fast-forward, presuming them all dead and gone for years. It’s a trippy, mind-bending premise for a show that also represents the kind of creative risk that the legacy networks such as NBC don’t experiment with often enough.

It’s a heck of thing, for a show like this from a network like NBC to beat out even Netflix’s original series like Lupin and Sweet Tooth to dominate the streamer’s own Top 10 list, wouldn’t you agree? But no, the suits at Netflix decided that while they didn’t want to re-up the series — leaving Manifest to end with a bunch of unanswered questions — a show like this would be perfect for its subscribers:

While Netflix green-lights vapid tripe like this, meanwhile, I’m just going to leave this here:

Instead of chasing Netflix and moves like these, the markedly different approach that Apple TV+ is taking to its streaming business seems to be paying dividend’s for the iPhone maker’s service — that approach being a much more go-slow focus on quality and curation (and a focus on all-original shows). To wit, Apple’s streaming service has only been around for about a year and a half, and yet, thus far it’s managed to garner 400 nominations and won 112 awards during that time. Make of that what you will.

At any rate, upon word this week that Netflix reportedly decided not to move forward with a new season of Manifest — though you can still watch Seasons 1 and 2 of the show, while the third and final season is streamable on NBC’s Peacock service — cast members started weighing in with their feelings about the show, and about how things ended.

Manifest Gratitude, Final Edition,” tweeted show creator Jeff Rake. “Thank YOU, our fans. You became the Manifesters at Comic-Con 2018. Ever since, you’ve watched religiously, parsed every word, cried a lot, laughed a little, puzzle-solved, and never, ever, wavered in your support. I’ll never forget it.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.