Netflix’s Cancellation Of ‘Tuca & Bertie’ Is Stirring Up Some Concerns About The State Of Streaming


Netflix summarily canceled two of its own programs on Wednesday, including BoJack Horseman alum Lisa Hanawalt’s critically acclaimed series Tuca & Bertie. The move drew plenty of One Day at a Time-esque criticism from Hanawalt’s colleagues, industry professionals and entertainment journalists alike. One of the more thoughtful examples from these reactions arrived by way of Adam Ruins Everything host Adam Conover, who’s worked with Hanawalt on BoJack, Tuca & Bertie, his own show, and many other titles.

Needless to say, Conover made some pretty solid points about the current status of streaming entertainment.

“I couldn’t be prouder of Lisa Hanawalt. When you watch Tuca & Bertie, you are getting her gorgeously warped mind and heart blasted directly into your retina. The show IS Lisa, animated. No wonder it resonated so deeply with so many people,” he began before adding: “A few more thoughts, though.”

He began by pointing out that Tuca & Bertie “got the best press it’s possible for a freshman show to have,” a provable fact that’s reflected by its 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And while the popular review aggregate site has undergone several controversial changes, its users still managed to give Hanawalt’s program a 70% rating as well. Conover drives this point home by noting that “people come up to me daily and ask me to tell Lisa what the show means to them.”

So, what’s the problem as he sees it? In a manner of speaking Conover contends that the early belief that streaming would save entertainment from the problems of broadcast and cable television was ill-informed. What’s more, unlike those two particular modes of entertainment, streaming adheres more to the almighty algorithm than third-party rating systems like Nielsen.

“We’re back in an era when great shows are getting cancelled after just a season or [two],” he continued. “And that’s a shame, because while the same old shit works right away, anything truly NEW needs time to grow. It’s nice when platforms publicly say they support diverse creators, but unless they put their money where their mouth is and give them that time, it’s not really true.”

Thankfully, Conover notes that fans of Hanawalt’s work with Tuca & Bertie can still watch the first reason of the show, read her books, and await “whatever this weird and wonderful woman does next.”