It’s 2020 and the hits keep coming. For fans of the Netflix series The Society, that has come in the form of the announcement that the show would not be returning for a second season. Any show ending prematurely stings, but this one is especially upsetting. The Society was actually renewed for a second season last summer which was set to release in late 2020. Due to circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic, the show abruptly got the axe just last week.
Considering all TV and movie production has been at a standstill for months, this was bound to come sooner or later. But why did it have to be an exciting and unique teen drama filled with a young, talented, up-and-coming cast?
The Society revolves around a group of (mostly) wealthy teenagers from the fictional town of West Ham, Connecticut. In multiple busses, they begin the series by heading off for a camping trip but a bad storm forces them to turn around and return home. Once they are back in West Ham, everything has changed though. Everything is as they left it, except there is no sign of their parents or any other adults in the town, they are completely alone. They soon discover there is no way for them to even exit the town, as it is suddenly surrounded by thick forest. Chaos ensues.
The first season follows several main characters and their attempts to govern the near-200 students stuck in their town. Ideas clash, enemies and friendships are made, and our leaders face obstacles and pushback from their classmates at every turn. By the end of the season the audience is left on a huge cliff hanger, wondering what the future holds for the kids.
Is this really the end?
Anyone who is even mildly into TV knows that shows popular enough to have a legitimate fanbase don’t go down without a fight. When Netflix cancelled Anne With an E at the end of 2019, there were billboards in some of the biggest cities in the world, petitions, and trending hashtags.
The Society doesn’t have a billboard (yet) but there was an outcry from fans across social media with hashtags like #savethesociety and #TheSocietyReWatch trending on Twitter. Many fans advocating for the show asked the same question, why were shows like Riverdale and 13 Reasons Why– which have been heavily criticized for being problematic or just downright bad- renewed over this?
The truth is they probably are more popular in terms of pure views, but The Society was something different. It didn’t have the huge surge that other teen dramas had, but it quietly impressed everyone that watched it. It was a modern day Lord of the Flies with complex characters, motivations, and some pretty good representation of disabilities and LGBTQIA+ relationships. The characters felt real, it was easy to find someone to understand and relate to. The antagonists ranged from annoying to downright terrifying making anything possible. Despite how unrealistic a possible alternate dimension is, the more sci-fi/dystopian elements never felt overdone or out of place.
Any comparisons and bias aside, a show so captivating at least deserved a proper ending, now we will just have to wait and see if that ever comes to fruition.
Cast members like Kathryn Newton have been sharing pictures and videos from set expressing their disappointment. Alex Fitzalan gave a short and sweet goodbye to his character via Instagram. Despite so many posts that seem like reminiscing and goodbye, creator Chris Keyser is still hopeful on continuing the story at some point.
This may not be the end. Plenty of shows have gotten cancelled then revived by other networks or streaming services. Hopefully, The Society can join that company so fans can get the ending they deserve.