Netflix Takes Axe to ‘Sense8,’ its Second Big Cancelation in Two Weeks

It’s been a pretty harsh couple of weeks for cancelations of socially relevant big-budget hourlong series: Netflix recently canceled its pricey Baz Luhrmann-helmed The Get Down, about the dawn of hip-hop and disco in the South Bronx, and WGN canceled the also-pricey but widely acclaimed Underground. Now Netflix has announced yet another cancelation of an ambitious series: the Wachowskis’ Sense8.

Interestingly, just yesterday, Vulture noted that Netflix founder/CEO Reed Hastings had told CNBC that he was pushing for a higher cancellation rate for the streaming giant known to rarely take an axe to its shows. But that elusive axe has been swung, with the Verge reporting Sense8‘s second season having been its last.

Netflix VP of original content Cindy Holland eulogized the series that her team presumably had just canceled:

Sense8 is everything we and the fans dreamed it would be: bold, emotional, stunning, kickass and outright unforgettable…Never has there been a more truly global show with an equally diverse and international cast and crew, which is only mirrored by the connected community of deeply passionate fans all around the world. We thank Lana, Lilly, Joe and Grant for their vision and the entire cast and crew for their craftsmanship and commitment.

As The Verge notes, Sense8‘s second season cost approximately $9 million per episode, which is just $1 million less than Game of Thrones’ current per-episode average. Sense8 followed a group of eight …sensates — telepathically interconnected characters from all over the world — who begin to understand the potentials of their shared minds. Though critics were split after the first season, its second saw a spike in approval, with critics acknowledging some of its character development shortcomings and general ridiculousness while also seeing something bold at its core. David Sims of The Atlantic wrote:

It’s a celebration of human connectedness, a hippy-dippy ballad of love and understanding that grinds its teeth at repressive or orderly governments and corporations. This nakedly political show somehow manages to be free-spirited, rather than dull or polemical; its good intentions often border on goofy naiveté in a way that’s charming rather than grating.