Warrior Nun is Yet Another Victim of Netflix's Cliffhanger Obsession

Warrior Nun is Yet Another Victim of Netflix's Cliffhanger Obsession
Image credit: Netflix

It's Time for Netflix to Curb Its Greed.

Despite lacking the same scale and budget as Netflix's other flagship series, Warrior Nun quickly attracted a dedicated fanbase. Its admirers praised the show for its well-executed LGBTQ+ representation and empowering narratives for a predominantly female cast.

However, Netflix abruptly canceled the series, leaving viewers with a cliffhanger ending. Understandably, the angered fans refused to let this pass without a fight, launching a massive online campaign to revive the franchise. Yet, the future seems uncertain: it would appear that neither the showrunner nor the original writers will be involved in the revival. It's worth examining the production practices Netflix has employed in recent years to understand why.

A Story of Fighting, Winning, and Losing

When Netflix declared in December 2022 that Warrior Nun would not be renewed, fans were justifiably outraged. The hashtag #SaveWarriorNun went viral, a petition to renew the show amassed over 120,000 signatures, and an online convention was held featuring the writers.

The streaming platform heeded the pleas and agreed to revive the franchise with three concluding feature films. However, as fans were celebrating, they received the disappointing news that many of the creatives, including showrunner Simon Barry and writers Amy Berg and David Hayter, were no longer involved with the project. It seems we may be in for another campaign from the Halo Bearers.

Perhaps things could've been different: if Season 2 hadn't ended on a cliffhanger, if we hadn't been anticipating Ava's return from the Ark and her reunion with Beatrice, perhaps many of us would have been happy with just two seasons.

Netflix's Problematic Policies

The issue lies in the commercial strategy that Netflix employs. The future of shows doesn't depend on critical acclaim or total viewership but rather on the number of new unique subscribers. Thus, for our beloved show to be renewed, we must binge-watch it immediately and persuade all our friends and family to subscribe and do the same.

In recent years, to keep the excitement alive, Netflix has required creative teams to conclude seasons with cliffhangers, capitalizing on the anticipation. Consider every season of Stranger Things or the cliffhanger that ended the recently released (and promptly canceled) 1899.

Does this tactic work? Regrettably, if it didn't, Netflix wouldn't be buying dozens of new IPs. However, it's incredibly problematic. It restricts the creative vision of writers, and yes, if a show is canceled, it's more likely to be remembered years later if it left unresolved plot threads.