Indiana Daily Student

COLUMN: Killing a show with a third season

<p>Actors Asa Butterfield and Mimi Keene star in season three of &quot;Sex Education,&quot; which premiered Sept. 17, 2021.</p>

Actors Asa Butterfield and Mimi Keene star in season three of "Sex Education," which premiered Sept. 17, 2021.

As a frequent Netflix watcher, I consume a good deal of media. From television shows to limited series to a closed-caption version of “Squid Game,” I enjoy the platform a lot. 

Recently though, the season three releases from various shows have made me question the need for these stories to be continued. I came to the conclusion that a narrative can only be stretched so long.

After the second season of “You,” a psychological thriller series on Netflix, I didn’t feel like I needed more. Sure, I want the sociopathic narrator Joe to be served justice, but sometimes I think a story is left better off open-ended — especially with the route the third season has taken. 

The release was not only underwhelming as a viewer, but the plot lines felt frazzled, like the writers were grasping to create a compelling arc for both Joe and his wife Love. Instead of character development, we saw them go unchanged, something that could’ve been left in season two. 

Other Netflix shows, like British comedy “Sex Education,” have had a similar fate, with the third season feeling dull compared to the previous two. An added punch is the “Sex Education” H&M line of themed clothes and accessories, making the show seem even more insincere, and personally, making me dislike the third season all the more. 

“You” and “Sex Education” have been set up logistically to continue into a fourth season, something that will likely only stretch already thin story lines even thinner. 

Both programs had strong first and second seasons. Sure, “You” is a campy, watered-down version of a true thriller and “Sex Education” relies on an ensemble cast and leaves their main characters left generally underdeveloped, but I liked them. The soap-opera nature of “You” made it easy to binge and “Sex Education” discussed teenage sex-life in a positive way. 

Still, that’s not enough to warrant a season three, much less a season four. 

Some shows, like my all-time favorite “Arrested Development,” got cancelled after season three, leaving the show in a beautiful place with plot lines tied up and characters meeting a satisfying end. I thought it made a perfect series finale — only to be renewed almost seven years later by Netflix, ruining the ending entirely. 

This is not to say Netflix runs a show too far. In my eyes, it’s a fate any program can meet. If there is a certain demand and high enough ratings, I can understand how something may be continued on, even if it affects the overall integrity of the characters and plot.

Sometimes, a show doesn’t have to go on. Not everything needs a spin-off or a third season or a separate holiday special. A show can simply be a show, contained to its narrative and kept in its own little world — sometimes it’s better that way.

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