Streaming giant, Netflix cancelled The Society after one season, which was reportedly due to “circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic.”
When The Society premiered on Netflix in May 2019, critics and viewers compared it to William Godling’s novel, Lord of the Flies. The series is set in the West England suburbs, and follows a group of students who have just returned from a school trip. Upon their return, they discover that all of the other residents have mysteriously disappeared, and they are unable to leave the town.
The show had all of the typical clichés that viewers can expect from any teen series – friendship feuds, young romances, and teenagers attempting to fit in. However, there was an added element of darkness, since the characters were all on their own.
Two months after the first season of the show premiered, Netflix renewed the show for a second season in July 2019. Production was scheduled to commence in Massachusetts in March 2020, however, the coronavirus pandemic delayed filming. Even though filming was presumed to resume in September 2020, the streaming giant revealed that the show would not be returning at all.
A Netflix representative revealed, in August 2020, that restrictions resulting from the pandemic made it impossible to allow The Society to continue. The representative stated, “We are disappointed to have to make these decisions due to circumstances created by COVID, and we are grateful to creators Chris Keyser, Pavlina Hatoupis, Marc Webb, as well as all the writers, cast and crew who worked tirelessly to make this show for our members around the world.”
The statement did not reveal any details on the specific “circumstances” that made creating season two a difficult prospect. However, according to Variety, the production would have become much more expensive in order to comply with COVID-19 protocols. If any outbreaks were to happen during filming, it could lengthen the production time and cause scheduling issues. Both of these unknown elements had the potential to make the entire season two production very costly.
Shortly after the cancellation was publicised, The Society’s creator, Chris Keyser featured in an interview with Variety, in which he revealed that the decision was upsetting. He further stated, “We spend the last few months getting ready to go back again, dealing with all the COVID protocols. And then I got a call from Netflix saying, ‘We have made this decision’. It was pretty upsetting and abrupt.”
However, Chris was not the only person who was devastated by the news, as fans created a petition to renew The Society. At the time of writing, the petition had already been signed by over 125 000 people.