Netflix’s Live-Action Cowboy Bebop Will Jam No More

Less than a month after it debuted on Netflix, Cowboy Bebop is done. The streaming platform cancelled the series after a single, poorly received season.

As The Hollywood Reporter observed, “Like all Netflix renewal verdicts, the decision was made by balancing the show’s viewership and cost.” Bebop had a lot of viewers in its first week—74 million “viewing hours”—but sank 59 percent by early December.

Another factor may have been the reviews, which were generally not kind. Many critics enjoyed John Cho’s turn as bounty hunter Spike Spiegel, but were indifferent to the show as a whole. “What was back story through much of the anime is now foregrounded,” said The New York Times, “and the result is that the show hollows out toward the end of the season, with three final episodes of tragic-romantic posturing punctuated by mindless (and indifferently filmed) gunplay and martial arts.”

The Daily Beast was more direct: “Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop is a flaming pile of space trash.”

But some, like Tor.com’s Leah Schnelbach, found pros and cons to this version. “As I watched I was often infuriated by the choices the show made, only to be won back a scene later by something inventive. But in the end, when I saw the full arc the writers were creating, I found myself forgiving some of the clunkier moments and becoming more invested,” they wrote in a review of the season.

The show’s cast and grew took to Twitter to express their feelings about the cancellation:

You can, of course, still watch the first season on Netflix.

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