Netflix Just Canceled A Well-Rated Series After A Terrible Cliffhanger

By Doug Norrie | 2 weeks ago

netflix pretty smart

Netflix has had a quick trigger when it comes to canceling shows and they aren’t big on giving reasons why, even if the answer is probably somewhat obvious. This is a numbers game at this point and even if a show has been a critical hit or well-received or scored well with audiences, that doesn’t mean it is getting re-upped for a second time around. That was the case, at least on the latter side of things with Pretty Smart which Netflix just gave the boot after one season. With the story ending on something of a cliffhanger, there will be a contingent of fans rightfully nonplussed about this decision. 

According to TVLine, Netflix ditched Pretty Smart after one season on the streamer and it followed the news that the show’s star, Emily Osment had been moved up to a series regular on CBS’s Young Sheldon. In Pretty Smart, Osment played Chelsea, an aspiring writer and Harvard graduate who is forced to move in with her dimwitted sister and gang of Los Angeles stereotypes when her professorship falls through. The show took its beats from other similarly vapid series though this one tried to play up certain millennial ideas around status and influence while also juxtaposing Claire’s intelligence with the rest of the group’s lack thereof. 

Joining Emily Osment in Pretty Smart on Netflix was Olivia Macklin as Claire, Chelsea’s ditzy sister. And then there were the rest of the roommates, the “gang” as it were with Gregg Sulkin as Brad, a ripped and shirtless personal trainer, Cinthya Carmona as Solana, a spiritual healer, and Michael Hsu Rosen as Jayden, narcissistic though gregarious social media influencer. You can see what Netflix had on its hands in this trailer for Pretty Smart. Good luck making it all the way through.

Though Netflix decided to Pretty Smart off of the platform after one season, the audiences who did turn in, by and large, seemed to like it. It currently has a 69% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, a group that might not love the idea that the story ended after its initial run. That’s because the series ended on something of a cliffhanger with Chelsea and Grant prepared to tell Claire that they, somehow, had developed feelings for each other. This was set to cause some consternation seeing as how Claire and Grant were exes in their own right. 

Though Netflix didn’t release any streaming numbers for Pretty Smart, it doesn’t take much to figure that they weren’t all that good. This is usually the whole story for streaming platform (or network) decisions when it comes to bringing back shows. And critics didn’t love what they saw with this one either. The 40% Rotten Tomatoes score tells some of the story there with critics agreeing that though might have been bones of something funny here, the story was just never able to get enough out of the characters. They clearly want to make a statement about a generation that’s big on “self” and used stereotypical characters to make it happen. But they never got enough out of them.