Away on Netflix was canceled after a single season this week. The streaming platform decided not to move forward with the space drama series. Hilary Swank headlined the show, but her star power was not enough to save the show from getting the quick ax.
Netflix released the series in September, and Away ranked within the top-10s of most countries. But the reaction towards the show was middle of the road for most fans. Following a group of astronauts who are sent on the first crewed mission to Mars, the show was about the group's struggle and the relationships they left behind.
While Away's familial moments were its biggest strength, everything else in the show was seriously lacking. There was no chemistry between the group of astronauts, and some stereotypes were harder for me to swallow. Still, the show was somewhat enjoyable, and I am not particularly surprised that Netflix decided not to continue with the series.
Away On Netflix - Canceled After a Lukewarm First Season
Netflix canceled freshman show Away after a single season.
Image Source: Hilary Swank Instagram
The biggest problem I had with Away, a show based in space, was overshadowed by the story on earth. I was more intrigued by the family members living on earth than the bickering crew locked in a small ship. From the mother-daughter relationship to a forbidden romance separated by a vast space, a space show was less fun when the story was taking place in space.
Then there was the space crew themselves, constantly fighting like little kids, and the writers' blatant stereotyping. Away was flawed from the start, vilifying Chinese and Russian origin players and the one black astronaut in the team being an adopted child.
An astronaut program is supposed to be a well-screened process where a group is selected after their psychological and other traits are matched for optimal output. It was amazing how less the group gelled together, from China and Russia banding together to oust the American commander and how little they elevated each other.
While the show features an inclusive cast, the stereotyping makes it infuriatingly obvious that they are only there to be window dressing. There was a better way to do the show, even the alternate timeline based show For All Mankind, which was about a space battle between Russia and the US, was better at handling its subject matter and characters.
There are flaws in the Apple Plus show, but the performance and earth scenes complimenting the things happening in space made it a better watch. Away was overwhelmed by performances on earth, and when the scenes cut to space, it was the same old stuff of professionals behaving like kids.
Away is not a bad show; the performances of Hilary Swank and Mark Ivanir keeps it afloat, but it was a big missed opportunity. That is probably why Netflix axed the show after a single season; there was just not enough to hold on and pin the hopes on a better sophomore outing.
But really, who are we kidding? Netflix does not need a reason to cut a show. Even beloved series such as Glow and Annie With an E could not survive the shorter ropes Netflix is throwing out these days to freshmen shows. Netflix was a platform that greenlit everything at the start of the decade; now, not even great shows have that luxury.
Hilary Swank Gave Her Opinion on the Cancelation
Netflix dropped the show pretty quickly, so the star of the series was caught off guard. Still, they were happy for the experience of working in the show. Hilary Swank was also positive in her message, happy for the relationships she formed but also sad for the show's demise.
In a short Instagram post, Hilary uploaded a picture of the crew on the Moon before their trip to Mars and wrote a message of hope. While short in the message, she also acknowledged the fans who watched the show and thanked them.
Hilary Swank wrote, "Love and hope will always remain my ‘North Star.’ It was an incredible journey my compadres. And thank you to all my extraordinary followers who watched and supported our beautiful show. Wish we were showing you Mars. Until the next one."
Away season one is currently streaming on Netflix.
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