Just 44 days after debuting on Netflix, Resident Evil – the drama based on the long-running video game zombie franchise – has been canceled after eight episodes, Deadline (opens in a new tab) reports.
As Netflix’s cancellations roll in, this one shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, as the series failed to garner critical acclaim or top the most-streamed list. As Deadline explains, a decent start quickly petered out, with the show breaking out of the platform’s top ten in its third week.
Critics also showed no signs of a sleeper hit in the making. While Rotten Tomatoes reviews (opens in a new tab) were fairly evenly split with 55% of people finding it “fresh”, the audience score is much clearer: an overwhelming 27% rating from nearly 3,000 reviews.
For what it’s worth, our own editor Henry T. Casey was one of the positive voices, describing it as “like a Fast & Furious movie, in a good way”, praising the “entertaining storytelling” and “the total hilarity of the dialogue”. .”
Kayla Cobb at Decider (opens in a new tab) was also a fan. “Filled with humor, heart and some of the coolest action of the year, this is a show that will alternately leave you screaming and cheering on your TV,” she wrote.
But others were harder. “It’s a show that’s ‘light on the action and the gore, and heavy on the cliches,'” according to The Daily Beast (opens in a new tab). “Consider this another failed Umbrella experiment,” writes Brian Tallerico on RogerEbert.com (opens in a new tab).
Part of the problem is the challenge of creating a much-loved game franchise that’s both authentic to existing fans and accessible to those who’ve never even picked up a gamepad in their life. “For those unfamiliar with the legendary video game series, it will feel like little more than a confusing and somewhat sticky zombie series, grappling with the baggage of a pre-existing lore,” Nick Hilton laments The Independent. (opens in a new tab).
The show was torn between the beginning of the apocalypse in 2022 and the present of 2036 where the consequences are felt. It followed Jade Wesker (Ella Balinska) as she fought for her survival in the new world, dogged by both her father’s ties to the sleazy Umbrella Corporation and the fate of her twin sister.
With two separate storylines separated by 14 years, that means the show ends with not one, but two different sets of unsettled cliffhangers. Unfortunately, with Netflix’s 2022 cancellations well into the double digits, it’s just a business hazard to start a new show: chances are you’ll never get the satisfying resolution you want.