So here we go again! Freeridge the spin-off for the popular show “On My Block” and one of the first major comedy releases on Netflix of 2023 was canceled months after its release. Despite picking up good reviews from critics holding an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes, with a lot of praise for representation in a multitude of areas, and the fact that it was a “female-led comedy” Netflix has decided to not renew the show for a second season. For me, the problem is bigger than just a show and its outcome but more in its handling.
To start off you probably didn’t know that the show existed. The fact is studios and distribution companies do an abysmal job in promoting Latino-oriented characters and stories to a mainstream audience unless it is a project that includes a major name such as JLo, Pedro Pascal, or Jenna Ortega. Despite accounting for 29% to 38% of all moviegoers the publicity budget to market to the Latino community is practically non-existent. Not once did I see a billboard, commercial, or any mainstream advertising from Netflix for Freeridge as I did for ‘You‘ or ‘Unstable‘. In my experience in dealing with Netflix, I am sure that the teams assigned to the multicultural division for all these production/distribution companies are doing their best with the limited resources provided, but corporate needs to do better if it is going to try to bridge the disconnect that Hollywood has with understanding the Latin American Audience.
The fact that I wasn’t even aware of this spinoff is 🧐🤷🏽♀️ https://t.co/Ip5HKAUtcu
— Rosa Parra (@rosasreviews) April 12, 2023
What’s the result? Well right from its debut, Freeridge only picked up 8.27 million hours watched from January 29th thru February 5th, 2023. It took a whole 8 days of the show to fall out of the Top 10. The Watcher, Resident Evil, The 90’ Show, and The Imperfects all had more watched hours than Freeridge. Evidence by some of the reactions below shortly after its debut that were already sounding the alarm.
I really enjoyed freeridge but looking at its first week numbers it’s probably getting cancelled 😭… https://t.co/C4n8itr6YR
— carolina (@urmyhopetv) February 8, 2023
Best of luck to FreeridgeFans. I still don’t trust Netfl*x to renew even with enough demand. Not after the many series they cancelled, including Warrior Nun. Sell the rights so we all can move on.
HAVING NUN OF IT#SaveWarriorNun #WarriorNun
— Sean | crmsncrwndknght (@crmsncrwndknght) February 5, 2023
In the end production/distribution companies need to start addressing the issues they have in promoting Latino characters and films with the same confidence they do for shows which have non-Latino actors. Keyla Monterroso Mejia, Bryana Salaz, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Ciara Riley Wilson deserved a better chance than what Netflix provided to them. I’m curious about your thoughts on the cancellation and about the show – comment below!