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Thanks to returning favourites such as 9-1-1: Lone Star, Euphoria and the RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise, as well as new shows like Heartstopper, Queer as Folk and the reimagining of A League of Their Own, this year has undeniably been one of the best (and most authentic) on record for LGBTQ+ characters and narratives. Because queers can’t have nice things, however, several championed dramas with L’s, G’s, B’s, T’s and Q’s have been unceremoniously axed in 2022 to pandemonium online. Fan pages… are shutting down. Change.org petitions… are being drafted. Viewers… are outside Netflix headquarters with pitchforks. If, like us, you can’t keep up with the small-screen’s current LGBTQ+ purge, then read ahead. Warning: may make thee full of rage.

Batwoman (2019-2022)

Cast: Ruby Rose, Javicia Leslie, Rachel Skarsten, Meagan Tandy, Nicole Kang, Camrus Johnson, Elizabeth Anweis, Dougray Scott, Victoria Cartagena, Robin Givens, Nick Creegan

Following the controversial departure of Ruby Rose as the crime-fighting cousin of Batman slash Bruce Wayne, Javicia Leslie memorably made history as the first-ever Black – and bisexual – iteration of Batwoman. Although all three seasons of the action drama received highly positive reviews from critics, particularly for its authentic LGBTQ+ representation, The CW cancelled the series – during Lesbian Visibility Week, we should add! – to enormous backlash from viewers. Caroline Dries, showrunner, revealed the news on social media, saying she was “bummed, but full of gratitude”. 

First Kill (2022)

Cast: Sarah Catherine Hook, Imani Lewis, Elizabeth Mitchell, Aubin Wise, Gracie Dzienny, Dominic Goodman, Phillip Mullings Jr., Jason R. Moore

Based on Victoria Schwab’s short story of the same name, First Kill follows Juliette (Sarah Catherine Hook), a teenage bloodsucker who is forced to make her first kill in order to join her powerful family of “Legacy” vampires. She swiftly sets her sights, romantically, on Calliope (Imani Lewis), who just so happens to be a descendant of a long line of vampire hunters. Scandalous! Despite its mixed critical response, the supernatural romance garnered a passionate following – especially amongst queer women – and was watched globally for over 30 million hours in its first three days on Netflix. Sounds like a success, huh? Two months after the first season premiered, however, the streamer announced that it had been axed. 

Gentleman Jack (2019-2022)

Cast: Suranne Jones, Sophie Rundle, Joe Armstrong, Amelia Bullmore, Rosie Cavaliero, Gemma Whelan, Gemma Jones, Timothy West, Tom Lewis

In July, HBO announced that Sally Wainwright’s period drama Gentleman Jack has not been renewed for a third season, in spite of its ardent fan base and overwhelmingly positive reviews. “We are incredibly grateful to Sally, to the impeccable Suranne Jones and Sophie Rundle,” HBO said in a statement, “and to the entire cast and crew for bringing Anne and Ann’s story to life.” The series, based on the diaries of LGBTQ+ icon Anne Lister, follows the historical figure (Jones) and her romantic relationship with Ann Walker (Rundle). 

Legacies (2018-2022)

Cast: Danielle Rose Russell, Aria Shahghasemi, Kaylee Bryant, Jenny Boyd, Quincy Fouse, Peyton Alex Smith, Matt Davis, Chris Lee, Ben Levin, Leo Howard, Omono Okojie, Zane Phillips

Back in May, it was confirmed that Legacies had been cancelled alongside other CW favourites such as Roswell, New Mexico, Charmed and Batwoman. The third series in The Vampire Diaries Universe, the fantasy drama follows various supernatural beings at the Salvator School for the Young and Gifted, where they learn to control their abilities and, of course, thwart various forces of darkness. The decision didn’t go down well with the series’ loyal viewers, who celebrated the new romance between Ben Levin’s werewolf anti-hero Jed and Zane Phillips’ demigod Ben, which also made history as the first major queer male relationship in the long-running universe. 

Love, Victor (2020-2022)

Cast: Michael Cimino, Rachel Hilson, Anthony Turpel, Bebe Wood, Mason Gooding, George Sear, Anthony Keyvan, Isabella Fernandez, Mateo Fernandez, James Martinez, Ana Ortiz, Ava Capri

Set in the same universe as the history-making film Love, Simon, the Disney Plus spin-off focuses on a new student at Creekwood High School, Victor Salazar (Michael Cimino), who, like Simon, is on a journey of self-discovery. While the series was confirmed to return for a third season in July 2021, it was announced earlier this year as part of Hulu’s TCA presentation that it would also serve as the dramedy’s final instalment. Unsurprisingly, viewers mourned Love, Victor on social media, with one fan saying the cancellation is their “villain origin story,” while another expressed that the series “deserves so much more than three seasons” especially when it was “actually starting to get popular”. 

Q-Force (2021-2022)

Cast: Sean Hayes, Wanda Sykes, Patti Harrison, Matt Rogers, David Harbour, Laurie Metcalf, Gary Cole, Fortune Feimster, Gabe Liedman, Alie Liebegott, Stephanie Beatriz

Created by stand-up comedian and writer Gabe Liedman, Q-Force stars Sean Hayes as Agent Maryweather, a gay spy who is relocated and stationed in West Hollywood after being discriminated against by his agency. The series was met with harsh reviews from critics for conforming to queer stereotypes, only managing a 23% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite this, the series was praised by viewers for its LGBTQ+ inclusion. On a recent episode of the Attitudes! podcast, Matt Rogers confirmed that Q-Force has been cancelled. “The people who loved it, really loved it. The good news is that it will always be on Netflix,” he said. “It did not get a second season but, I feel like the fact is that it is out there, and… it’s really close to my heart.”

The Wilds (2020-2022)

Cast: Sophia Ali, Shannon Berry, Jenna Clause, Reign Edwards, Mia Healey, Helena Howard, Erana James, Sarah Pidgeon, David Sullivan, Troy Winbush, Rachel Griffiths 

Nominated for Outstanding Drama Series at the GLAAD Media Awards, Prime Video’s queer survival series was lauded for its LGBTQ+ characters and narratives. Three months after season two dropped on the streamer, Deadline confirmed that Prime will not be moving forward with a third. Following the news, a fan started a Change.org petition that has, as of writing, over 21,000 signatures and counting. Amy B. Harris, The Wilds’ showrunner, said she was “kinda speechless” at the response.

 

Work in Progress (2019-2022)

Cast: Abby McEnany, Karin Anglin, Celeste Pechous, Julia Sweeney, Theo Germaine

Work in Progress stars Abby McEnany as a self-fictionalised version of herself, a self-described “fat, queer dyke” who unexpectedly enters a transformative new relationship. The dark comedy was commended for its depiction of queerness, depression and anxiety. In January, showrunner Lilly Wachowski confirmed its cancellation. “Right before the thanksgiving holiday, I got the extremely disappointing news from the execs at Showtime that Work in Progress was not going to be picked up for a third season,” she tweeted. “It was a major bummer.” The Matrix director continued to say that shows such as Work in Progress “get trotted out to illustrate how networks and studios are soooo committed to diversity,” but are axed before they can “establish a viewership”. “It is a bit of a vicious cycle,” she added. “At what point does the ‘commitment and championing of diversity’ end?”