Spoilers for The Irregulars below!
The Irregulars was a gang of misfit teenagers, led by Bea (Thaddea Graham), who were commissioned by Dr John Watson (Royce Pierreson) to solve supernatural mysteries. It was a fun twist on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories and added excitement to the repetitive Sherlock adaptations. There was a love story between Bea and Prince Leopold (Harrison Osterfield), who was modelled on the eighth son of Queen Victoria, a drug-addled and regretful Sherlock, and Jessie’s (Darci Shaw) unusual supernatural powers. Completing the gang of crime-solving teenagers with Bea, Leopold, and Jessie, were Spike (McKell David) and Billy (Jojo Macari).
Each character was wonderfully acted. IGN gave The Irregulars a 7, highlighting “the charisma of the core cast, and the warmth they generate as a ragtag crew of unlikely crusaders, smooths out the bumps and transforms the story into a nifty binge”. With a great cast, it’s a shame Netflix axed the drama before its time. The irregular and brilliant season did, at least, get an emotionally satisfying ending before being cancelled. Screenrant named grief as the true, defeated villain and gave a beautiful description of the climax from the first season. The beauty of the ending not being a completely happily ever after, but Bea being left without her lover, Leopold, as he is trapped in his royal duties, created a delightful moment between Bea and Dr Watson with each supporting the other through their loss. The moment is bittersweet as the audience won’t see any more adventures from the shared lives of Dr Watson and the Irregulars.
It wasn’t perfect and received mixed reviews, but it reached 78% on Rotten Tomatoes. Plus, Netflix have renewed worse series. So, even with a rumoured season 2 already in the works, Netflix pulled their regular move by cancelling the series after one season. It’s yet to be announced why, although there’s speculation over coronavirus interfering with schedules, or Netflix’s preference for short-term quantity over long-term quality.
In 2020, Netflix cancelled 18 original series, 14 after one season. Maybe Netflix believes they can increase subscription with new projects rather than continuing ideas. Financially, it might be a win but repeatedly cancelling new and exciting series displays disregard for fans and increases the disinterest for new series because it’s unlikely stories will progress further than a pilot season. Interesting to note, The Irregulars boasted a diverse cast, and as Insider writes “many of the cancellations have been shows with women or people of colour prominently behind the scenes or starring”.