Netflix hits delete on Archive 81 – The A.V. Club

Archive 81

Archive 81
Photo: Netflix

Another week, another dead show at Netflix—your one-stop streaming shop for television programs you probably shouldn’t get too attached to. This time, the Streaming Reaper has come for found-footage horror series Archive 81, which Deadline reports the streamer has declined to pick up for a second season.

That’s both a bummer, and a little bit of a surprise—or as much of one as Netflix pulling the plug on a show can be, these days. After all, Archive 81 not only drew critical praise, it also reportedly did pretty well for the service, breaking into the company’s Top 10 for ratings for original programming.

For the unfamiliar, Archive 81 starred Mamoudou Athie as an archivist asked to restore some old video footage, and Dina Shihabi as the woman who filmed it, as she attempted to investigate the strangeness surrounding an apartment building. Things swiftly get spooky, in ways that paid homage to horror classics like Rosemary’s Baby, The Ring, and more.

Series creator Rebecca Sonnenshine—who adapted Archive 81 from an existing podcast by Daniel Powell and Marc Sollinger—confirmed the news on Twitter today, reporting that she was “surprised and disappointed we won’t be doing another season,” briefly hinting at some of the plotlines the show might have followed if it had picked up from its first-season cliffhanger.

For what it’s worth, we were fans of Archive 81, which often managed to transcend the base homages it was built from. In her review of the show’s first (now only) season, Saloni Gajjar writes,

Even as it goes through an assortment of supernatural concepts, the show remains interesting mainly due to its exploration of intergenerational trauma. The sentimental familial hook is the through line for each character, past and present. Dan, Melody, Virgil, and almost every other supporting player’s motivations are traced back to grief over the loss of loved ones. Archive 81 just manages to connect their suffering in a slow-burning yet rewarding way.

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