Why Do Good Shows Get Cancelled?: The Red Road


I suppose the simple answer to that question is they don’t make enough money. But it is such a shame when there is so much potential within these shows. I only heard about The Red Road after it was cancelled by its network, the Sundance channel, and it showed up on Netflix.
Initially I was drawn in just by the appeal of watching Jason Momoa (I still miss Khal Drogo). But quickly other aspects of the show grasped me. The Red Road is about many things, but it is essentially about the tenuous alliance between Phillip Kopus (Jason Momoa), a member of a Native American tribe, and Harold Jensen (Martin Henderson), a white police officer that patrols the reservation and neighboring community.

The Red Road tackles two very interesting issues that rarely get covered in mainstream media. First, there is the lives and issues of Native Americans. The characters are all very well formed and never veer into becoming stereotypes. It is also interesting to see the Native community cope with the problem of preserving their own way of life or whether they need to assimilate into Western culture in order to survive.
The show also delves into exploring mental illness, something that I think needs more coverage like this in society. Harold’s wife, Jean (Julianne Nichlolson), suffers from schizophrenia. It is one of the best depictions of mental illness that I have seen. How can Jean and her family cope with this illness that she has hidden for years? Can the stigma of mental illness be erased from society? I wish there was more work like this that could bring attention to these issues in a thoughtful manner.

I also love The Red Road for its great cast and fast paced plot. Each season is only six episodes long, so every moment counts. There were quite a few shocking moments as well as very humorous ones. Jason Momoa is a real star here. I have heard people say that he can’t act; that he can only play Khal Drogo type characters. But here as Phillip Kopus Jason holds the whole show together and displays a wide range of talent. He is menacing, but also caring in his own way. His comedic timing is brilliant and he also uses his physicality extremely well.
I hope that this post may convince some of you to give this show a chance. It is very entertaining and worth your while. It is currently on Netflix (at least here in Canada). The second season ends on a real cliff hanger, so I am hoping that some way the show will be able to return for a third season, maybe through Netflix. And after watching this series I am more excited for the upcoming Aquaman film than ever before.

8 thoughts on “Why Do Good Shows Get Cancelled?: The Red Road

  1. This was a great show! This is exactly why I don’t like getting into these shows. They hook you and then cast you on the side! Unbelievable!!


  2. Netflix really needs to restart this. I, too, was drawn in by the appeal of Jason Momoa, but I quickly learned this show is way more than just him. Wikipedia says it’s actually based on a real scenario with an automaker (I think Ford) where they were actually dumping toxic paint from a retired auto plant on tribal lands in New Jersey. If that’s true, that adds an entire extra level of importance to the show for me and just one of the many reasons why I hope Netflix would invest in a Season 3 someday. There aren’t enough shows like this one as it is and I pay my monthly bill only because I know once in awhile I can find stuff like this out there. Honestly if Netflix would do more of this stuff I’d probably just cancel Comcast altogether and stick to HBOGo and Netflix combo. Way cheaper and gets you at least a majority of the good content out there.




  4. I agree with others…. this is the second show I was watching on Netflix, all of a sudden, boom, aprupt ending!
    This is so annoying!
    They should figure out first, is there enough in the budget to make seasons all the way to the end…I forgot the other show but it was a couple of guys traveling to Belize to see a friend and they got caught up in all kinds of stuff… then…pouf… the end….
    Maybe it is time to only watch shows which are known to have full endings…can you imagine when J.R. got shot in DALLAS, and nobody would have known if he survived or not!? Anyhow, I might go back and start watching Sanford and Son, at least these are not continuous episodes…last but not least, there is always money for stupid reality shows such as the stupid housewife’s… beats me….


  5. If your going to cancel a show do not leave it on a cliff hanger. I hate networks that do that ALWAYS. Great show would love and ending to it to it at least. So many unanswered questions. Mrs Collier


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