Scavengers Reign Is Getting a Second Chance It Shouldn’t Have to Ask For

Every once in a while, pockets of the internet collectively choose to put full weight behind reviving a show that was quite well-liked and got cancelled after a season or more. Jericho, Community, and Young Justice are just a handful of examples, and the newest show to join those ranks is last year’s animated sci-fi horror series Scavengers Reign.

The series, which first premiered on Adult Swim and Max and has now jumped ship over to Netflix, centers on three groups of survivors from a ship that’s crashed on an alien planet. io9 called it one of 2023’s best shows, which I stand by: from start to finish, Scavengers Reign is a great series that feels unlike anything else under the Adult Swim/Max banners, animated or otherwise. It has a killer atmosphere and is consistently engaging, even in the quieter parts, and is constantly topping itself on a visual level. For anyone that’s longed for an animated series for adults that isn’t just people constantly cursing or saying crude things, this show will scratch your itch and then some.

If there’s anywhere this show would feel at home, it’s Netflix, the Everything Streamer. For all its faults, shows or movies that get added to that platform often do well there once they’re on the eyes of a wider audience, like Manifest or Community. With animation fans really taking a shine to the series and feeling more than a little spiteful towards Max for the cancellation, it’s likely Scavengers will do well on Netflix over time. Those numbers matter even more than they normally would since in the same announcement as its cancellation, Variety reported Netflix was interested in renewing it for season two should it have good debut numbers.

Image: Green Street/Max

At the same time, it feels a little unfair that the onus is on viewers to make that second season a reality. Netflix wants Scavengers’ arrival to feel like an event and a chance for fans to give their favorite show a brighter future, but it likely also picked the show up because it knew folks had taken a shine to the show. It’s an odd bit of parasocial manipulation that’s been part of the TV ecosystem for some time, made even more annoying because fans often have no clue what milestone they’re even meant to strive for. Netflix has canceled plenty of shows for reasons that often come off as arbitrary, not helped by the fact that it has frequently jacked up subscription prices and spent hundreds of millions on disposable movies.

Scavengers Reign is a niche show, there’s no real argument there. Even setting aside that it’s animated, there hasn’t really been anything like it in Western spaces for some time (if ever), and certainly not on a major network or streamer. Could it be an instant hit? Probably not, but it could, at the very least, be a well-performing niche show that enriches whatever platform it belongs to and becomes a reliable watch that builds up attention over time.

Should you watch it? Without a doubt: yes, because you’ll likely come away with something that sticks in your mind or has you talking about it. It just sucks that Scavengers Reign, like so many other things in entertainment today, has to fight for its existence right from the start instead of being given time to grow and catch audience attention.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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