Never Have I Ever has to be one of Netflix’s most successful original comedies at this point this side of Bojack Horseman, as it’s a rare comedy series that rules the top 10 when it arrives, and stays there for quite a long while.
However, though it lasted for a week on top of the Netflix top 10 list, Never Have I Ever has indeed been dethroned by a new show. Well, not a new show in this case, an old show, the one it previously unseated, The Sandman. But the situation is a little bit weird. It’s not just because The Sandman is so popular it swung back into the lead after people finished Never Have I Ever. It’s because The Sandman, two weeks after release, took the extremely unusual step of releasing a secret, eleventh bonus episode to join the original ten of season one.
The episode featured two standalone stories, A Dream of a Thousand Cats and Calliope, ones that did not quite fit into the original run, but they were filmed and Netflix and the showrunners wanted to air them all the same. But rather make them a somewhat nonsensical ending for season 1, they ended up deciding the best time to release the bonus episode was now, after the binge-watchers had finished, creating a pretty unusual situation we have almost never seen on Netflix before. But they wanted it to be a secret surprise in this way. It seems to have been enough to propel The Sandman up to #1, though I would expect that to be short-lived once people get through the new episode.
The show that might be #1 by the time I’m even finished writing this is the new series Echoes, the critically-drubbed mystery about a pair of twins where one goes missing, starring Michelle Monaghan and Matt Bomer. But reviewing poorly has never stopped a Netflix series from ascending the list, and it seems like it may be the next number one for a spell.
Never Have I Ever is now down to third, but its placement will not decide its fate, unlike most Netflix shows. Why? Because that’s all already been settled. Netflix has already renewed Never Have I Ever for a fourth and final season, where it will be Devi’s senior year, taking her all the way through high school, and ending before the show does some sort of awkward college split-up with the cast. The show just lost Paxton since he graduated, but it’s unclear what role he may still end up having in season 4 as an ASU student. So, I expect the list to change around quite a bit for a little while here, with this weird Sandman episode throwing a wrench into the usual machinations. My guess is Selling the OC will hit #1 when it debuts this coming weekend.