Netflix cancels beloved gay romcom Smiley after one season, and fans are all kinds of emotional

Netflix series Smiley cancelled. (Netflix)

Smiley creator Guillem Clua has confirmed the beloved gay romcom series will not be returning for a second season on Netflix, and fans are fully in their feelings.

The LGBTQ+ TV series grim reaper has struck again, this time targeting Guillem Clua’s heartwarming seasonal gay romcom series Smiley. It follows countless other shows with unapologetically queer representation that have been axed over the past few months including Warrior Nun, The Wilds, Willow, Queer As Folk, The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself and 1899.

Unlike the Neil Patrick Harris-led queer series Uncoupled, which was rescued by Showtime after being dropped by Netflix in January, Smiley has received no redemption. On SER Catalunya‘s radio show Aquí Catalunya on 28 April, Clua confirmed the cancellation: “I can already tell you that there won’t be a second season of Smiley, but there will be other things that I can’t say right now.”

Based off the play created by Clua in 2012, Smiley follows Barcelona-based singles, hunky bartender Alex (Carlos Cuevas) and endearing architect Bruno (Miki Esparbe), who are brought together over a wrongly delivered voicemail which kicks off a truly unconventional love story.

Lesbian couple in Smiley. (Netflix)
Netflix’s hit gay romcom Smiley has been cancelled. (Netflix)

Over the course of eight episodes, the pair “navigate hesitations, hangups and missed connections” as they overcome their differences and fall in love. As well as its celebration of queer joy, the show received widespread praise for its diverse LGBTQ+ cast of characters, including a lesbian couple, Patricia (Giannina Fruttero) and Vero (Meritxell Calvo).

It clearly made an impact, landing nominations for Outstanding Spanish-Language Scripted Television Series at the 2023 GLAAD Media Award and Best TV Comedy at the 2023 Queerties Awards.

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However, all this was not enough to secure another run. While some have argued that the show works well as a one season limited series, with Alex and Bruno’s romance getting a rare onscreen happy ending, according to Clua, there was definitely potential for more.

During an interview in December with Aquí Catalynya, the award-winning playwright revealed that he had “more material” for future seasons, which could take the form of an anthology series.

“When I saw that I had the opportunity to invent a whole universe of stories – of old people, young people, of all kinds of sexual orientations – I was convinced that yes that I had to do it,” he said.

Naturally, fans are since it’s the end of the line for Alex and Bruno, fans are sharing their sadness at losing yet another LGBTQ+ show.

“I rewatched this so many times,” one fan wrote. “One of the few queer shows with great representation for more than just gay men and nothing traumatising! Actual queer joy! Obvs they must destroy it.”

“I’m really sad about this but at least the first season ended well. Would have loved to see more though,” another added.

“Although it had a good ending, it could have had a second season because there was more story to tell. Oh Netflix! Carlos Cuevas and Miki Esparbé had such chemistry and I will always remember them,” a third added.

Amidst a rising tide of anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment across the world, Clua also took the opportunity to reiterate the importance of LGBTQ+ representation.

“We are suffering a conservative offensive that wants to reduce and eliminate rights that already exist, and for this reason, it is more necessary than ever to make visible the different realities, identities and orientations,” he concluded.

The first season of Smiley is available to watch now on Netflix.