Why Our Paper Girls Subscription Deserves a Hulu Season 2 Renewal
We might be in the age of many amazing television shows, but in the race to be the biggest streamer, some networks have pushed themselves too far and greenlit too much, far too fast. That means that good shows that are critically well received and have excellent viewership numbers are often not renewed simply because they only did well and didn't completely break records. Such is the fate of Paper Girls, which seemed to be a victim of many things, but Amazon only having the eye on one ball being the biggest problem.
The show was critically well received but didn't light the world on fire regarding numbers but didn't flop either; it was released as a binge drop on July 29, 2022. Amazon, however, seemed to forget that they made the show at all as all of their marketing was solely focused on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power which was going to drop a little over a month later. Amazon invested a billion dollars into The Rings of Power, and however much went into Paper Girls was not enough to give it any marketing. Despite all of that, the show did well, and Amazon decided not to renew. Now Legendary Television is shopping the show around to other streamers for a possible season, and the streamer that should pick up Paper Girls season two is Hulu.
Hulu Is A Great New Home For Paper Girls
The first streamer that everyone will think of when it comes to "saving" shows is Netflix, and with good reason. They have done it more than once now to great success, but Paper Girls wouldn't be able to find any unique footing at Netflix. When the show was released, all anyone could compare it to was Stranger Things, despite the shows not having anything in common aside from the fact that they are period pieces with kids as the stars. If Netflix picked up Paper Girls, it would get lost in the algorithm, and no one would seek it out. Paramount+ isn't really looking to court the audience of Paper Girls, and while Peacock would probably do all right with the show, they don't have a good enough foothold in the streaming industry to really make a grab like this. HBO Max is another possibility, maybe the second best option, but Hulu is the best option.
Right now, if you're looking for anything comic book related on Hulu, you don't have a lot of options if you aren't a Marvel fan. In fact, the only thing you really have is the adaptation of Y: The Last Man, which also fell on its face, and Preacher, which is amazing, but in a genre, all to itself, all of the Marvel TV shows that aren't canon anymore and some cartoons. Paper Girls gives Hulu a comic book property that has nothing to do with superheroes and also taps into the teenage demographic that can make or break a show these days. The show is rated TV-MA, but it's the sort of TV-MA that most parents would let their older teenagers get away with watching. There is violence and language, but we've seen worse in PG-13 horror movies. When that audience really falls in love with a show, they will throw everything behind it, and Paper Girls didn't have the opportunity to gain the large, devoted fandom it deserves.
Paper Girls Says "Gay Rights"
It has not been a good year for queer television. First Kill, Legacies, Batwoman, The Wilds, and the announcement that season three of Love, Victor would be the last shows that there is a blood bath out there regarding queer television. The worst part is that many of these shows are exploring female, queer stories that Paper Girls is just starting to explore. KJ has one the weirdest ways of finding out that she isn't straight in the entire world and her little gay crush on Mac is frankly adorable to watch develop. It's not often that we get to see queer stories explored through the eyes of characters as young as the ones in Paper Girls. Usually, sexuality is something that isn't addressed until someone is in their later teens, but Paper Girls doesn't skirt around it even though these girls are only twelve.
Hulu giving Paper Girls room to grow would be an amazing step forward for representation and help lessen the sting of a terrible year when it comes to queer television getting the short end of the stick. It would also present the unique opportunity of exploring coming into one's sexuality at the same time as puberty, something that isn't often explored at the same time for women. The latter issues of the comic also show the real conflict that so many baby queers go through, which is a strain on a friendship when they realize they have a crush on a friend. It's a very real thing that teenagers should see on screen, and it's something that older audiences should see as well, so maybe they can recognize it and learn how to deal with it should it happen with someone close to them.
If Not Hulu, Then HBO Max Needs to Step Up
While Hulu would give Paper Girls the most unique place to stand out among the catalog, the best second-place contender would be HBO Max. There are a lot of rumors that shows like Titans and Doom Patrol are on the chopping block and could have their last seasons approaching. While David Zaslav doesn't seem to have a ton of faith in streaming when it comes to movies, one could argue there is still plenty of demand on the television front, and the House of the Dragon numbers prove that. Pretty Little Liars and Euphoria, while nothing like Paper Girls regarding genre or tone, both do exceptionally well for the service and show that their audience has a high demand for dramas involving teenage characters. When HBO Max wants to, they can throw around a lot of marketing money, and if Hulu passes on the show, then HBO Max should look into picking it up.
The truth of the matter is that Paper Girls never stood a chance when all Amazon could focus on was making sure that every dollar of that billion was worth when it came to The Rings of Power. They all but buried the show, but that didn't stop a small but dedicated fandom from emerging and for critics to shower the first season with accolades. There isn't much of a finale when it comes to season one, and it is clear that the creative team thought that they would get more stories to tell, but that ended up not being the case at Amazon. However, another streamer could step up and not only save Paper Girls but give it the attention it deserves so it has a chance to thrive. If nothing else, the opportunity to end on better terms, a la Lucifer or Manifest, would be greatly appreciated.