We were big fans of last winter’s Dare Me, a tautly dark psychological thriller set in the world of high school cheerleading. Starring Herizen Guardiola, Willa Fitzgerald, and Marlo Kelly, the USA series centered on the emotional triangle that opens up between two members of a school cheerleading squad and their mysterious, emotionally manipulative coach—one that eventually blossoms into violence, intrigue, and misery. We praised the series for its slow-burn examination of poisonous power dynamics, along with the excellent central performances.
Unfortunately, that dark little thrill ride has now come to an end, with Deadline reporting that the series has been canceled at USA. Unlike some series derived from popular novels—looking at you, Big Little Lies and The Leftovers—Dare Me didn’t burn through the entirety of its source material in its first season, maybe because Megan Abbot, who wrote the novel, is also a writer and producer on the show. The series is now being shopped around for a potential second season elsewhere; it’s not clear yet how the show’s status as a Netflix co-production (the streamer having taken up its international distribution rights) will affect its chances of finding a second home.