In the spirit of bringing one of my favorite shows back from the dead, I’m taking a brief tangent from my typical author blog content to bring you something a little different.
Picture credit to @unsaid_bee
Written by Angelina Singer
In the hopes the streaming platform wakes up to its mortal error, fans of the show are banding together to resurrect this beloved series of love, loss, and tainted hotdogs.
Netflix Original Series Julie and The Phantoms has a lot of heart, (undead) soul, and rock ‘n’ roll. It’s also won multiple Daytime Emmy Awards, besides having a soundtrack with real staying power on the iTunes charts. Kenny Ortega (High School Musical and Descendants) is the director of this musical show about a teenage girl finding music again with the help of a ghost band. Creators of the show, Dan Cross and David Hoge, have also done most of the pre-production and script writing for season two so they were ready for the greenlight – but it never came.
There are many variables to consider before renewing a Netflix series. This includes mostly logistical concerns, like coordinating cast scheduling. The show’s ghostly leads Charlie Gillespie (Luke), Owen Patrick Joyner (Alex), and Jeremy Shada (Reggie) have recently shot to stardom – so they’re working on other projects now. Julie and the Phantoms was lead starlet Madison Reyes’ breakout award-winning role (Julie), so she would most likely be thrilled to embody this beloved character once again.
What executives don’t realize, is that fans are getting wiser about how the entertainment industry works. If they’re passionate enough about something, they’ll quickly become experts on the subject – and question loudly when things don’t add up. This is the evolution of an audience and how they pay attention, so that’s why some of the fans have been reaching out to streaming services for answers. One such account provided some information about how shows can get picked up after being cancelled. According to a Disney+ agent, Netflix still owns the show, but given Kenny Ortega’s documented successes with Disney franchises in the past (High School Musical and Descendants), this presents a very real possibility.
This agent also cited a 2019 report from Deadline which stated a Netflix Original will be prohibited from airing anywhere else for a certain amount of time. The exact period of time was not shared, but at least that gives fans a bit more insight on what to expect in the coming months for the fate of Julie and the Phantoms.
Media outlets have also been taking notice of the outcry, including TV Fanatics, PopBuzz, PopCulture and What’s on Netflix – and that’s just the American platforms. If we’re talking international, there’s even press coverage on BadTaste (Italy), TeleLoisirs (France), FilmTV, Yahoo DE News, Filmstarts (Germany), and Series em Cena & Cabana do leitor (Brazil). Oh and by the way – it was trending in 43 countries (likely as a result of fan-organized streaming parties). What more could they want to see? The worldwide ripples from this one pebble in the water of limitless media speaks volumes. Your move, Netflix.
To attract even more media attention, FANtoms Emma Suyasa from Australia, alongside Cianna Rees from the UK, Erin Nestor from Maryland (United States), and Selina Hollevoet from Belgium commissioned billboards of performance art centers around the world in support of renewing the show – including an Orpheum whenever possible. Why the Orpheum? It’s the center of Sunset Curve’s unfinished business – the boys were getting ready to play there the night they died. Given its central element of the show, it’s the perfect place to blur the fourth wall and bring this show to the real world. So far, these motivated media marketing mavens have crowdsourced funding for notable billboards like the Sydney Orpheum, as well as a billboard located on the bustling EDSA Road in Manila, Philippines – plus another location across the pond in the UK. This is a truly tangible testament of the show’s worldwide reach. Fans have also had a bit of fun with the billboards, even incorporating a bit of the show’s lingo of “don’t tell me how to ghost” on a venue in Glendale, California named Alex – a flawless representation of everyone’s favorite undead drummer. Mr. Reyes, father of lead starlet Madison Reyes even got in on the fun by snagging a billboard in their local Allentown, Pennsylvania area. There are many more stops of the “Orpheum Tour” that have happened and continue to roll out, which just shows that simply put, people all around the world want this show. And they want it bad.
Click through to see a selection of billboards on the Orpheum Tour!
There’s also a fan-run hub known as https://savejulieandthephantoms.com – a one-stop shop for all the info about the show and how to win back that coveted season 2. Linked to this website is also one of many petitions via https://www.change.org/p/netflix-we-want-season-2-of-julie-and-the-phantoms that at the time of this writing, has gleaned almost 170k signatures in support of more good-natured hijinks and heartwarming adventures from this diverse and talented cast. Started by a fan from the Netherlands, this petition embodies the tangible proof that the demographic and geographic reach of this show is unparalleled.
The cast even got to rendezvous with some fans in Paris during Back to the Musical World Convention at the end of 2021 when the cancellation was officially announced. At these meet and greets, fans and cast members both got to witness the surreal emotional impact of this glittering, music-filled gem of a series.
“The atmosphere of having fans from all around the world in one place to celebrate a show we loved was amazing. Even after the news of the cancellation – which had everyone quite upset and in a state of shock – the convention became a celebration of what we had been given by the cast and crew of Julie and the Phantoms. From the interactions I had with the cast, you could tell the actors loved meeting fans, were touched by knowing what an impact the show had, and [were] grateful to the fans of the show. The show came out in a time of need for many people because of [COVID-19] – that’s why so many people relate to it so deeply. I was also able to meet some of my best friends that weekend that I had made from the mutual love of the show, and now I couldn’t imagine my life without them.”Cianna, United Kingdom
Even on paper, this show has performed quite well, with these accolades to its name:
- 93% Rotten Tomatoes rating
- 8.5 IMDb User Rating with 4.5 stars
- 3 Daytime Emmy Wins (plus 10 additional nominations)
- 8 other prestigious awards won, including MTV and Imagen
Instead, fans of the show are raising their voices to the rain, making their dream of a second season a reality no matter how many times they relight that spark. They’ve got unfinished business with Netflix and will do anything short of haunting the place to get their favorite cast back behind the camera.
Until then, keep streaming the show on Netflix, and trust that what is lost can be found – it’s obvious.
Article by Angelina Singer
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