‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Won’t Return For A Second Season
The Queen’s Gambit took home a whopping 11 Emmys at the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, including the top prize of Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series. Critics and audiences alike were dazzled by Netflix’s period drama, which follows Anya Taylor-Joy as a fictional chess prodigy named Beth Harmon. Typically, when a show is so popular, a second season is almost immediately ordered. But according to the show’s executive producers Scott Frank and William Holberg, there will be no Season 2 of The Queen's Gambit.
Despite Season 1 being streamed by 62 million households within its first 28 days on the platform, a second season of the show was never in the cards. But why? One good turn certainly deserves another, and such positive reception nearly guarantees a successful sophomore effort. Speaking to Deadline in a virtual panel, Frank explained the reasoning behind concluding The Queen's Gambit after just one season. “I feel like we told the story we wanted to tell, and I worry — let me put it differently — I’m terrified that if we try to tell more, we would ruin what we’ve already told,” he stated.
Frank’s answer echoes the common fear that many creators have when expanding upon a popular movie or TV show. How do you recapture the magic of the original, while expanding on the concept in fresh, interesting ways? The Queen's Gambit finale perfectly wrapped up Beth Harmon’s story, creating a dynamic portrait of a celebrity chess player who achieved everything she set out to do. A second season could end up feeling redundant, diminishing the gripping power of Season 1.
All this being being said, both Frank and Holberg said that they wish to collaborate with Taylor-Joy on a future project. In the case of The Queen’s Gambit, folding up the chess board does seem like the smartest move. Sometimes, it’s best to quit while you're ahead.