You can tell something has punctured the zeitgeist when it leads to a genuine cultural trend, and the massive increase in people taking up chess in the aftermath of The Queen’s Gambit tells you all you need to know about the impact made on audiences by the Netflix smash hit.
Not only does the literary adaptation rank as one of the platform’s most-watched episodic projects ever after drawing in 62 million streams in the first four weeks it was available, but it’s also Netflix’s single biggest scripted limited series ever. If that still wasn’t enough, The Queen’s Gambit has become an awards season darling, giving it the trophy cabinet to match the critical acclaim and adulation.
Having previously scooped a Golden Globe for Best Miniseries or Television Film, with star Anya Taylor-Joy landing the Best Actress prize, The Queen’s Gambit went on to win eleven Emmys from eighteen nominations this year. Creator Scott Frank and his team nabbed the big one after coming out on top in the Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series category, while the directing, editing, production design and more were additionally honored.
In an interview with Deadline shortly after the Emmys had concluded, Frank offered an update on a potential Season 2, and it isn’t what fans want to hear.
“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.”
We’d heard rumors about a possible second run for Taylor-Joy’s Beth Harmon, but it always felt unlikely. It’s best to leave The Queen’s Gambit as it is; a gripping phenomenon that won over audiences and awards bodies in equal measure.