Streaming, Netflix and Universal Television have joined hands on Blockbuster- a comedy series, featuring the lives of the staff at the remaining Blockbuster store in the US. Here is a quick rundown of what we know so far about the new series led by Randall Park, which was released on November 3, 2022.
The entire internet celebrated the news when Netflix confirmed the project back on Nov. 17, 2021. Each episode born from the creativity of Vanessa Ramos is said to be 30 minutes long.
In a recent press release, Netflix’s comedy head, Tracey Pakosta said, “This is a story, documenting a dedicated group of co-workers, who have a lot of heart.” Now, the show update has left the street talking with the release of the first episode, starring witty Randall Park along with other five actors.
Blockbuster developed higher expectations prior to the release, which is being questioned now. It is From the writer of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Superstore,” Vanessa Ramos, and that is one of the major reasons why the show gained traction in the very beginning itself. But was it a good one or was the hype unnecessary?
Netflix’s workplace comedy has numerous talents, thanks to the ensemble cast led by Melissa Fumero and Randall Park. But where did they hide all the laughs?
The one and only joke of Netflix’s comedy series, Blockbuster is the one present in that phrase that the audience has quickly changed their minds to opting for DVDs. Is it cruel, Netflix?
It is said to be a comedy that is set as the very last Blockbuster on Earth, which will evacuate all the other Blockbusters.
The show begins with a customer admitting in the opening scene that he couldn’t come by the store because he was “doing Netflix, like everybody.” [By the way, that store itself is the main plot that is said to evoke elements of nostalgia in the viewers].
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Although the centric store has managed to keep up with the nostalgia creation, it still seems somewhere not enough as sticking to the old formulas alone wouldn’t make a show successful, but only its content.
A feel-good series like Blockbuster is always shown a green light by the audience, because of course, we need to watch something at least to relax our minds. But, despite the efforts of the cast, the season already seems quite predictable.
Netflix has been constantly trying to stay at the forefront as the best-ever streaming platform, trying to come up with different and unique shows. Similarly, it has tried to rule over other shows, but this time, with a traditional sitcom.
Luckily, Blockbuster is not a flop unlike other Netflix originals (like Country Comfort, Disjointed, Pretty Smart, Friends From College, and Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! And the list goes on and on) that have tried to recreate old-school sitcom magic. Blockbuster is at least since although patchy, in depicting the employees standing on to their beliefs as their jobs slowly become obsolete.
Randall Park’s Timmy Yoon is the beloved manager of the last operating Blockbuster. He is too passionate about keeping the store open even in the most adverse conditions. He also considers his employees as his own family- a trait that is pretty rare in the real world. Yoon wants the store open because he wants to ensure it is always taken off. That is one of the reasons why it is not a surprise that Blockbuster was not shuttered, creating a potential plot inside.
The entire location doesn’t look impressive though, but then what makes it stand out? However, we do not have to eat our heads at the moment, as Yoon is doing it thinking about withstanding the pressure of his day-to-day chores, challenges including a sudden eviction notice and rent increase.
The main cast of Blockbuster was announced in three different waves. First up, Randall Park was announced to lead the series. Then in February 2022, Melissa Fumero was confirmed and the remaining actors were revealed in March 2022.
Melissa played the role of Eliza, Yoon’s long-time employee, and his crush. Her character struggles to meet the two ends in light of her husband turning out a cheater. But, she clearly harbors feelings for Yoon. The possibility of their romance has a lot of importance in the first season and it’s also flattering to watch them as a pair.
However, they are definitely not Jake Peralta and Amy Santiago of B99, a role in which Melissa made a lasting impact. In Blockbuster, she is not at all looking for another lover, as apparently, her main motive is to find some “me time” in the chaos.
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As an actress, or as an individual, Melissa is entertaining, but the script has failed to take the most out of her. In reality, not only to Melissa, the script did no justice to the other characters. They included the fun pair, Carlos and Hanna, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Madeleine Arthur, and American Vandals Tyler Alvarez.
While they all are given the least attention individually, their group dynamic is better and tender, which is a plus point for any workspace sitcom.
Anyway, Blockbuster truly struggles to keep up with the laughter that they promised and in short there are barely any big laughs in the series. The jokes like calling James Corden a menace and a bully are only worth a chuckle. Whereas the other touches of humor either feel forced, stuffed, or cringe-worthy. It is definitely creating a ‘thumbs-down’ impact as the jokes often feel dated.
The question, “How am I going to be the next Tarantino If I don’t go to a video store?” sounded irrelevant, not even the creators tried to balance it with anything else. In the end, we can say that Blockbuster is at least not going to be a blockbuster.