Netflix Is Making A 'Blockbuster' Show (After Killing The Real One)
It feels like every possible venue for a workplace comedy has been mined by now, from offices to elementary schools. Well, Netflix figured out that there was one more idea left, as far-fetched as it may sound: a Blockbuster video rental store. In 2022. And, again, it will stream on Netflix, the very company that convinced mankind it didn't need Blockbuster anymore.
The single-camera show will star Randall Park (Agent Jimmy Woo from WandaVision and Ant-Man) as the owner of the last Blockbuster store in operation. The same one that was the subject of a 2020 documentary and that's still standing today, having survived a financial crisis, a pandemic, and (if you're reading this after 2025) an alien invasion, probably. Melissa Fumero from Brooklyn Nine-Nine will play Park's "trusty number two," and it's just been announced that Curb Your Enthusiasm's JB Smoove will join in as "strip mall and party store owner," who also serves as the show's obligatory wacky best friend.
Rounding up the cast will be a bunch of fresh-faced young actors playing the store's Gen Z employees, who will likely have to say, "For the last time, sir, Encino Man is still rented out" at least once per episode.
It's unclear if the show will work in the fact that the real-life Last Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon, also serves as a museum of Russell Crowe memorabilia. Items such as the hood Crowe wore in Robin Hood and the sweaty shorts from Cinderella Man were originally donated by John Oliver to another Blockbuster store in Alaska and then transferred to the Oregon location once it became The Only One. If the Netflix show wants to aim for realism, it should logically have a running storyline about thieves constantly trying to pull heists to steal Crowe's leather jockstrap, ideally under the orders of guest star Russell Crowe himself.
Another storyline could center around the stiff competition the store must be getting from those "Free Blockbuster" metal boxes that have been popping up around North America, where anyone can leave a movie and take one from the available selection (which, depending on the location, looks better than Peacock or Paramount+'s catalogs).
Obviously, Netflix's emergence wasn't the only factor that led to Blockbuster's doom, but this still feels a little bit like rubbing it in. It's like MySpace having had to sign up for an official page on Facebook or, well, most of the internet having had to sign up for an official page on Facebook. On the other hand, the inherent contradiction of this show's existence might lead to some good comedy, and if Netflix kills it after two seasons like so many others, at least "Netflix killed us" can become a plot point within the story (it would have been a little weird if that happened in, say, Squid Game).
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Top image: Netflix, Stu pendousmat/Wikimedia Commons