Blockbuster, review: a sitcom without ideas

Blockbuster, review: a sitcom without ideas

Blockbuster, review

Blockbuster, available on Netflix, is a new American sitcom of ten episodes lasting twenty-five minutes each. Written and conceived by Vanessa Ramos, former showrunner of Mr. Wrong, this new production tells the lively story of the last existing Blockbuster on the face of the Earth, who finds himself surviving in a world now full of platforms and streaming services that offer subscriptions to watch. unlimited films.

The Blockbuster chain was born in 1985 in Dallas, Texas, in an extremely revolutionary moment for cinema, so much so that at the time Star Wars dominated the box office and Mel Gibson was raging in Mad Max. Blockbuster, insinuating itself into the market , had the ability to exploit these golden years by becoming the number one brand in video rental, subsequently opening stores in Europe and other parts of the world. Its failure, which occurred in 2013, was due to both the advent of Netflix and its corporate policies that no longer catered to the consumer.

Blockbuster is a series that loses its purpose

Timmy, played by Randall Park, is a reckless 40-year-old who runs the latest store of the American giant in the heart of Oregon, in Bend. It boasts a more or less competent team composed of Eliza (Melissa Fumero - Brooklyn Nine-Nine), a former Harvard student for whom she has always had a teenage crush, by a film and critic expert like Carlos (Tiny Alvarez), by a young freak (Madeleine Arthur, The Devil in Ohio), Kayla Scott (Kamaia Fairburn) and 50-year-old Connie (Olga Merediz). A dream team that, despite the complex Blockbuster moment, has been working undeterred for years, trying to make it to the end of the month without declaring bankruptcy and losing the already residual sanity.| ); }
One day, however, a local broadcaster announces the closure of all Blockbusters in the United States, with the company on the pavement precisely because of its policies that are no longer competitive with streaming giants such as Netflix, which by now it has alienated the consumer. The subscription, in fact, has quintupled just after the closing of the last Blockbusters, and poor Timmy risks finding himself without a job after almost twenty years of honorable service. The only alternatives, in fact, are two: close or continue to work. Obviously choosing the second option, Timmy begins to organize a night event to attract as many people as possible to sign up for the latest Blockbuster in existence with the help of his best friend Percy (J.B Smoove), a wealthy businessman who is also his. tenant, to whom he owes an important sum.

And it is here, however, that the script creaks, losing its purpose and compromising the enjoyment of the series in its entirety. Immediately after the conclusion of the first episode, the series goes on between sketches often lacking in bite, but it is the message at the end of the season that is exaggeratedly left to chance and to the imagination of the viewer. The ideas, already running out with the sixth episode, tell of a team that initially risks losing their job but, thanks to a lucky moment, manages to find an impossible solution on balance. The main problem with Blockbuster, in fact, is that it tries to place itself among the great cult like Scrubs and other sitcoms along the lines of Disjointed (the Netflix series that talks about Ruth Feldman with Kathy Bates) and its shop dedicated to every form of cannabis in existence. in the globe. Speaking in general about the interpretations of the actors, we have nothing to complain about and, even if the final performance is not very cohesive, they are still appreciable and sometimes amusing.

The direction, who handled some scenes in a clumsy way , he didn't have the ability to put his own personal touch to the entire first season. The fault lies with a skimpy and not very engaging writing, which told the stories of the characters outside the working reality, however losing sight of the shop, which was to be the basis of the story. Atmospheres, fundamental in such productions, play an important role, yet Blockbuster lacks loyalty due to the absence of the iconic symbols that have made American society recognizable by anyone around the world. We are not talking about the logos, but about the shelves always overflowing with new proposals, the weekly top dedicated to the films of the moment and yes, even the candies placed near the cash registers. Absences that weigh and, above all, make clear the lack of attention paid to detail by the directors, which can only be detected with a keen eye.

Blockbuster is a series that lacks the kind of writing typical of the great American sitcoms which, in addition to eliciting a laugh, deal with sensitive topics. The Blockbuster problem is not even able to tell in the right way a very significant moment on the world of entertainment, on its evolution and diffusion. In this regard, no reference is made to the past of Blockbuste r, and it lacks that kind of irreverent irony that always manages to keep glued to the screen. Blockbuster falls under the weight of its ambitions.

In conclusion

Randal Park's interpretation is not enough to save the production, and in general the direction has not exploited Madeleine Arthur's talent . Blockbuster, trying to bring forward a theme that is not explored in the right way, is a sitcom that in this first season has left us several perplexities.

If only he had dared more, if only he had not been in a hurry to end and had everything been written right, Blockbuster would be a series with a memorable plot and narrative. The theme was poorly exploited, the talent of the actors as well, and in general we are facing a missed opportunity. We still don't know if a second season will be released, but after the cancellations of many other Netflix TV series in recent days, Blockbuster, considering the reception of critics and audiences, could be yet another.

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