Blockbuster TV show: twisted irony in new Netflix sitcom

Who remembers the regular trips to the video store, wandering down the aisles and then trying to balance out their $7 seven weeks by praying that the jenga tower wouldn’t collapse on the way back to the car?

The video store, once a staple of every suburb, is now on the brink of extinction. There is a Picture Search in Richmond in Melbourne, a sci-fi store in Adelaide, and a small number in regional cities such as Video Connection in Bellingen. The last one in Sydney closed earlier this year.


And the culprit that killed the once ubiquitous destination? Netflix – and the Internet in general, but especially streaming platforms.

So there’s a perverse irony that the new Netflix sitcom is set in the very one that was destroyed, America’s last blockbuster store.

It’s a fictional comedy, but inspired by the concept of being the last one behind something you once took for granted will always be there. How are you coping with this existential crisis?

Blockbuster, starring Randall Park and Melissa Fumero, was created by Vanessa Ramos, who has worked on the Superstore and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. .


Timmy (Park) receives a call that seven other Blockbuster stores are closing, making him the last one. Along with this, corporate infrastructure and support disappeared, including half of the rent.

Timmy is on his own, he faces growing challenges trying to stay financially viable when you’re selling a product that everyone has already decided is outdated.

blockbuster follows the familiar template of workplace comedy. The concept and setting is just a canvas, the real stories are character interactions, such as between Timmy and Eliza (Fumero), his longtime love who just got over a breakup with her cheating husband.

That he won’t find the courage to confess to Elise how he really feels is part of the tension of the series.


As well as blockbuster completes an ensemble of characters including Carlos (Tyler Alvarez), a young man living out his Quentin Tarantino aspirations by emulating what his idol did, Hannah (Madeleine Arthur), the sweetest person you’ll ever meet, and Connie (Olga Merediz), a woman who works there not because she needs it financially, but because it gives her purpose and community.

It’s an ingenious show that’s perfect for relaxing after a hard day, or as a cleansing palette after two hours spent in a serial killer company telling the story.

But it’s more than just that.

What you can’t stream online is human connections. For example, when Timmy hands a recently abandoned customer a copy of Under the Tuscan sun No algorithm can figure out how to heal a broken heart.

Engaging with the streaming homepage will never be the same as having a real conversation with another person, passion and conflict in sharing our favorite stories.


And digital libraries will never carry the depth and breadth of 120 years of film and decades of television, that’s what we’ve all lost.

It’s a real ploy on Netflix’s part to deliver a show that clearly plays with the indispensability of the human experience. But this is not a threat. There will be no revival of the Blockbuster brand in retro style.

Which is a shame for all of us.

Blockbuster is already streaming on Netflix

Read related topics:Netflix

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