Which Streaming Platform Should Continue the Series?
Jan 10, 2023
You never know how much you love something until it’s gone. Disappearing from popular culture not once but twice, the massive video rental service known as Blockbuster first served as a home away from home for many moviegoers looking for a weekend flick or weeknight feature.
Eventually being put out of business by other media servicing giants like Netflix and Hulu, who streamed movies and television shows digitally, the blue and yellow colored brand filed for bankruptcy in 2010. Twelve years later and somehow not down for the count, a single franchised store remains open in Bend, Oregon. This is where Blockbuster’s second life began.
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Inspired by this nostalgic bastion of hope for the video store, an episodic series based on the employees and their at-work antics with none other than their competitor, Netflix, was announced in 2021. It took everybody by surprise that the modern-day streaming platform would agree to bring the former competitor under its wings and actually help produce a nostalgic workplace comedy with Blockbuster actually being the title.
With Randall Park, who is ever popular for his roles in The Office, Young Rock, and the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, being cast as manager of the last Blockbuster Timmy Yoon and Melissa Fumero, known for her role in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, stepping into the role of Eliza Walker, who is one of Timmy’s employees and his secret crush, the show was fully set for release in November 2022.
Why Was Blockbuster Canceled?
Premiering with a season of ten episodes, the whimsical adventures of the various employees that worked at the last fictional Blockbuster location would unfortunately only last for a month before Netflix was forced to cancel the show due to the deadly combination of low audience viewership and abysmal critical review. Even with names like J.B Smoove, who most recently had a place in the feature film Spider-Man: No Way Home, Olga Merediz, who voiced Abuela Alma Madrigal in Encanto, Tyler Alvarez, who is a mainstay in Netflix’s Never Have I Ever series, and Madeleine Arthur, who starred in all three of the To All The Boys Who I Ever Loved movies, filling out the immediate cast, Blockbuster was only able to retain a 22% critical rating review on Rotten Tomatoes. It also only had the momentum to crack into the Top 10 rankings of countries outside the US.
Related: The Office: The Best Episode In Each Season, Explained
Those who are mourning the iconic ’90s video rental store and the short-lived reboot say that this entire production, from pre-release hype to actual release was all planned in advance by Netflix to strike one last nail in the competitor’s coffin. Others say that Blockbuster was nothing but another retooled nostalgia grab, hoping to catch the eyes of those looking for some semblance of yesteryears like the latest installment of The Matrix or the upcoming That 90s Show. Whatever the case may actually be, many do believe that the Randall Park dramedy deserves a better try at capturing people’s hearts than what Netflix was willing to give. Let’s look at a few platforms where this show would have another chance at life.
A New Streaming Home for Blockbuster
You cannot talk about a streaming platform that is more nurturing to workplace humoresque scenarios than NBCUniversal’s Peacock. Currently, home to the full series of both The Office and Parks and Recreation, this would be a perfect fit for Blockbuster if it was brought back from the dead. Walking the fine line between lighthearted and serious tones, both shows are great examples of the fact that NBC knows how to handle comedic execution within the roadmap of long-term storytelling. Showrunner Vanessa Ramos would find great aid from her potential NBC production team on what to do in order to ensure the show lives a long on-air life.
Related: Party Down Revival Teaser Reveals First Look & Release Date
While not holstered to an app that was created by the same network that originally brought them on air, Scrubs and Superstore both found a fortuitous second life on Hulu. Standing alongside these two shows, Blockbuster would be taken more seriously than Netflix ever gave them credit for. With the extra added attraction of being an original production exclusively streaming on Hulu, this would give the streaming platform a secret weapon in terms of the never-ending streaming wars.
Last but certainly not least, Starz could certainly provide a more mature and cynical-themed route for the nostalgia-centric Blockbuster. With the network wielding a streaming app that not only provides numerous exclusives but also hosts a limited revival series for 2009’s original Party Down, Blockbuster could very well become the network’s next pet project that comes from the bustling but not hustling workplace genre.
Repeat renters of the infamous ’90s Blockbuster brand were finally excited to see their favorite company make a promised comeback. That same audience was then thrown for a loop when the show that was supposed to bring them back to nostalgic times was actually stopped in its tracks even before it had a chance to get started. Hopefully, sometime soon, the workplace comedy will be graciously picked up by another streaming giant. Until then, we will all hold onto the memories that come with our membership cards.
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