Blockbuster Serves Pure Nostalgia In First-Look Pics
The comedy series stars Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Melissa Fumero and WandaVision's Randall Park.
In what could be viewed as a fairly bold move, streaming giant Netflix’s upcoming new comedy — starring Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Melissa Fumero and WandaVision’s Randall Park — revolves around life working at the very last Blockbuster video store in America. Once one of the leading destinations for renting home movies, the chain struggled when companies like Netflix launched at-home movie services. 11 years after going bankrupt, just one IRL Blockbuster store remains in Bend, Oregon.
According to Netflix, the new show, shot on a single camera, centres around “what it takes — and, more specifically, who it takes — for a small business to succeed against all odds.” Fans were quick to point out the irony as Netflix partly contributed to Blockbuster’s demise, and now faces an increasing amount of competition from rival services. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming series Blockbuster.
Netflix and show creator Vanessa Ramos — previously a writer on Brooklyn Nine-Nine — have yet to reveal specific plot details of the 10-episode series, though the platform’s head of comedy Tracey Pakosta did give a taster in a press release. “This is ultimately the story of a dedicated group of co-workers, with a lot of heart,” she said.
Still going strong in real-life, Blockbuster’s last surviving store has stood in Oregon for the last twenty years, managing to keep trading throughout lockdown. "I had a customer come in and she said, 'I am so grateful that you reopened, because I couldn't flip through Netflix one more time,'" the store’s real-life manager Sandi Harding told Vice. Elsewhere, the store also temporarily converted into an Airbnb to try and drum up some extra cash, though it remains to be seen if that stroke of genius will make it into the show.
Led by Fumero and Park, the cast for Blockbuster also includes Tyler Alvarez (American Vandal), Madeleine Arthur (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before), Tony-nominated actor, and Orange is the New Black guest star Olga Merediz. Former Saturday Night Live writer JB Smoove and Endling’s Kamaia Fairburn appear, too.
Created by Vanessa Ramos, Kenan’s co-creators David Caspe and Jackie Clarke serve as writers and executive producers, with John Davis and John Fox also executive producing.
“To say getting to make a show about a place I love, with my friends Jackie and David, and Randall Park as our star, is a dream come true, somehow feels like an understatement,” said Ramos in a statement following the show’s announcement.
An official synopsis, meanwhile, reveals further detail about Park and Fumero’s leading roles. “Timmy Yoon (Park) is an analog dreamer living in a 5G world. And after learning he is operating the last Blockbuster Video in America, Timmy and his staff employees (including his long-time crush, Eliza (Fumero) fight to stay relevant. The only way to succeed is to remind their community that they provide something big corporations can’t: human connection.”
Blockbuster Release Date
Netflix have confirmed that their nostalgic video hire drama will hit their streaming platform on Nov. 3, 2022. “Be kind, rewind... and meet your new favourite employees of the month,” it captioned the announcement on Twitter.
What else do we know?
A series of first look images from the show give another early taste of what to expect, and hint towards retro fashion styling, and real-life events feeding into the show. One photo taken on-set shows Fumero and Park posing in the Oregon store, flanked by a series of posters advertising “the end of late fees” — suggesting some of the series is set in the early noughties.
Hinting at a potential storyline, another shot from filming shows JB Smoove rocking up at Blockbuster in a sharp suit, and elsewhere his character appears to work at a party shop.
Joining in with the celebrations, Alvarez also shared a preview of his shop uniform, accessorised with a Carlos name-badge, and a bright woollen jacket. Almost out of shot, eagle-eyed viewers will note that the fictionalised version of the Oregon store is next-door to a nail and beauty salon — IRL, the last remaining shop is neighbours with a pizza takeaway.
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