Netflix’s new workplace comedy centers on the country’s last Blockbuster Video struggling to stay open. Here’s everything we know.
Netflix has set its next venture into the world of workplace comedy with a seemingly unconventional subject. The new series Blockbuster will explore the lives of the employees of the last remaining Blockbuster Video store in the United States. A streaming giant poking fun at the demise of video rental stores? The meta-comedy writes itself here.
This comedy is not the first time that Netflix has ventured into territory featuring the dying video retailer. In 2020, the streamer released The Last Blockbuster, a documentary about the actual last remaining Blockbuster video store in Bend, Oregon. The doc follows the store’s manager over several years and discusses the factors that led to the video chain’s demise. Celebrities like Ron Funches, James Arnold Taylor, Adam Brody, Jamie Kennedy, and Brian Posehn were among the doc’s other interviewees.
The new Blockbuster workplace comedy seems to be inspired by the plot of the documentary, though it will take the story in a more comedic direction. How will it explore the lives of those dedicated store employees? Who can we see in the cast? When will the new series be released? And what else should audiences know about Netflix’s Blockbuster?
Side note, “Netflix’s Blockbuster” is likely not something anyone expected to hear in 2022.
Those who saw the documentary generally know what to expect from the new comedy. The employees of the last remaining Blockbuster Video store in the country do everything they can to keep it open. While the documentary presented the factual story behind the movie giant’s downfall, the sitcom will likely take a similar story and put a comedic spin on it.
Keeping the last remaining Blockbuster Video store open is no small task. We can expect many workplace comedy tropes to arise as the characters struggle against the rapidly modernizing world. Regarding what exactly we will see, an official synopsis from Deadline reads:
“Blockbuster follows Timmy Yoon ([Randall] Park), 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 ([Melissa] 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.”
Netflix has compared the series to other workplace comedies like Superstore, Parks and Recreation, and The Office. Comparing your still-upcoming comedy to The Office of all shows definitely sets a high bar, so hopefully, the series can deliver.
Netflix promises to present an authentic Blockbuster experience, even acquiring the rights to use the official uniforms and logo. Also, while the show will revolve around the last Blockbuster store, it’s not immediately clear from the promos if it will use the real-life last store in Bend, Oregon, or if it will make up a fictional location.
Since so much emphasis is placed on the last store itself, we can reasonably expect that the series will likely incorporate the real-life store, though that is still speculation. More information and plot details will likely be revealed as we approach closer to the release date.
Fresh Off the Boat star Randall Park is leading the cast. Park’s Timmy Yoon is the video store’s manager, a movie lover, and a dreamer. His optimistic nature makes him one of the lead proponents of keeping the store open against all odds. Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Melissa Fumero is starring alongside Park as Eliza, a mother in her 40s with an unstable marriage returning to work at Blockbuster after raising her family.
In the Heights actor Olga Merediz is playing Connie, a maternal figure who works at the store with the desire to make friends, not money. American Vandal’s Tyler Alvarez is Carlos, a son of immigrants who learned English by watching movies. He dreams of being a filmmaker and must balance that dream with living the life his parents planned for him. Canadian actress Madeleine Arthur plays Hannah, a sweet and slightly naive girl who lost her mom at a young age. Her coworkers at Blockbuster become a surrogate family and help to teach her life lessons.
Curb Your Enthusiasm’s J.B. Smoove is Percy, the owner of the strip mall housing the Blockbuster store. He is the over-confident best friend of Park’s Timmy, who can’t seem to stay away from the video store. Actress Kamaia Fairburn plays Kayla, the smart and scary teen daughter of Smoove’s Percy. Kayla works at Blockbuster, though she isn’t into taking orders from anyone.
Actress Ashley Alexander is set to play a character named Mila, while Supergirl’s Robyn Bradley is in the role of Miranda. Confirmation of these characters’ storylines, as well as additional casting announcements, are likely to follow as we get closer to the release.
The first season, consisting of 10 half-hour episodes, will release on Netflix on November 3, 2022.