Tuesday, July 20, 2021

TV: Outside factors

Outside actions can impact many things. Take COVID 19. NETFLIX's MATLIDA and BRIDGERTON have both halted production temporarily due to COVID 19. Or take internal problems that go public. NETFLIX's firing of three marketing executives, for example (reportedly for posting rude comments about peers).


There are any number of issues that can't be planned for -- even if they should have been anticipated. We understand that.

But there are other actions that make no sense at all.

Take MANIFEST. We weren't that impressed with the series when it first started airing so it's not like we're devotees beating our chests and singing, "Near, far, where ever you are we believe that the show will go on."

NBC's decision to cancel the show surprised us. It is popular and popular enough in immediate airings on NBC as well as on other platforms -- including NETFLIX -- to justify the show continuing. The same argument could be made for NBC's GOOD GIRLS which they also cancelled. What makes it even more surprising with regards to MANIFEST? The show has been in NETFLIX's top ten for weeks now as the third (and final) season has premiered on the streamer.

NETFLIX needs subscribers. To garner subscribers, they need programming that people want to watch. So why did they not rush to snap up MANIFEST the minute NBC cancelled it? And after the cancellation, when the second season came to NETFLIX and proved to be extremely popular, why did they not grab it up then?

WARNER BROTHERS specifically shopped it to NETFLIX but NETFLIX took a pass. That strikes us as a very stupid move -- but we'd argue WARNER BROTHERS not easing it over to HBO MAX was also pretty stupid. HBO MAX is their streaming effort and it's a muddy project. What is it?

HBO MAX remains undefined except as the place where you can see a new movie when it's also at the theaters -- THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD, WONDER WOMAN 1984, JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH, THE LITTLE THINGS, GODZILLA VS. KONG, THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT, IN THE HEIGHTS, ETC. But what else is it? And, after the pandemic ends, will it still even offer these films to stream same day of release?

Because the end of the pandemic -- like the end of the Iraq War -- has been greatly exaggerated

If you're not getting exactly how muddied things are at HBO MAX, one of its initial offerings was Melissa McCarthy's SUPERINTELLIGENCE. Where is that now?

We liked the film. But where is it now? Ty passed on that readers were asking. So we went to HBO MAX and couldn't find it there either.

What is HBO MAX?

Besides a streamer that's has no defining image or presence? It's frustrating. That's what it is. Using a smart TV? And the HBO MAX app? Then welcome to the 'fun' of being told, every five weeks, that you're 'trial' has ended and you need to subscribe. This is frustrating because you do subscribe. And yet you have to log out and then log back in and sometimes you have to log out, pull up the HBO MAX website on your phone, pad or laptop, and then log in. It's a pain.

And this site has over 250 e-mails complaining about that nonsense.

HBO MAX could be -- and should be -- building an audience and they could easily do that by picking up MANIFEST and other WARNER BROTHERS programs (such as PRODIGAL SON) that were cancelled despite being popular. (WARNER MEDIA owns both WARNER BROTHERS and HBO.) To lure a large audience, you need content that the audience wants to stream.

NETFLIX is hoping that video games will provide them with subscribers after the increase in new subscribers has fallen off for the streamer. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. With approximately 60% of American households signed up with NETFLIX already, there's not a lot of growth left to grab in the market. Certainly, pinning hopes on video games is better than The Netflix Gift Shop, as we like to think of their new online store. Who really wants to plaster their home with that nonsense?

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