For those of us of a certain age, there’s something so nostalgic about Blockbuster Video's entertainment reign. I’m not saying I’d give up the convenience of being able to access nearly any title with a few clicks of the remote, though, and maybe that’s the balance that Netflix is trying to explore with Blockbuster, its new streaming comedy about the last remaining rental store. The series — whose cast includes comedy vets Randall Park, Melissa Fumero and J.B. Smoove — is now available for streaming, so let’s see what the critics have to say about the new Netflix show.
The workplace comedy sees store manager Timmy Yoon (Randall Park) trying to keep his location of the rental store alive, after finding out that his is the last one left. We’ll get straight to the reviews, with Ben Travers of IndieWire grading the series a D. He thinks the show lacks necessary nostalgia, and its scripts aren’t funny enough for the talented cast. The critic posits that this series is the kind of thing a real Blockbuster wouldn’t bother to keep in stock, saying:
Kenneth Seward Jr. of IGN, expresses disappointment over considering what Blockbuster could have been in an ideal world. The critic also says the series doesn’t take advantage of its unique predicament, and fails to address any of the real hardships that video stores face in today’s world. Instead viewers are granted an unfunny series that could be set in any workplace. He rates it a “Mediocre” 5, saying in the review:
Angie Han of THR calls Blockbuster “perfectly pleasant,” with the first season yielding a few belly laughs from its solid cast. However, this review states that the series is missing anything to distinguish itself. The critic argues:
Liz Shannon Miller of Consequence comes to the Netflix series with the perspective of being a past video rental store employee (though not a Blockbuster), and she says the series is never able to escape its ironic and flawed premise. From the review:
Saloni Gajjar of AV Club says the actors elevate the weak writing, keeping it from being the most disappointing of Netflix’s original series. However, there are still barely any laughs, and the cast can only shoulder so much of the burden, the critic says.
Blockbuster has accumulated a 17% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes from 18 reviews. However, the audience score is much higher, at 67% from 24 user reviews as of this writing. Because the series was just released on November 3, that audience score could change significantly as more viewers get through the series, though we probably shouldn't expect the critical score to vault much higher.
Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.
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