I'm Obsessed With Chris Rock's Comedy Special Selective Outrage, 6 Other Netflix Live Events Should Experiment With
There's a lot of potential here.
Chris Rock: Selective Outrage, armed with critiques for Will Smith and others, cracked Netflix's Top 10 with only a limited time to do so compared to other shows. Given that, it seems as though Netflix's foray into live events was a success. No doubt subscribers responded well to the live format and may want to see more. I, for one, am obsessed with the special and the live format being utilized further in streaming.
So how can Netflix do more with live events? I have a few ideas, and while not all of them are completely groundbreaking or original, they are ideas that Netflix should be trying to implement in the future. Here are some of my thoughts on the subject, and how Netflix can continue to ride the wave of live events after having a hit with Chris Rock's comedy special.
More Stand-Up Comedy Specials
To get the obvious out of the way, it seems like Netflix should invest in hosting more live stand-up comedy specials. Sure, Netflix already has a lot of stand-up, and a good deal of it was recorded, and that's fine. However, there's still nothing quite like a live performance and the idea that anything can happen.
It's ironic to speak about the possibilities of what can happen during a live event, especially when Chris Rock is part of the reason behind it. Still, there's no denying that a comedy show is much better when it has improvised/unexpected moments that catch people off guard, as well as jokes that could've been scrubbed in post-production after being viewed by a streamer. Plus, it makes the viewer feel like a part of the audience in attendance, so I'm all for more live stand-up comedy.
Live Seasons Of The Circle And Other Reality Shows
The Circle and Too Hot To Handle are just two examples of popular Netflix reality shows that would benefit from having a live season. The Circle, specifically, is a series that has often felt rushed when watching the season, as though viewers are missing a hefty bit of context as to why certain decisions in the game happened.
With a live season, those with a Netflix subscription would get an inside look at what's going on in The Circle at all times or get a front-row seat to the spiciness of Too Hot To Handle. Sure, it's voyeuristic, but live feeds have also helped shows like Big Brother celebrate long runs on television. Plus, it would give audiences more to talk about outside of what airs on episodes.
Live Tell-All Specials Following Reality Shows
If you're someone who watches 90 Day Fiancé or The Real Housewives franchise, you know that the tell-all specials are half the fun of a season. Now imagine that same thing happening with a Netflix series, but the reactions are live. Network shows like Big Brother have tried to replicate that, but they're bound by FCC restrictions, and perhaps as a result, feel heavily scripted to prevent any surprises or obscenities.
Netflix isn't beholden to the same rules as network and cable television though, which could make a live tell-all for a show like Too Hot To Handle or Love Is Blind much more exciting. Plus, Twitter is the best place for fans of reality TV, and they tend to be popping during live events like this even more so than they usually are.
Live Singing Competitions
If there's one non-sports genre that has thrived with a live format, it's the singing competition. American Idol and The Voice are both tried and true examples of singing competitions that have mastered the live show and kept audiences obsessed with their offerings for years. Live singing competitions work, and it's something Netflix can and should pursue.
One Netflix series I really loved was Rhythm + Flow, which, for the uninitiated, was like The Voice if it was mostly a rap competition. The series had a great Season 1, with its winning rapper D Smoke going on to earn two Grammy nominations just two years later. That's a show I think needs another season, and bringing it back as a live show could get a large audience invested in a show they might've missed the first time around.
Live Concerts And Music Festivals
If Netflix is willing to go the route of doing a live comedy show, it doesn't seem like that much of a leap to offer live concerts or feeds from popular music festivals. The latter is already normalized for major festivals like Coachella, though I'm sure Netflix could arrange a deal with one of the other big events to broadcast all the fun and chaos of.
As a parent who lives a good distance away from family, I don't get a lot of nights out. Having the ability to spend my Friday night jamming out to some live concert from the comfort of my living room would be a joy, especially if it's available for just the price of my Netflix subscription. Could I do the same thing with a pre-recorded concert? Sure, but the live element would make me feel like I'm part of the fun, even if I'm just a thirty-something trying to boogie down in my house. Or, I could also see the next Woodstock '99 unfold from the comfort of home, which would also be pretty wild.
Live Premieres For Shows And Documentaries
It may seem silly for Netflix to host live premieres for its shows and break from its normal release schedule. As someone who lives in the Eastern time zone and works in entertainment, however, I can't stress how much streaming is messing this up. I go to bed still waiting for a premiere because I can't really stay up until 2 or 3 a.m., and by the time I wake up, there are already hundreds of spoilers waiting for me on Twitter from those on the West Coast who did stay up.
Imagine if when the final season of Stranger Things premieres, we all had access to the premiere at a decent hour? Obviously that's easier said than done when you're an international streamer, but I think live premieres for shows and documentaries could get more people talking about a series at the same time and maybe even draw more eyes to it and get people to tune in. Watching content with others is fun, and I think some people lost sight of that in the jump to streaming.
We'll ultimately have to wait and see what Netflix (opens in new tab) attempts to further pursue live content with, if any, but rest assured, the potential is there. While it's not still live, anyone with a subscription can stream Chris Rock: Selective Outrage right now, and I'm sure viewers will still get a chuckle or two out of it.
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Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
By Mike Reyes