Are movies back yet?
And 'Parks' creator turns beloved sports movie into TV show
What to know
Free Guy beat box office expectations, but movies aren’t back yet… The Ryan Reynolds movie made $28.4M domestically, outpacing an estimated $20M max. Unfortunately, that’s still pretty low and analysts don’t even have a streaming release to blame this time! This is definitely not where the industry thought it would be in August 2021 — and yet, Disney mustn’t be that upset because according to Reynolds, it wants a sequel 🎮
Netflix’s library is now 40% originals… You gotta hand it to Netflix. It used other studios’ massively popular content to build a subscriber base and then it slowly swapped it out with originals. Netflix anticipated the oncoming competition and took action well in advance. The only problem is the wildly inconsistent quality of Netflix’s original series and movies 🍿
Sony sends Hotel Transylvania 4 to Amazon… the pandemic comes for yet another theatrical release. Surprisingly, Sony sold this one to Amazon while it’s other animated pics (Mitchells, Vivo) went to Netflix 🧛♀️
Mike Schur is making a Field of Dreams series at Peacock… Between this and MLB’s Field of Dreams game last week, Field of Dreams is suddenly back in the pop cultural consciousness. I’m just happy for Schur who gets to finally wed television and his beloved baseball ⚾️
Danny Devito is returning to the Penguin… by writing a DC comic about the character 🐧
Jay-Z starting online sports betting platform… another business, man 🏈
Museum of Broadway to open in Times Square… I’m shocked this didn’t exist already. Seems like a fun thing to do between getting twofers and showtime 🎭
Dropping this week:
Nine Perfect Strangers — Aug 18 Netflix drama series | RT 75%
The Chair — Aug 20 Netflix dramedy series | RT 90%
PAW Patrol: The Movie — Aug 20 theaters and HBO Max kids movie | RT 100%
What to watch
I could not get into the pilot of Mythic Quest. Recommendations from people whose opinion I respected left me scratching my head. Every character in this Apple TV+ comedy was more loathsome than the last and there weren’t nearly enough hard jokes to offset the maliciousness. So I put the show down and wrote it off for a few months. Then the second season premiered and I kept seeing recommendations from very smart people and critics. It was enough to give the show another shot and I’m glad I did.
Creators Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny), and Megan Ganz (Community, Modern Family, Last Man on Earth, Sunny) needed approximately 2 more episodes to really get things going and find the balance in their maniacal video game workplace comedy. They dialed certain characters up and down (especially tweaking McElhenney’s Ian away from being an overbearing prick) and they borrowed a Sunny strategy that always works: they brought in some straightmen foils to play against the main cast’s narcissism. They also pumped in more hard jokes, that we all know they’re capable of. The result is a balanced, more earnest series about working relationships and the creative process. And it wouldn’t be a modern comedy series if it didn’t have a few thought-provoking standalone episodes. Season one features Jake Johnson and Cristin Milioti in a beautifully written story about love and creative control from Katie McElhenney (Rob’s sister).
Just a few years ago, comedy series had room to grow. Parks and Rec notoriously came into itself after a rough 6-episode start. These days, with the never-ending deluge of new content, if something doesn’t hit immediately my patience evaporates fast. But if Mythic Quest is any example, I’m the one in the wrong here and if the talent is there, it might just need a little breathing room to set fire.