For everyone with early 2000’s nostalgia, Netflix is headed back to the days of Blockbuster with a new comedy series. The series, led by Vanessa Ramos of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Superstore fame, will star Randall Park as he operates the last Blockbuster video store in America.
Blockbuster, a concept which was originally passed on by NBC, will be the second series just this year that Netflix has picked up from them, following their hit drama Manifest. It’s described as a single-camera comedy that will “explore what it takes – and more specifically who it takes – for a small business to succeed against all odds.”
According to Deadline, the producers of the series have acquired the rights to the Blockbuster logo and uniform, which will be featured in the series. Surely this will be an incredibly nostalgic show for most viewers, seeing as the audience most likely remembers the rise and fall of the original video rental service.
This pick-up from Netflix is extremely ironic, and adds to the comedy of the series, when you consider the history between the two companies. Netflix began as a small by-mail DVD rental business in the late 90’s; acquiring a cult fanbase rather quickly and capitalizing on the mailability of DVDs while their competition, Blockbuster, was still renting out VHS tapes.
Netflix always being two steps ahead would become a trend, with Netflix being the first to move into online streaming years before their competition considered it a viable option. Ultimately, that is what ended up killing Blockbuster, as they invested more and more into their brick-and-mortar stores while Netflix instead created what is arguably the best streamer user interface still today.
So it almost feels like Netflix is twisting the knife by memorializing the final Blockbuster video store, which actually does exist in Bend, Oregon. The store was the subject of a 2020 documentary titled The Last Blockbuster, and is still open for business.
The series was picked up for a full 10-episode first season at Netflix, though there’s no expected release date for the series just yet.