REVIEW: ‘Blockbuster’ is a Just Fine Sitcom

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Blockbuster - But why Tho

Randall Park, Melissa Fumero, J.B. Smoove, and Olga Merediz make a great cast, and for the most part, their apt comedic chemistry keeps the wheels on Netflix’s latest original series Blockbuster. A sitcom through and through, Blockbuster comes from

Timmy Yoon (Randall Park) has been working at Blockbuster Video since he was 15 years old. Now, he owns his own store. He’s spent his entire adult life dedicated to his first love, movies, using it to connect to the people in his community. Then Timmy gets the call that his store is officially the last Blockbuster in America. He now has no choice but to take action to stay open and keep his friends employed. Timmy and his staff quickly come to realize that being home to the last Blockbuster might actually be exactly what their community needs to rekindle the human connections they lost to the digital age. It also unexpectedly reunites him with his long-time crush Eliza (Melissa Fumero), who’s recently come back to work for him.

With a little romance and a lot of hijinks, this workplace sitcom throws every joke it can at the screen and hopes that they stick. From constant jokes at the expense at film critics and the “terminally online,” and of course Gen Z, some hit and some miss. Ultimately the jokes will be hit or miss for viewers, leaving them laughing at the people at the center or turn them off because they’re a member of the group. That said, that isn’t what hurts the series. That honor goes to the situations.

What hurts the series is that it’s too easy to draw comparisons to other workplace sitcoms, primarily Superstore or even Brooklyn 99 (of which Fumero is a veteran of). There are too many comedic elements that run parallel to the events of those series, especially in the romance department. And while it’s perfectly fine to not revolutionize a genre and just be a good series, if all of your best moments feel like they came from another series, well that’s a problem. Add in the fact that the seires’ place in time is awkward at best and forced at worst.

That said, there are some shining moments for the series primarily where its jokes about film critics and Latino elements are concerned. Specifically, one episode has a bit that revolves around Dia de Muertos and Connie (Olga Merediz) teaching the dull Hannah (Madeleine Arthur) about the Mexican holiday of celebrating your loved ones. The breakdown in this cross-cultural communication leads Connie and Kayla (Kamaia Fairburn) to try to solve a murder, and ultimately tell Hannah she shouldn’t get bangs. It’s played for laughs but manages to never belittle Dia de Muertos itself, probably thanks to showrunner ‘s background and the multiple Latino actors. And golden moments like this are sprinkled throughout the 10-episode series making Blockbuster a decent watch.

Overall, Blockbuster works when its chemistry does, but beyond that, it’s a fine enough sitcom. It doesn’t break new ground and instead rakes over where we’ve been before, but Park and Fumero work overtime to keep you mostly engaged.

Blockbuster is available now, exclusively on Netflix.


Blockbuster
  • 5.5/10
    Rating - 5.5/10
5.5/10

TL;DR

Overall, Blockbuster works when its chemistry does, but beyond that, it’s a fine enough sitcom. It doesn’t break new ground and instead rakes over where we’ve been before, but Park and Fumero work overtime to keep you mostly engaged.

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