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Blockbuster review: Randall Park and Melissa Fumero bring nothing new to the ironic Netflix series

It's a dull show all the way!

Blockbuster review: Randall Park and Melissa Fumero bring nothing new to the ironic Netflix series
Melissa Fumero and Randall Park in a still from Blockbuster

Last Updated: 02.35 PM, Feb 26, 2024


Timmy Yoon (Randall Park) lives in a 5G world but has analogue dreams. His initial love, movies, has consumed him throughout his adult life. This devotion has kept him at his first and only job, managing Blockbuster Video in his hometown. Timmy is shocked to discover that his establishment is the final Blockbuster in America. He must now take steps to maintain his business and keep his pals employed. Timmy and his team soon come to the conclusion that having the final Blockbuster in town might really be just what their neighbourhood needs to restore the interpersonal relationships that the digital era has eroded. Also, Eliza (Melissa Fumero), his old love who just started working for him again, comes back into his life out of the blue. Will this fight about keeping the past alive give Timmy the push he needs to move into the present? His staff can only wish for that.


Blockbuster has always been a part of American culture. Over time, it changed into what we now call Netflix. The irony is present right then and there, where the streamer has made a series about the company, which they gulped down with their quick rise to success. The series is set against the backdrop of a strip mall in Michigan, where the last Blockbuster rental store on the planet is situated.


Timmy Yoon (Randall Park) is the manager of the store who decides to take matters into his own hands to keep the last Blockbuster store alive. Although business is down due to the digital explosion, like him, his employees are unwilling to leave their jobs. The series focuses more on how sometimes it's the comfort of a workplace that makes you stay rather than the continuous flow of betterment and success in your career. Each employee is distinctive, as it should be and as it's often shown in American workplace sitcoms. However, it's no Superstore or Brooklyn Nine-Nine that will keep you hooked on it.

Despite having an interesting topic, Blockbuster is nowhere near a hit, so to speak. The 10-long episodes only seem to drag and seem stuck in a loop of sub-plots we have seen before. The fact that Melissa Fumero plays Eliza in the show reminds you all the time of B99 since the actor never left her famous role as Amy Santiago. She is shown as the same smart woman who likes to take things under her control. Even here, she believes that she can take matters into her own hands and that everyone has to just abide by whatever she says.

I have not seen much of Randall Park's work, but he was too adorable for words in Always Be My Maybe. The actor, of course, shot to fame with his role in the sitcom Fresh Off the Boat and tries very hard to be a boss or manager. However, the character arc of Timmy is quite a letdown without any interesting progression. The usual set-up of having a crush on a coworker is once again a big part of the series. At one point in time, the series just had episodes about Timmy and Eliza, but at the end of it, there was nothing that you might want to look forward to. The template of "Will they, won't they?" makes most of the series uninteresting.


Also, Blockbuster is based on its DVD collections, and we hear about movies from every time period in Hollywood. But the covers on the DVDs are made up; just imagine, ah! Although every character is almost a cinephile, which we often see on social media, it just looks bizarre how most of them are unaware of the rise of social media, despite having constant mentions of TikTok.

Vanessa Ramos, the woman behind Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Superstore, just recycled her characters in Blockbusters and brought nothing new to the table.

And what even was that season finale? To show the importance of Blockbuster rental stores, I had expected an organic turn of events. But the make-believe opted for by the makers brought the series down to the next level, limiting it to being just a fool's paradise.

In the first episode, the series touches upon how everyone who works at Blockbuster and the few people who still go there long for human connection and community, which late-stage capitalism has taken away from working-class America.

But that just remains a dialogue and is brought up in the season finale, but only with a weird sequence of events, making the whole series a letdown.


The ensemble cast and the makers behind the idea drew me towards Blockbuster. But the distractive episodes with no character growth make the series entirely a dull show.


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