On this week’s episode of the Media Play News podcast, hosts Charles Parkman and Charlie Showley dissect several articles from the industry that have emerged in the past week, as well as offer up a couple of quick reviews for new movies they’ve caught on streaming. First up, Charlie has finally watched The Menu which is now streaming on HBO Max. It’s a great satirical take on the pretentiousness surrounding high-end luxury dining and well worth a watch. Charles recaps the first Knives Out and shares his thoughts on its recent Netflix-exclusive sequel Glass Onion.
From the latest salvo in the streaming wars, Warner Bros. Discovery CFO was quoted as saying the prices of streaming platforms are “… overall priced too low,” which is troubling considering the merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia (with HBO) have led to many shows and movies being written off and removed from the streaming lineup. One prominent casualty was Batgirl, a completed $90 million film that will now never be released. This, coupled with Netflix’s penchant for canceling shows after only a season or two, implies that not long from now streaming subscribers will be paying more for less content. Speaking of Netflix, Charlie and Charles have a back-and-forth discussion about how Netflix may be setting itself up for failure by consistently canceling its original programming. The cancellation of “1899” last week (after a single season) led to a lot of negative feedback online, and more recently the cancellation of the animated comedy “Inside Job” has Charlie starting to turn more and more bearish on the service. It appears that Netflix subscribers are conditioned to wait until a show completes its entire run before becoming invested in it, which could lead to a negative feedback loop of initial low viewing numbers, leading to more cancellations, leading to even lower viewing numbers.
The last piece of newsworthy content from the industry was CES and a metaverse-oriented showcase that had taken center stage during the convention. Both hosts own VR headsets and spend some time commenting on the VR-specific tech announced at CES. Most things, like a headset containing cartridges that allow the user to smell certain odors during use, come off as obviously dead on arrival while others, such as a new headset from HTC to compete with the Meta Quest 2, are intriguing. The hosts recommend buying a VR device regardless, because watching movies on a giant virtual screen is a great experience.