Netflix: The Place Old TV Shows Rise From the Grave

NEWS ANALYSIS — “Loudermilk,” the 2017 Canadian comedy-drama series that lasted three seasons, languished in relative obscurity on Prime Video until Netflix licensed the Ron Livingston-starrer in 2024. The series is now a top 10 show across multiple ratings platforms, according to Reelgood.com.

“No one seems to be talking about the fact that the show languished in the bottom 1,000 shows before it hit Netflix,” Catharine Burhenne with Reelgood said in a statement.

The TV show’s rebirth on Netflix marks just the latest series rerun that has struck gold on the world’s largest subscription streaming VOD platform.

Netflix (and Peacock) hit gold last year licensing seasons of canceled USA Networks legal drama “Suits,” with the show, co-starring Meghan Markle before she quit acting to marry Prince Harry, dominating weekly household TV streaming last summer, according to Nielsen.

In total, the show, which originally aired on network television from 2011 to 2019, racked up 57.7 billion viewing minutes — enough to take the crown away from previous licensed content chart topper “The Office,” which generated 57.1 billion viewing minutes in 2020 amid pandemic-induced lockdowns.

Reruns of “NCIS” on Netflix and Paramount+ also established an entirely new life outside of linear TV, landing in the third spot on Nielsen’s weekly top 10 acquired content chart. The show gained 1.3 million viewing minutes through 2023 with 39.4 billion minutes streamed.

Other reruns scoring big in 2023 with Netflix included “Grey’s Anatomy” with 38.6 billion minutes and “Gilmore Girls” and “Supernatural,” generating 25.2 billion and 22.8 billion minutes, respectively.

The trend continues in 2024 with 133 episodes of “Young Sheldon” generating 1.15 billion minutes consumed on Netflix and Max, followed by 111 catalog episodes of “This Is Us” ranking in Nielsen Top 10 licensed shows with 929 million minutes consumed through Jan. 21.

The renaissance with streamers saw seven titles exceed the billion-minute threshold through Jan. 21, a first for Nielsen’s top 10 weekly streaming reports. The previous record for number of titles (including catalog) with more than 1 billion minutes in a week was six, which has only occurred four times — most recently during the week of Jan. 7.

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The Flash

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 8/29/23;
Warner;
Action;
Box Office $108.13 million;
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray, $44.98 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for partial nudity, action sequences of Violence, some strong language.
Stars Ezra Miller, Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon, Ron Livingston, Maribel Verduì, Kiersey Clemons, Antje Traue, Michael Keaton.

Director Andy Muschietti’s The Flash would probably have been better regarded as a fun superhero movie if it weren’t dragged down by the baggage of the so-called DCEU.

On the one hand, it’s a solid portrayal of the character that, while taking some liberties with the source material, doesn’t deviate so much from the comics that he’s unrecognizable to fans. On the other hand, the film’s connection with the larger DC movie continuity serves as a beacon-call for hate-watchers to pick apart all the ways it doesn’t make much sense.

That dichotomy is likely to serve as the defining parameter of the ultimate legacy of The Flash — a film that’s entertaining on the surface and offers some genuine emotional beats, but doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny.

It’s also a bit unique among the superhero genre in that it’s one of the rare solo-titled adaptations that doesn’t offer a standalone depiction of the character’s origin story. To be honest, it’s actually not much of a solo movie, with all the various Justice League characters that keep popping up.

Instead, the screenplay finds clever ways to present the Flash’s history to the audience by deconstructing his origin story in a way to serve the larger plot.

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Loosely based on the “Flashpoint” storyline from the comics, the film finds Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) feeling helpless in trying to find the key evidence to prove that his dad didn’t murder his mom when he was a kid. When he discovers his super-speed abilities allow him to travel through time, he decides to change history by saving his mom. However, this fractures the timeline to the point where other superheroes no longer exist, leaving the Earth vulnerable to General Zod’s attack (from 2013’s Man of Steel).

Teaming with his younger self, Barry then seeks the aid of this new timeline’s Batman, which turns out to be the Michael Keaton version from the 1989 movie, though now older and retired but seeking a return to action. Hoping to find Superman to fight Zod, they instead uncover Supergirl (Sasha Calle), and set about to restore order.

And that brings us back to the film being anchored to its baggage. With its multiversal time-travel plot, The Flash is essentially a big “what if” scenario for the DC Extended Universe. And since fans already know the DCEU is becoming defunct thanks James Gunn’s new creative direction for a DC-based movie continuity, the Flash’s meddling through time won’t have many consequences going forward.

Having Flash revisit the events of Man of Steel might have served as a poignant capper to the DCEU continuity. But this isn’t quite the end of the DCEU, as there’s still another “Aquaman” movie set for release, which The Flash does pay lip service to setting up. The original intent was supposedly to use Barry’s time meddling in this movie to set up a modified DCEU with Michael Keaton’s Batman, which would then carry over into the Batgirl movie, but when those plans were scuttled the film reshot its ending to rely on nostalgia-based sight gags.

This is not a movie for viewers unfamiliar with what has come before, either in the DCEU or previous DC-based movies and TV shows, as the nostalgia-bait references are laid on fast and thick. There’s even a payoff to what might be one of the biggest Hollywood inside jokes depicted in a movie, stemming from a Kevin Smith anecdote about his work on a Superman movie in the 1990s.

There’s also the matter of the film’s real-world baggage in the form of star Miller’s well-publicized personal and legal troubles, which likely turned off a huge portion of the audience and would make future Miller-based “Flash” movies problematic at best even if this film didn’t lose hundreds of millions of dollars in box office cash. For those able to compartmentalize those issues, Miller actually turns in a good performance as the two Barrys playing off each other. Serving as a superhero mentor to his younger self, in the same way his Justice League cohorts encouraged him, forces Barry to experience some vital self-examination, while his immature counterpart provides the film an opportunity for self-parody.

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Warner’s release pattern for The Flash home video editions represents a departure from the combo packs the studio usually offers, which is disappointing if it represents a policy shift at the studio.

Instead of 4K + Blu-ray or Blu-ray + DVD combo packs, the film’s wide release is standalone 4K, Blu-ray or DVD, each with an add-on digital copy. Fans looking for multidisc combo packs will have to turn to retail exclusives, with Best Buy and Walmart offering 4K+Blu-ray sets, and Target a Blu-ray + DVD pack.

The distribution of the extras is confusing as well, as only the 4K disc offers the full array of bonus materials.

Available with the 4K disc, Blu-ray and digital versions of the film are a handful of pretty good behind-the-scenes featurettes, including the 37-minute “Making the Flash: Worlds Collide,” the eight-and-a-half-minute “Let’s Get Nuts: Batman Returns, Again,” and the six-and-a-half-minute “Flashpoint: Introducing the Multiverse.”

Also included is the 16-minute “Supergirl: Last Daughter of Krypton” mini-documentary about the character’s history and legacy.

However, the most intriguing extra is the entire six-episode “The Flash: Escape the Midnight Circus” podcast, which is basically a radio drama of another Flash time travel adventure, running about 93 minutes in total, with Max Greenfield as The Flash. There’s also a two-minute “Midnight Circus” behind-the-scenes featurette.

Exclusive to the 4K disc and digital versions are four featurettes (“Saving Supergirl,” “The Bat Chase,” Battling Zod” and “Fighting Dark Flash,” about six to seven minutes each) and 10 deleted scenes running about 14 minutes total. Many of the deleted scenes expand on character interactions in the film and fill in some minor plot gaps, but are also interesting because the visual effects aren’t finished, so we get to see Ed Wade as the second Barry before being digitally replaced by Miller.

The 4K disc also includes the 38-minute “The Flash: The Saga of the Scarlett Speedster,” a must-see documentary for any fan of The Flash as it delves into the publication history of the character and his pop culture legacy. The digital version of this extra is available exclusively at Amazon Prime Video.

 

Sony Romantic Comedy ‘Holly Slept Over’ Due on Digital and Redbox March 3

The romantic comedy Holly Slept Over will debut on digital and exclusive DVD rental at Redbox March 3 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the film, when Audra (Britt Lower, TV’s “Man Seeking Woman”) confesses to her husband (Josh Lawson, Bombshell) that she once had sex with Holly (Nathalie Emmanuel, TV’s “Game of Thrones), her college roommate, their lives take an unexpected turn. Holly’s surprise visit and undeniable charm enliven both Noel and Audra, sparking new insight into their relationship. A door opens for the three of them to experience something they never could have anticipated.

The film also stars Ron Livingston (Office Space).

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‘The Romanoffs’ to Debut Oct. 12 on Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime Video announced the Oct. 12 premiere of “The Romanoffs” at the Television Critics Association Summer 2018 Press Tour over the weekend.

The SVOD service also released a new teaser revealing the line-up of guest stars featured in the series created, written, directed and executive produced by nine-time Emmy award winner Matthew Weiner (“Mad Men”).

“The Romanoffs” is a contemporary anthology series, set around the globe, featuring eight separate stories about people who believe themselves to be descendants of the Russian royal family. The series was shot on location on three continents and in seven countries collaborating with local productions and talent across Europe, the Americas, and the Far East, according to an Amazon release. Each story takes place in a new location with a new cast.

In addition to the previously announced cast, including Isabelle Huppert, Diane Lane, Christina Hendricks, Paul Reiser, Amanda Peet and John Slattery, Amazon announced guest stars, including Noah Wyle (“Falling Skies”), Kathryn Hahn (“Transparent”), Kerry Bishe (“Halt and Catch Fire”), Jay R. Ferguson (“Mad Men”), Ben Miles (“Collateral”), Mary Kay Place (“Big Love”), Griffin Dunne (“Imposters”), Cara Buono (“Mad Men”), Ron Livingston (The Conjuring), Clea DuVall (“Veep”), Radha Mitchell, (Silent Hill) and Hugh Skinner (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again).

Tully

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 7/31/18;
Universal;
Drama;
Box Office $9.23 million;
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R’ for language and some sexuality/nudity.
Stars Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass, Ron Livingston.

Tully re-teams the writer/director pairing of Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman with actress Charlize Theron to present a raw, unflinching look at motherhood, postpartum depression and the sacrifices of being a parent.

The film plays almost like the flipside to the trio’s previous collaboration, 2011’s Young Adult, which featured Theron as a professional writer who practically refused to accept the boundaries of adulthood. Here, she plays Marlo, a 40-year-old mother of three who is confronted nonstop by responsibility.

Already dealing with a son with special needs, Marlo’s attention is pushed to the limit by a newborn daughter. Her wealthy brother (Mark Duplass) offers to pay for a night nanny to deal with the baby so Marlo can get a regular night’s sleep, which leads to the arrival of Tully (Mackenzie Davis), who seems to be the answer to all of Marlo’s troubles.

Marlo’s conversations with Tully and admiration for the girl’s youthful energy lead her to reflect on the path of her life and how the potential of her youth gave way to the road she ended up taking.

The schism between youth and maturity has become a common theme in the films directed by Reitman and scripted by Cody, who first teamed for 2007’s Juno, about a teenager dealing with the effect a pregnancy would have on her future. That proved to be a fruitful collaboration given that Cody subsequently went on to win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. (The pair also worked on the Cody-penned Jennifer’s Body together, with Reitman serving as producer.)

Theron gives a tremendous performance in a role for which she reportedly gained 50 pounds. Ron Livingston is effective in a subtle performance as her husband, who would be willing to help more if only he realized how in over her head his wife was with the children. Theron and Livingston have a nice rapport together, suggesting a healthy marriage nonetheless weighed down by the experiences of life and the obstacles of family.

The Blu-ray includes a solid 10-minute featurette about the making of the film featuring interviews with the cast and filmmakers.