Challenging. This is what creating a successful TV series or film is nowadays.
We are not in 1920s Hollywood, where only a few films were produced every year and where, even if it seemed cruel, competition was not a huge issue.
In modern times, along with those big and veteran Hollywood studios like MGM, Universal, and Warner Bros., modern entertainment has been affected dramatically by streaming platforms, which are raising the competition bar.
However, in this climate where production is demanding and challenging, someone knows how to deal with it: Netflix. The streaming giant has been facing attacks from every side over the past years, following a period of oligopoly over the streaming industry for this Californian company.
Yes, because HBO, Apple+, Hulu, Prime Video, and Disney+ are all new companies or streaming services that came into the business many years after Netflix established itself as the leader. With time, Netflix’s crown has started to sway slightly, but it has never fallen. Why? Because these guys know what they are doing, and their ideas are a significant financial success (almost) every time.
2022 has been crucial for Netflix, which following the pandemic, struggled to find a way to keep people watching streamed products instead of going back to cinemas. The fourth season of Stranger Things and the fifth of The Crown are both helping a lot in that direction, along with Ryan Murphy’s very controversial series Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story and the upcoming much-beloved third season of Emily in Paris. These successful projects brought billions of dollars and millions of viewers to Netflix.
Therefore, the facts are clear: this company knows what they are doing, and they keep demonstrating it month after month.
Even if with the beginning of December many surprises arrived, at the moment, what is on everyone’s lips is a TV series released the past month: Wednesday.
From the incredible imagination of the master Tim Burton, the Addams family comes back to life, entering the 21st century with more style than ever.
This time, the eight-episode series shifts the focus to the firstborn, Wednesday, following her around in her teenage life at the Nevermore Academy.
As always, a sinister atmosphere, dark colors, evil characters, and dangerous mysteries to solve are part of the plot, which sees an extraordinary cast taking part in the project.
The young and talented Jenna Ortega plays the main character, giving Wednesday a fresh look and a modern sense of humor. Next to her, the beautiful Catherine Zeta-Jones took over the role of Morticia Addams, while Luis Guzman interpreted Gomez and Isaac Ordonez played Pugsley, Wednesday’s little brother.
The Series is executive produced by Tim Burton, who also directed the first four episodes, and who has been able to modernize one of the most famous families in the world, giving to new generations renovated characters and captivating new adventures to fall in love with.
Incredibly but not unexpectedly, Tim Burton’s idea for the series has been applauded in 89 countries, breaking record after record.
Since it premiered on November 16, Wednesday has amassed 752,52 million hours viewed, and this week it remained at the N0. 1 spot on Netflix’s English TV charts with 411,29 million hours regarded. Right now, Wednesday is Netflix’s third most popular English-language TV series.
Additionally, Wednesday is quickly conquering positions over other super-successful productions. For instance, as the Independent claimed: “The series had a big opening week on the streamer, raking in 341.2 million hours of viewing worldwide last week, and therefore beating the record set by the fourth season of Stranger Things as the best week for any English-language series on the streamer”. Moreover, Deadline reports that “Wednesday marks the first time any English-language series on Netflix has reached 400 million hours in a week. Last year’s Squid Game had a high of 571.76 million hours in its third week of release”.
In this climate of growing continued success, a difficult question comes to my mind. How valuable is this? I come from a generation in between times, meaning that I was born and grew up when DVD, videocassettes, and the big screen of a cinema were how these media were consumed. I grew up waiting days for the new episode of my favorite TV series to come out because, at that time (not long ago, by the way), they took months to be released.
On the other hand, today, we live in a world that goes faster and faster and where nothing is made to last. This is also reflected in visual entertainment, where Hollywood produces a few films a day, not a year anymore. Streaming platforms release 20 episodes altogether, taking meaning away from a production that took months or years to make.
Entertainment is ephemeral nowadays, and its success is too. This is the time for Wednesday to be successful, to make money, to amuse people, and to be viral. But in a week, this could be different. New films, new series, new records, and recent success could suddenly come up and replace the old ones.
So, how valuable is this in terms of experience? How can we enjoy this? How did we become so addicted to this kind of passive entertainment?
Maybe the answer is more significant than I think. Perhaps this is what entertainment is supposed to look like in a world that does not have time to wait and enjoy simple moments.
It is what it is, as British people say. But still, that big screen on those Saturday nights spent with my family in a crowded and small cinema in my hometown in Italy will never be replaced by this new modern entertainment style.
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