Why Netflix’s ‘He’s All That’ Sloth suggests a grim streaming future


A nostalgic-looking remake of a singular hit reshaped as “IP for IP’s sake” is exactly what Netflix doesn’t have to do.

The exchanged genre remake He is all that is both not good and the most watched movie on Netflix today. It is not a surprise. That Netflix released a bad movie that briefly rose to popularity is neither unusual nor really a long-term issue. Wish More People See Mark Waters Latest Movie The Delicious Disney + Original Magic camp, but I digress. I guess the IP rules focused on nostalgia, even in the streaming world. But the film, which in a vacuum is harmless enough, is a bizarre example of Netflix doing exactly what its Hollywood and streaming rivals have done to fight Netflix’s growing dominance. That they do too doesn’t say anything positive about our streaming-centric future.

First of all, it’s IP for the sake of IP. She is all that was a blockbuster teen romantic comedy ($ 103 million on a $ 10 million budget in 1999) that hit the nail on the head as Hollywood briefly realized that teens would happily show up for reimagined and updated variations. day of classic literature focused on adolescents. She is all that, starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachel Leigh Cook (who stars as the mother in this version), was an updated high school riff on Pygmalion, as Cruel intentions was an update Dangerous relationships, 10 things I hate about you was an update of The Tamed Shrew and of course, Distraught was an updated remake of Jane Austin Emma.

No one has tried to claim that these films, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd, Health Ledger, and Julia Styles, were originals, and neither did they depend on their source for popularity. They were, whether you liked each individual movie or not, fine examples of a ‘scam, don’t remake’. Because they created their own versions of these classic books / plays, they became generational classics in their own right, with Cher from Silverstone (for example) becoming a pop culture icon in their own right. Likewise, The Fast and the Furious (another youth escape smash) maybe an unofficial Breaking point remake, but it created some iconic characters and went on to become a $ 6.5 billion franchise.

Moreover, the notion of gender swapping in the picture as a way to ‘fix’ the ‘problematic’ elements of the 1999 film (that its already attractive heroine gets a sexier makeover to impress a guy) ignores that many. people understood the issues at stake in She is all that and were able to enjoy the film without embracing its slightest messages. As with Disney’s live-action The beauty and the Beast remake, Hollywood often attempts to address gender-specific issues by “fixing” the female character rather than correcting the way male characters treat her. Never mind that Jasmine gets a powerful ballad in the new Aladdin though Jafar still treats her as a potential conquest, but he’s the villain nonetheless.

Hollywood’s attachment to intellectual property and brands means that it needs to “fix” or “update” older stories and older brands for more modern sensibilities rather than creating new stories or creating new ones. ” adapt new intellectual property. If audiences were more willing to show up for original films and never-before-seen adaptations, Hollywood wouldn’t have to bend over backwards to have Tarzan “wake up” or constantly worry about whether James Bond can still thrive in one. constantly changing moral landscape. . Hollywood could make a mega-budget Static shock film instead of a “But this time it’s black!” Superman movie. The irony, of course, is that Netflix is ​​the one place that doesn’t need to use an outdated, outdated, or never been so popular IP as a kickstand.

More than any other studio, Netflix is ​​able to scam successfully She is all that (or just make a modern Pygmalion) without relying on the cultural nostalgia linked to an adaptation that was “popular in its time because it was unique”. They don’t need to redo She is all that and they certainly don’t need to fill the cast of YouTube personalities and reality TV stars (all due respect Addison Rae and Kourtney Kardashian, who don’t exactly “shine”) to get attention. free. She is all that is, at its core, a romantic comedy, the one genre where Netflix’s Original / New To You movies have managed to fill a Hollywood void and come closer to the once theatrical Hollywood variety.

Movies like Set It Up, To all the boys I’ve loved, The kissing stand, Good on paper, The bad Missy, Always be my maybe and much more are the kind of movies that would have been “original” hits in theaters but now find audiences on Netflix and are becoming new favorites. Three summers ago, Netflix had a “summer of love” programming / marketing slate like Crazy Rich Asians showed there was still life in the theatrical romantic comedy. The gist of Netflix’s current roster is getting people to watch star-studded originals that they don’t bother to see in theaters anymore. A kind exchanged SheAll that remake is what Netflix’s rivals are doing out of desperation.

The reason it matters is that it goes with my long-standing fear of Netflix. As they become more dominant in the streaming market and either stronger in their lead or more concerned with content-to-content performance in terms of audience and online attention, they might turn away. of the diverse / difficult tariff that allowed them to build a fan base “what Hollywood doesn’t want or can’t”. As we have seen with the Fox network and UPN, a network that has made a name for itself on risky, unconventional and / or more diversified tariffs can easily decide to fall back on the general public (in this case, more of IP, less diversity except for modern updates, more nostalgia, etc.) as they pursue the stereotypical success of the mainstream.

Even Disney (in part due to the occasional audience deserting theaters and searching for comfort watches / nostalgia pieces on streaming platforms) has leaned in this “familiar and nostalgic” direction (Turner and Hooch, High School Musical, Mighty Ducks, etc.) in recent years. Again, I blame the public. However, the fact that rival streaming platforms pursue nostalgic, media-friendly IP overhauls means that the alleged disruptors are making the same mistakes that allowed streaming and TV to take over theatrical movies. first place. Netflix, more than any other service, one that can get 70 to 90 million households to watch originals like Paternity and Project power, does not need to do He is all that. And yet … they did.

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