Analysis: A new Netflix show keeps Blockbuster’s memory alive

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Change is good, right?

I’ve thought about mixing it up for this newsletter, but I’d like to hear from you. What would you like to read about? Are there certain parts that you like more than others? Feel like I’m missing something that will brighten up your brunch conversations?

Drop me a line and let me know.

In the meantime, let’s get to this week’s roundup.


True confession: I have my old Blockbuster membership card lying around.

I was a regular at my neighborhood store in Baltimore so I was excited when I heard about this new comedy series based on the #throwback movie rental chain.

In the eponymous show, Randall Park plays Timmy Yoon, an “analog dreamer living in a 5G world” who manages the last remaining Blockbuster location. He wants to prove that his store offers “something that big corporations can’t”: human connection.

What a great post. The series is now on Netflix. Yes, you read that right; now you can stream a show about movie rentals.

‘Hip Hop Homicides’

Pop Smoke takes place at a listening party in New York City on February 6, 2020.

Sadly, with the death of rapper Takeoff, this new WEtv show is more timely than ever.

Produced by 50 Cent and Mona Scott-Young and hosted by Van Lathan, the series will “take a ‘big picture’ look at the epidemic of hip hop violence.” With at least one rapper losing their life to gun violence every year since 2018, the issue is ripe for scrutiny.

The first episode examining the 2020 murder of rapper Pop Smoke is available on WEtv.

‘Selena Gomez: My mind and me’

Selena Gomez attends the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards on February 27 in Santa Monica, California.

Celebrity confessions are popular for good reason.

They serve as a reminder that no matter how young, rich, famous or good looking you are, life can still be a challenge.

That seems to be the message of Selena Gomez’s new documentary “My Mind & Me,” where she gets vulnerable about her world and her mental health. I think this form of first-person advocacy is one of the best uses of a celebrity’s platform because it can help others realize they’re not alone.

“Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me” is live on Apple TV+.

‘Selena Gomez: My mind and me’

James Brown performs during Super Bowl XXXI at the Superdome on January 26, 1997 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

A strange phone call reveals a question from beyond the grave: Was the Godfather of Soul killed?

Almost 40 years ago, a songwriter found herself in the inner circle of musician James Brown, even though the relationship would almost destroy his career. Decades later, he is trying to solve the mystery of Brown’s death. When CNN reporter Thomas Lake makes a call, the two are drawn into a world of secrets, fear and suspected foul play.

“The James Brown Mystery” podcast is streaming on CNN Audio.

(From left) Melanie Chisholm, Emma Bunton, Melanie Brown, Geri Halliwell and Victoria Beckham of the Spice Girls perform during the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 12, 2012.

Enjoy your life!

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of their second album, the iconic British girl group have prepared a new version of their album “Spiceworld25”. hits, bringing together their favorite B-sides, some live concert recordings and a “Spice Girls Party Mix” mash-up.

It’s wild that Melanie Chisholm, Emma Bunton, Melanie Brown, Geri Halliwell and Victoria Beckham have been around for so long, but it’s also an opportunity to remember how many of us were, and still are, caught up in their girl power. it seems

The album is out now.

Julia Roberts attends a screening of the film

My favorite story this week was the story of how Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King paid the hospital bill for Julia Roberts’ birth. “Wait, what?” it was a perfect combination. and “How cool is that?”

The story itself has been around on social media since Roberts shared it with reporter Gayle King in September as part of the History Channel’s “HISTORYTalks” series, but it especially resonated with fans in time for Roberts’ 55th birthday on Oct. 28.

Regardless of how the story unfolded, I’m glad.

Jennifer Coolidge delivers her acceptance speech at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater on September 12 in Los Angeles, California.

“Welcome to the Jenaissance,” read the headline of a recent Vogue story about Jennifer Coolidge, and I think it sums it up perfectly.

“The White Lotus” star is having a moment, and we love seeing it.

Coolidge won an Emmy in September for her work on the hit HBO show, but also has a role in the Netflix series “The Watcher.”

Coolidge is taking a hit, too. He told CNN’s Don Lemon this week, “It’s a lot nicer when you never expect the moment to happen.”

“It’s the surprise of everything that makes it so funny,” he added in an interview on “CNN This Morning” on Wednesday. “I really believe that if I had hoped all of this would happen, it would never have happened.”

In Hollywood, being 61 and still dying on screen unfortunately remains a a rare victory But Coolidge is an institution, having appeared in so many films that have helped define pop culture, from “American Pie” to “Legally Blonde” to “Best in Show,” to name a few.

Experience his reign as an actor who will steal every scene.