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Thursday, February 9, 2023
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Thursday, February 9, 2023
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    ‘Blockbuster’ is a workplace comedy about people connecting

    Alicia Rancilio

    AP – Actors are accustomed to change, always beginning and ending new projects in various locations with new people. But for Melissa Fumero, who starred in Brooklyn Nine-Nine for eight seasons, taking on a new role in the Netflix series Blockbuster was anxiety-inducing.

    “I told myself ‘Look, that kind of magic doesn’t happen again. You had your one unicorn in your career. It’s probably never going to be that good again,” Fumero said in a recent interview. Those jitters went away when co-star Randall Park and the rest of the cast assembled to film the 10-episode show about the employees of the sole surviving Blockbuster video store.

    “I met this cast and met Randall, and we started all working together, and it was literally the same magic unicorn again. I can’t believe it.”

    Park – best known for the ABC comedy Fresh off The Boat which aired for six seasons – plays Timmy, the proud manager of a Blockbuster store in a small town in Michigan.

    Quickly into the first episode he gets word that all remaining Blockbusters will be shut down effective immediately, corporate’s office is being turned into a WeWork, but Timmy’s Blockbuster can remain open because it still generates a small amount of business. He becomes the de facto owner of the last Blockbuster in the world.

    Timmy loves his job, his coworkers, and connecting with the people who come to his store.

    In the pilot episode, as Timmy chats with a customer who hasn’t rented a movie in a while, he said, “What’s it been? Three years this March?” The customer breaks it to him that he’s been using Netflix, but ends up renting Under the Tuscan Sun on Timmy’s recommendation to help get through a breakup.

    Timmy’s genuine belief is that the in-person exchange of renting a movie, or just leaving the house to visit any brick-and-mortar store, is valuable because human beings need socialisation. His employees (played by actors including Madeleine Arthur, Olga Merediz and Tyler Alvarez) don’t exactly match his conviction, but they’ll go along with his lofty ideas to bring attention to the store – and to keep working.

    Randall Park and Melissa Fumero. PHOTO: AP
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