During early fall a little streaming program caused a fuss.
Maybe you’ve heard of it, Squid Games.
Familiar? Sure, you are. It is the program that has captured the attention of 142 million homes worldwide. And internet service providers are feeling the pain. As the exclusive culprit for the strain, ISPs are looking for the dinero, Cash Money, Benjamin’s, or the coins as the kids say.
What it boils down too is, streaming services like Netflix, Amazon etc. already pay for use of the broadband networks. And most have anticipatory safeguards in place for peak demand.
So why they mad?
Because of the unpresented usage Squid Games has caused it’s putting a greater stain on resources. Which is cutting into the ISP’s profit margins.
And who would less more money for more work?
And this is why the ISPs are suing to try and recoup those funds.
Netflix has announced who will be playing the main characters in their upcoming live-action adaptation of One Piece. Iñaki Godoy of Who Killed Sara? fame will be playing the main protagonist Monkey D. Luffy. Playing Nami, Ussop, Sangi, and Roronoa Zoro respectively are Emily Rudd (Fear Street), Jacob Romero Gibson (All Rise), Taz Skylar (Boiling Point), and Mackenyu.The 10- episode series comes courtesy of One Piece’s publisher Shueisha and Tomorrow Studios. Tomorrow studios is also notably behind Netflix’s live-action Cowboy Bebop adaptation. One piece is the story of the above-mentioned characters as they sail around the sea in search of the ultimate treasure “One Piece”. Steven Maeda of Lost and The X-Files fame is on as the series’s writer, executive producer and showrunner. Matt Owens, best known for his work on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Luke Cage is also on as a writer and executive producer. Becky Clements and Marty Adelstein are executives producing this project alongside series creator Eiichiro Oda. Regarding the casting choices Eiichiro Oda was quoted as saying:
“We’ve been working with Netflix and Tomorrow Studios on the massive project that is the Hollywood live action series adaptation of ONE PIECE! How many years has it been since it was announced, right? I know, I know! But rest assured we’ve been making steady progress all along! It’s not easy when you’re working with people from different cultures! But it’s precisely that process that can yield something special! For now, we’re able to announce the main cast! Rather, we need to hurry and announce it or else it’ll be leaked, apparently! Hilarious, lol. Their face, the size of their mouths and hands, their aura, the way they carry themselves, their voice, their acting skills, their height, the balance amongst the Straw Hat Crew, etc…! We decided on this cast after numerous discussions involving people around the world! These are the people who will be our Straw Hat Pirates! It’ll take a bit more time to get this show done, but we’ll continue to do our best to deliver a show that we’re confident will be enjoyed by everyone around the world! Look forward to more updates in the future!”
Maeda and Owens added to this by themselves stating:
“We are so excited to set sail with this amazing and talented cast! Finding the right people to pull off the looks, emotions, and actions of the iconic Straw Hats was a long and challenging (and fun!) process. Much like the search for the One Piece itself. But we have finally found the perfect fits! They have already begun working very hard to bring these characters to life. You will come to know and love them just as much as their manga counterparts. All of us can’t wait to show you what we’ve come up with! Onward to adventure!”
This article interests me because I’m personally unreasonably excited for this show to be released. As a fan of the source material I’m very satisfied with the appearance of all of the actors that have been chosen so far. Also, all of the promotional material the actors have put out since having been announced reflects the fact that they have done research regarding their roles which is good to see.
Last Tuesday Netflix announced that it will be releasing its live-action adaptation of Yoshihiro Togashi’s YuYu Hakusho manga worldwide in December of 2023. Akira Morii and Kazutaka Sakamoto, Netflix’s content acquisition directors, are executive producing and producing this project respectively. Sakamoto recounted his own fond experiences with the intellectual property in question and insisted that Netflix is doing its best to do right by the fans he knows the series has all around the world. The series follows a 14-year-old delinquent named Yusuke Urameshi who dies after throwing himself in front of a car to save a child. Because of his selfless act, Yusuke is allowed to come back to the world of the living as a “spirit detective” tasked with defeating demons. For this project, Netflix and TOHO Studios signed a several-year contract to lease two of TOHO’s stage facilities; stage 7 and stage 10. In addition, ten sound stages, two acting centres, and a production centre of TOHO’s will also be used to create Netflix’s original programming. This deal goes into effect as of April first of 2022.
The popularity of YuYu Hakusho’s 19 volume manga (1992-1995) has led to the creation of an anime adaptation, two live-action films, two animated films, and a stage play that ran from August to September of 2019. Said films and anime have all been dubbed and distributed in various languages and territories by Funimation, Media Blasters and Central Park Media respectively. The series notably acquired fans domestically by way of its airing on Adult Swim’s Toonami block. Further emphasizing the popularity of this property is the fact that new animated material for it has been released as recently as 2018 to celebrate the series’s 25th anniversary.
This article interests me for two main reasons. For one, I’m generally happy to hear that an older property like YuYu Hakusho is getting a Netflix live-action adaptation. For another, I think Netflix’s partnering with TOHO Studios speaks well of the potential for more live-action anime adaptations going forward. This especially in the event that the soon to be released Cowboy Bebop and One Piece adaptations do well.
In the past, U.S. productions often used international locations to bypass American taxes and avoid their strict union regulations. Moreover, many countries that are looking for bumps in tourism and recognition “will give you free marketing through government channels or support at festivals. They may even give you free local co-producers.” (Ajaj Mago, corporate and technology lawyer)
While earlier U.S. productions used international locations as stand-ins American sets, they are now starting to realize the potential of foreign language films and series, which have typically been viewed as niche content only.
“They’d come around to Canada or some place that offered tax incentives, and they’d drop in some American mailboxes and street signs, change the license plates on cars, and voila. What’s happening now is there is local content from these regions. Studios are no longer masquerading.”
Domenic Romano, entertainment attorney and managing partner of Romano Law
All nine episodes of ‘Squid Game’ only cost §21.4 million (in comparison just one episode of Disney’s ‘Wanda Vision’ cost $25 million), partially because of South Korea’s 52-hours workweek rule. With ‘Squid Game’s worldwide success, other video streaming giants are investing in local international productions too:This week, Disneyannounced its plans for 27 productions in the Asia Pacific region for their streaming platforms.
CNBC noted that these changes in movie and series production “may also be a boon for creators that have felt stuck in an industry that has relied on superhero movies and reboots of old TV shows for reliable revenue. Tapping the world for new stars and ideas allows for new avenues of growth that can mutually benefit artists and studio executives.”
It will be interesting to see, whether the streaming platforms’ content will really become more diverse and ‘creative’ in the next years.
Famous comedian, Dave Chappelle, is no stranger to controversy. In fact, it’s to be expected, at this point, for any new stand up special of his to be met with a certain amount of blowback. It has been nearly been two weeks since the release of his new Netflix special, The Closer, and it has already climbed in viewership, currently making it Netflix’s most popular release just below Squid Game.
In the special, Chappelle talks about a variety of controversial issues, but primarily talks about his experience and perspective on the LGBTQ community. To report that his entire rhetoric was an offensive attack would be inaccurate as well as subjective. It is true that he makes a variety of jokes that would be considered taboo in our Western society’s vision of political correctness compliance. However, every joke is accompanied by a message of empathy; in his special, Chappelle stresses the importance of having compassion for your fellow human, and how as a black man, can relate to the struggle of minority groups including the trans community that he pokes fun at. At the end of the special he addresses the LGBTQ community: “I am not telling another joke about you until I am sure that we are both laughing together.”
Whether or not you agree with his message, or consider his comedy valid is completely up to you as the viewer. Comedy, like all forms of art, is subjective. However, many viewers, media outlets, and employees within Netflix found The Closer to not only be of poor taste, but harmful to the progress of the LGBTQ community. As a result, Netflix CEO, Ted Sarandos, put out a memo to his staff, acquired by Variety that read, “you should be aware that some talent may join third parties in asking us to remove the show in the coming days, which we are not going to do.” The memo continued, “As with our other talent, we work hard to support their creative freedom—even though this means there will always be content on Netflix some people believe is harmful.”
While the notion of creative freedom, as well as first amendment rights are typically supported by the general public, the blowback from people who found the Closer offensive, site Netflix allowing Chappelle such a large reaching platform to express these ideologies as the main problem. In a Wired article, Angela Watercutter, stated “The reason a show like The Closer can grab as much attention as a show like Squid Game is simple: People sometimes like content that is harmful to others. Thousands, if not millions, will vote for anti-LGBTQ candidates, and the same amount of them will watch content with similar viewpoints.”
The comparison of The Closer to Squid Game is interesting; sure, they’re both surging in popularity on Netflix, but does that really mean that we’re only watching them to fulfil a desire to see harm come to others? If this was the case, why is there no call to pull the South Korean TV show from the platform? Many would argue that, with Squid Game, there is so much more to flesh out from the narrative and characters; a variety of social political commentary that shines a light on corporate corruption that lives between the lines of these characters’ partaking in gory children’s games. The same could be argued about Dave Chappelle’s special: That within the jokes regarding the LGBTQ community, people of color, women, white people, law enforcement, and all the other people he joked about (including himself in the acknowledgement of his own privilege) there is an accompanying message of unity, humility, harmony, and humanity.
Last Friday the NetflixGeeked Twitter account posted twice pertaining to the upcoming live-action adaptation of the One Piece property. The former of the two posts revealing the official logo of the series and the latter being a picture of the front page of the first episode’s script. The official logo’s post was captioned “no matter how hard or how impossible it is, never lose sight of your goal”, a quote attributed to the series’s protagonist Monkey D. Luffy. The logo itself is a slightly altered reimagining of the manga’s logo. The key difference in said logo being that, where Luffy’s silhouette is the “i” in the manga’s logo in this one he instead assumes his iconic stance in the nose cavity of the skull present. Meanwhile, the script reveals the first episode’s working title to be “Romance Dawn”; this being a name it shares with both the first chapter/story arc of the manga as well as One Piece author Eiichiro Oda’s previous one-shot project that later itself became One Piece. One Piece is significant for being the best selling manga of all time, running for nearly 25 years, and having an excess of 950 anime episodes based on it. With this context it becomes obvious why Netflix would want to approach Oda to create a live-action adaptation. This adaptation was announced in 2020 and little has come out about it since. Fans are nothing if not skeptical seeing as the history of manga to live-action adaptations has been disastrous. Train wrecks the likes of Dragon Ball Evolution, Netflix’s Death Note adaptation, and the live-action attempt at a Full Metal Alchemist film have left fans of manga feeling hopeless. The fact that Eiichiro Oda is on as an executive producer for this project, fans hope, signals that this time will be different.
The popular franchise Angry Birds has gone from mobile video game to movie, and now, to television series. Netflix ordered a new series titled Angry Birds: Summer Madness to be produced by Cake and Rovio Entertainment, the same companies that have nurtured the popular animation since its early days on the phone screen. It is scheduled to premiere globally next year.
Angry Birds is an insanely popular brand, that not only produces digital content, but also toys and clothing. This all equals potential revenue. The market most attractive to advertisers tends to be children’s media because of the possibility to basically sell toys and fun, cool accessories.
For the past few years, Netflix has been heavily investing in children’s content in order to compete with Disney+ and possibly the upcoming Peacock.
It is really interesting to witness and observe the changes in children’s content as media consumption moves to digital platforms and streaming.
Welcome to the 21st century, where soon there will be more than just Netflix or Hulu streaming content to us. Coming very soon many different corporations and media tech companies will be unveiling their “new” streaming service, Disney+, Apple TV Plus, and Peacock just to name a few. What is creating all these streaming services is not the desire to share their content with you on their platform, it’s to make money, and the main way these companies do that is through advertising and data collection but the methods used to get the ad to you is coming from a dangerous place.
Data collection is becoming the new currency for these streaming giants. They are able to collect data based on what shows you are watching, what device you are using to watch, your location, and so many other factors that create a pretty clear internet footprint of who you are and what interests you. These streaming companies collect all this data and use it to target you with widely specific advertisements. With streaming service becoming more and more popular, advertising companies now have a real-time data stream on their users that has never existed before with traditional television but with all this information being tracked and all the money the data is worth sometimes our privacy takes a back-seat for these companies so they can make some extra money.
Advertisers are starting to shift spending from traditional television to streaming services by the tune of 3.8 billion dollars and many companies are trying to get on the money. With this rise in advertising within the streaming industry, many users of the streaming services are at risk of having their data taken without their knowledge. In recent years, tech giants such as Vizio TV and Samba TV has been accused of gathering and selling your data without your knowledge just by using your TV but even just knowing that these companies are doing this is not enough because this is such new ground, there are no laws or regulations in this data collection industry. Trackers and other software that collect our data on these platforms happen without us knowing and behind our backs only to target with super specific ads and without and rules data collection is only going to become more corrupt.
As the competition for streaming platforms continues to grow, Netflix is having to defend its popularity amount audiences. According to the New York Times, Netflix loss 126,000 domestic subscribers earlier this year. However, Netflix was able to get those subscribers back according to the article. Author Edmund Lee explained, ”The third-quarter results benefited from Netflix’s best-known series, ’Stranger Things, ’ which introduced its hugely anticipated third season over the Fourth of July weekend. The series drew 64 million households in the first four weeks it was available, the company said.”
This was a big comeback for the company and not only helped them draw in more viewers but helped line Netflix’s pockets. Netflix’s stock jumped more than 8% in after-hours trading last week. In addition, the company also reported a large jump in profit from $665 million to $5.2 billion in revenue. This rise in profit follows the addition of 6.8 million new customers this quarter, with 520,000 of them in the United States. Netflix has big plans and big movies to help them beat the soon-to-come streaming platform competitors, Disney and Apple. Both of which plan to release their streaming platforms in November. As of now, Netflix is the nation’s largest digital television network, with over 158 million customers around the world, including 60 million in the United States.