Are you ready to make it a Blockbuster night?
Netflix on Thursday dropped all 10 episodes of the new workplace comedy, which is set against the backdrop of — you guessed it! — the last Blockbuster Video in America. At its center is Randall Park’s Timmy, a man-child who is determined to keep the former retail giant’s one remaining location open for as long as he can.
A product of divorce, Timmy has devoted most of his life to the video rental chain — we’re told he’s worked there since the seventh grade, eventually working his way up to store manager — and he refuses to go down without a fight. But he is frequently distracted by his longstanding crush on former classmate Eliza (Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Melissa Fumero), a Harvard dropout whose own life didn’t turn out as she’d planned. She started a family at a young age, and her marriage has come undone. She recently took a job at Blockbuster and appears to have feelings for her old pal Timmy, but it’s unclear if she’s aware of those feelings (or, at the very least, what to make of them) in Episode 1.
“You can’t tell if she thinks he’s the sweetest man in the world… or the biggest moron that she’s ever met,” series creator Vanessa Ramos tells TVLine. “Sometimes the scale tips towards ‘This is one of the best guys I’ve ever met,’ and sometimes it tips towards, ‘He is a child.'”
By the end of the premiere, Timmy builds up the courage to tell Eliza how he feels. But just as he’s about to get the words out, in walks her husband Aaron. Despite a recent affair, Eliza has decided to give Aaron another chance — a decision that, at least in part, is influenced by her college-aged daughter Aly. Eliza has seen firsthand the impact divorce has had on Timmy, and she doesn’t want her daughter to struggle like he did. It’s a valid reason, but it’s hard to believe it’s the only reason.
Asked if she think there’s more to it than that, Fumero tells TVLine, “I think it’s scary for anyone to go into the unknown, and it can feel easier sometimes to just fix what is broken and improve what you [have]. There’s also a little bit of, ‘Well, if I can make this [marriage] work, then maybe all the choices I made in my life to this point weren’t a mistake.'”
As for Timmy, he’ll struggle to move past his crush. Even after Eliza goes back to Aaron, he still believes that Eliza is the one for him. “Timmy is at a place in his life where things are falling apart, and he wants to hold on to the most meaningful things,” Park posits. “There’s a special feeling that he has for Eliza that [is reignited] as the important things in life come into view.”
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