Original Content podcast: Netflixs Rhythm + Flow tweaks the music competition formula

“Rhythm + Flow” is Netflix’s take on a reality TV staple — the music competition show. With Cardi B, Chance the Rapper and Tip “T.I.” Harris on-board as judges, the series searches for the next big hip-hop star. In some ways, “Rhythm + Flow” sticks to the formula popularized by “American Idol,” “The Voice” and similar shows, with several episodes devoted to auditions in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Chicago, followed by a gauntlet of challenges in which contestants hone their skills and prove their worth, culminating in a final showdown with one big winner. But as fellow TechCrunch writer Megan Rose Dickey helps us explain on the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, the series stands out …

Netflixs Dolly Partons Heartstrings Does a Disservice to the Country Divas Songs

The most objectionable thing about Dolly Partons Heartstrings is its length. There is no good reason why even an excellent show adapted from three-minute-long country songs would need to have 80-minute long episodes. That the new Netflix anthology series is far from excellent makes the egregious, narcolepsy-inducing episode length even less justifiable. Each of the eight episodes of Dolly Partons Heartstrings is a standalone story based on one of Partons songs, including Jolene, These Old Bones, and JJ Sneed. Each episode is named after a song and, based on the two made available for review, the plots rarely stray from the original lyrics. The result, eight fully fleshed-out mini movies, is a testament to Partons To Kill A Mockingbird-esque courtroom …

Travis Scott Dropped a Lot of F-Bombs After Losing at the Grammys to Cardi B

On Wednesday, Netflix released a documentary about billionaire reality star Kylie Jenner and their 18-month-old daughter, Stormi (the toddler is credited as an executive producer). Within the first few minutes, a breathless fan shouts, Travis motherfuckin Scott, the greatest live performer on the planet. The rest of the documentary seems propelled solely by the intention to convince other people that such a grandiose proclamation could be true. Look Mom I Can Fly, directed by White Trash Tyler, is structured like a diary, with segments delineated by date, location, or significance. Much of the film follows the production and release of Astroworld, the rappers third album. When Astroworld dropped last summer, featuring guest vocals from stars like Frank Ocean, James Blake, …

‘The show needed to come back’: how Drake rescued the druglords of Top Boy

It was Britains answer to The Wire. But the gang drama was dead until the rapper stepped in and pitched it to Netflix. Its stars and writer talk grime, gentrification and Boris Johnsons Britain I told them I was on my way out to meet some singer called Drake, says writer Drake was a fan of Top Boy, Bennetts Channel 4 drama about the lives of drug dealers and residents on a fictional Hackney estate called Summerhouse. He had been recommended it while on tour and loved it so much, he began posting stills from the show on Instagram with clumsy attempts at London slang (real bod man). When he found out it had been cancelled, he decided to bring …

The Notorious Pornographer Who Scandalized Japan

Netflixs latest the first-person POV shot. He rose to prominence at a time in Japan when censorship laws were strict and real sex was unheard of Japanese interpretation of Breaking Bad. (At one point, a character says, Soon, porn will make more money than meth.) Much of the action revolves around Muranishi and Toshi building up their entourage, sparring with competing porn distributor Ikezawa (Ryo Ishibashi), conspiring with a mob boss, and dodging the cops. It is also beautifully shot throughouta fantasia of neon signs, shadowy karaoke bars, and colorful interiors in hues of fuchsia and red. But the way The Naked Director careens between comedy and drama can be whiplash-inducing at times. In the fourth episode, Muranishi decides to …

What lower Netflix pricing tells us about competing in India

At a conference in New Delhi early last year, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was confronted with a question that his company has been asked many times over the years. Would he consider lowering the subscription cost in India? It’s a tactic that most Silicon Valley companies have adapted to in the country over the years. Uber rides aren’t as costly in India as they are elsewhere. Spotify and Apple Music cost less than $2 per month to users in the country. YouTube Premium as well as subscriptions to U.S. news outlets such as WSJ and New York Times are also priced significantly lower compared to the prices they charge in their home turf. Hastings had also come prepared: He acknowledged …

Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein Is a Fun Mess

David Harbour, best known for playing supernaturally beleaguered small-town cop Jim Hopper, is now on to even stranger things. In the mockumentary Frankenstein's Monster's Monster, Frankenstein, he plays a puffed-up version of himself, investigating the life of his father, David Harbour Junior, after he unearths footage of his dad's televised stage play while killing rats in his mother's attic. (Hell of an elevator pitch, right?) What Harbour discovers—the bizarre artifact that is the play Frankenstein's Monster's Monster, Frankenstein and lots more scandal besides—challenges everything he thinks he knows about his father in just about 30 minutes. Peter Rubin In Season 3, Stranger Things Rediscovers Its Groove Wonbo Woo Stranger Things' Noah Schnapp Has a Crush on Zendaya Angela Watercutter What …

We made that scene from ‘The Shining’ a lot less scary with bad foley

Your horror opinions? Garbage. My horror opinions? THE PERFECTION.Image: netflix The following is a spoiler-free review of Netflix’s The Perfection. After months of critic hype and fervent fan speculation, Netflix’s mysterious and controversial The Perfection finally began streaming on Friday — and already, it’s tearing the horror community apart.  As vast and as varied as the many things that scare us, horror fans are a unique bunch. Whether you’re dealing with a pack of Conjuring stans or an offbeat group of indie pushers, nailing down exactly what will (and what won’t) satisfy any given audience can be tricky.  So, The Perfection just tried all of it. Without getting into any spoilers, here’s a simplified premise: Charlotte Willmore (Allison Williams), a …

Netflix’s Anything-Goes Philosophy Gets to Parody Rap

After surprising Super Bowl 2018 viewers with an ad announcing that sci-fi movie The Cloverfield Paradox would be arriving imminently, Netflix chose not to make a habit of similar ambushes. Instead, it left that practice to the musicians. Beyoncé, Frank Ocean, Eminem, Death Grips, Drake, and Beyoncé again (this time as half of The Carters) have all leveraged the factory-free nature of the streaming industry in recent years to unleash albums with little to no advance warning. Well, Netflix seems to be warming up again. In April, its partnership with horror studio Blumhouse Productions spawned two separate cinematic jump-scares, Mercy Black and Thriller. Earlier this month, Chinese sci-fi blockbuster The Wandering Earth snuck onto the platform with nary a US …