How Bright is Netflix? (New Substandard)

In the latest episode of the Substandard (subscribe, tell your friends, leave a review!), we discuss a movie that cost $90 million to make, stars Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, and never even made it to theaters: Bright. The critics did not like it, but audiences seem to—at least those audiences who subscribe to Netflix. (Read Sonny's review here.) So is this the future? Are studios changing their ways? What about distribution deals? And where does all the money come from to fund such Netflix projects like Bright, Stranger Things, and The Crown? (Speaking of The Crown, my favorite episodes of season two are "Vergangenheit" and "Paterfamilias," but that's a separate topic for another time.)

Also, as you can tell since I'm blogging about this episode, I am in this episode. As Michael Corleone famously said, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in." Mind you, this wasn't a publicity stunt. I really tried to get out of doing this show. (I mean, really, what's the point?) But, as you will learn in this episode, there were a number of factors that pulled me back in—obligations to sponsors, that previous crappy episode, some truly thoughtful tweets from the SSEU, Sonny's blog item).

Seriously, why didn't JVL and Sonny bring on a guest? Regis used to bring in his wife Joy, and she was a joy! (On SNL, Julia Sweeney portrayed Joy Philbin who, rather than speak up, would take sips of coffee.) But I can think of at least three guest hosts. One is a pollster and former lead singer of a band—one of her favorite songs to perform was Fiona Apple's "Criminal." Another watches the White House, plays guitar, and loves mulch. And the other is Mary Katharine Ham.

So much for that. I am back, and the inanity continues.