Brutal Realities – Erin Burnett Breaks Down on CNN + Love Is Blind Reality TV Series Renewed by Netflix

Love is Blind has been renewed by Netflix for two more seasons

For those ordered to stay home, and the dwindling numbers of us who keep going to work in “essential/critical” jobs, we’re looking for something to divert our attention.

News, sadly, is a double-edged sword and I try to measure how much real life news video I can watch (stomach), because it’s often depressing, and brings on powerful emotions. This is a horrible, sad time in the world right now and human beings need to rise up and love each other. I have to temper how much I watch that’s keeping it real.

This post shares two very different realities: the first is a gut punch video that isn’t Hollywood. It’s one of the saddest videos I’ve ever seen and yet there is a heartening message that I feel compelled to share.

It’s difficult to watch this CNN video with Erin Burnett speaking to the widow of a 42 year old man who recently died from the coronavirus.

On a much, much lighter reality note, I got turned on by a reader to the Netflix original series Love Is Blind. I’m working through a detailed episode by episode review, but in the meantime there is some good news for fans of the first season: two more seasons have been ordered, proving I guess that love is blind.

“It’s been incredible to see Netflix members everywhere respond to the raw, authentic stories of real people and real stakes,” said Brandon Riegg, Netflix’s vice president of nonfiction series and comedy specials. “We pride ourselves on creating a favorite show for any taste, and we’re thrilled fans embraced all of these series with such enthusiasm and shared passion. We look forward to sparking more joy for our members.”

‘Love Is Blind’ and ‘The Circle’ renewed by Netflix – CNN

I don’t want to preempt my detailed review too much except to say that it surprised me. Am not a huge fan of the reality TV genre, but this show was a bit unusual and different — in a good way. More to come, but who else here reading has seen Love Is Blind? If you have, let me tease with one word name for the first season:


Which Streaming Service Are You Watching Most During The Pandemic?

Netflix and chill.

That’s the answer right now. It was #2.

#1 through most of last year was Amazon Prime Video. Roku third. Then Vudu. Then DCU (mostly for Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman TV series). We don’t have any other paid streaming subscriptions at the moment.

While everyone’s spending a lot more time at home streaming video, Netflix is taking more than its fair share of viewing. Thirty-five percent of people are watching more Netflix than any other streaming service, according to a March 29 survey from Morning Consult. The next closest competitor is Disney’s Hulu, at 10%. Disney+ came in at 4%.

Netflix Is Winning the “Streaming Wars”

Netflix specializes in and has popularized on the internet binge watching and right now the 7-part mini-series, Tiger King is the poster child of success on the platform:

The only live TV available to people is the news, and that doesn’t provide any escapism. Netflix was never invested in live TV. Executives have reiterated they don’t want to be in that space. Tiger King,with its instant meme-making moments and its availability to more than 167 million subscribers, gives Netflix an advantage in a world where live TV has all but diminished.

Tiger King is a viral success because Netflix rules the jungle

I tried watching Tiger King, but honestly the subject matter wasn’t for me. I’m not big on wild animals in captivity stories. This isn’t a review and there probably won’t be one here, so we’re going to miss out on joining in on the popularity. If you liked Tiger King, you’re welcome to tell me about it in the comments section. My Twitter has been raging and I’ve read other bloggers talking about it, but reader views are welcome here.

Back to why Amazon isn’t #1 right now, because there’s a better public service announcement than trying to get a little Tiger King love from the masses.

WARNING: Hacking is on the rise during the pandemic

Recently, our Amazon Prime account was hacked and compromised. If you aren’t using two-factor authentication for Amazon, use it. In fact, use two-factor authentication on every important website involving any kind of commerce activity. Your banking naturally, Google, Amazon, etc.

Yes, beware, hackers are out there. I called Amazon and notified them that someone was up to no good (we knew right away there was a problem) trying to make unauthorized purchases through our Amazon account (that we’ve had since mid 2000s).

Alas, they locked down our account and that was the end. That’s been well over a month ago and our Amazon Prime came up for renewal and could not renew since everything was disabled. We reached customer service the middle of last month and they said our account had to be “sanitized” first before it could be restored.

Their sanitation department is either out or severely limited. I understand.

Call Amazon and you get a message that right now due to the virus their customer service has been impacted. I email and get no answer. I understand.

So, whenever this is over we’ll get the account restored, but in the meantime, the established Amazon account I’ve had for over 13 years is disabled and locked.

My wife started a brand new Amazon account. She ordered some items through there, in fact. We’ll probably have to setup Amazon Prime Video through there to be able to start streaming through there again.

Your turn.

Please share your streaming story during the pandemic. What streaming service are you watching the most right now?

FIRST LOOK: Sergio (2020) – Netflix

With a world premiere at Sundance on January 28, 2020 an 84% Rotten Tomatoes score on 95 reviews, comes a movie directed by Greg Barker (Manhunt, Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma) and screenplay by Craig Borten.

If you are saying, “who?” that’s OK, I’m with you.

Charismatic and complex, Sergio Vieira de Mello (Wagner Moura) has spent the majority of his storied career as a top UN diplomat working in the world’s most unstable regions, deftly navigating deals with presidents, revolutionaries, and war criminals for the sake of protecting the lives of ordinary people. But just as he readies himself for a simpler life with the woman he loves (Ana de Armas), Sergio takes one last assignment — in Baghdad, newly plunged into chaos following the US invasion. The assignment is meant to be brief, until a bomb blast causes the walls of the UN headquarters to come literally crashing down upon him, setting into motion a gripping life-or-death struggle.

Everything You Need to Know About Sergio Movie (2020)

The trailer:

Sergio official trailer

Sergio will be available for streaming on Netflix on Friday April 17, 2020.

FIRST LOOK: The Willoughbys (2020) – Netflix

Netflix surprised me with the very good …

Klaus⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ … an animated film in December, and that wasn’t the only one in the can. Now, we get the hard to spell name and long-necked family known as The Willoughbys.

Convinced they’d be better off raising themselves, the Willoughby children hatch a sneaky plan to send their selfish parents on vacation. The siblings then embark on their own high-flying adventure to find the true meaning of family.

The Willoughbys (2020) – Rotten Tomatoes

The trailer:

  • Digging the blue cat with the dry, baritone voice
  • Geeky girl with big ears, glasses and long hair … great voice match.
  • The hair animation is … unique. Looks like yarn! lol
  • Psychedelic 60s-70s vibe … lots of rainbow colors including the vomiting rainbow child(?!) lol

I don’t get very excited about animated films, but this one definitely catches my interest.

The Willoughbys will start streaming on Netflix Wednesday April 22, 2020.

Paramount sharing The Lovebirds on Netflix, skipping theatrical release

On the heels of Trolls World Tour getting a simultaneous theater and streaming release on April 10 — and it seems doubtful any theaters will be reopened by that date — news now comes that Paramount is skipping a theatrical release and Netflix will be picking up The Lovebirds directly.

The Lovebirds marks the first studio movie that was pulled from a theatrical release that was placed at a non-studio streaming service. But Paramount does have a stand partnership with Netflix— a multipicture film deal that Paramount CEO Jim Gianopulos said would comprise “a small number of titles”.  The studio has previously released former theater-bound The Cloverfield Paradox with Netflix.

Paramount Sends ‘The Lovebirds’ to Netflix | Hollywood Reporter

No actual Netflix release date has been announced as of this writing, but they will probably release this sooner than later to capitalize on the marketing buzz.

This morning while I was driving Kara to work her in Vegas (she’s here on business, I’m here on vacation), we were talking about how there are some businesses that are doing just fine and maybe even benefiting from the current situation. Fast food restaurant sales have to be on the rise as well as some other restaurants offering take out and delivery (pizza sales got to be ahead of what they normally have this time of year).

Kara works in the grocery business and there are lines every single day outside her store when it opens. So many people, in fact, that security has to limit the number of customers in the store at one time.

So, it’s not all bad out there right now for everybody. Some are doing well. When I get back to my job, it’s pretty safe as well, considered to be on the “critical need” list, so I’m going to be OK too.

As for movies and this movie blog, however, there aren’t many new movies to talk about at the moment. Some regular features we have here — now playing reviews, opening this week in theaters movies — are all irrelevant at the moment. Am probably going to have to think up some new temporary replacement feature posts. I’ve also held off on posting any more “coming soon” posts because the landscape of what’s coming soon is wildly uncertain at the moment. I do have May queued up and was going to post that, but held off because I have no idea if theaters will be open in May and already the biggest movie in May (Black Widow) has moved its date. No point in making a coming soon to theaters post when theaters aren’t even open, so I’ll continue to sit on that one for awhile.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t many movies and TV shows worth watching right now.

Yes, plenty of great movies and TV shows on streaming, so while you’re home and looking for something movie or TV-related to check out, perhaps give a streaming channel a try that you haven’t checked out yet? You likely already have Netflix and Amazon, but there’s always Hulu or one of the premium channels (HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc). Binge out what’s there and move onto another one. A good opportunity to catch up on a whole bunch great entertainment.

Theaters will be back in time. I know in Vegas here the hotels with casinos are taking reservations starting May 1. I’m not sure if that will be when everything starts opening again, that at least seems to be one date to look at with some hope as to life beginning to return to normal.

May 1, 2020. Not too far away. Six weeks or so. Crossing fingers.

Mad Props to Joe Hill for Paving His Own Career Path

The problem with Joe Hill is he resembles a younger Stephen King

If Stephen King was your dad and you wanted to prove you could make it without riding on his coat tails what would you do? Just ask Joe Hill. He’s done exactly that.

“I lacked a lot of self-confidence as a teenager,” Hill told The Telegraph in 2016. “When I went into writing, I had to know that if someone bought one of my stories they’d bought it for the right reasons–that it is a good story–and not because of who my dad is.”

Who is Joe Hill? ‘Locke and Key’ Creator is Stephen King’s Son

Mad respect to Hill, the author of some truly awesome horror novels. Horns is great. Now, he has a Netflix series, Locke & Key. Haven’t seen that one yet, but will probably check it out. If it’s really good, I might even review it here. It’s based on the graphic novel by Hill about an ancestral home with magical keys hidden inside.

The problem with Joe Hill is his physical appearance is very similar to a younger Stephen King. Beard and all! So, even if you didn’t know he was Stephen King’s son somehow, you can see the resemblance and would guess.

There is something to sharing a last name though. I worked with one of my sons for awhile and we didn’t advertise we were related. People saw we had the same name and made the connection pretty quickly. So, the best think Hill could do is not use his last name.

I totally get why Hill didn’t want to go by the byline of Joe King. It’s very honorable and respectful to want to have your talent measured by your work, not because you’re the son of one of the most famous living authors ever. Hill doesn’t have to worry about that any more. He’s earned his writing street cred. If you doubt that, just buy and read some of his work.

Locke & Key the entire first season of 10 episodes is now bingeable on Netflix.

2 minutes watched now counts you as a “viewer” in Netflix’s stats

Only 2 minutes means you are a “viewer” in Netflix’s stats? O … K.

83 million “watched” 6 Underground, says Netflix. That’s impressive if only they weren’t now counting subscribers who only watch a couple minutes and bailed.

The company switched to a new viewership metric that essentially inflates its numbers by more than a third compared with its previous standard. Netflix said it will now count a title as “watched” if you choose to watch it and let it play for two minutes. That’s it. In the past, Netflix wouldn’t start counting something as “watched” until you got through 70% of the first episode of a series or of a film’s total runtime.

Netflix viewership stats just got more meaningless

Didn’t track exactly how long I tried to watch 6 Underground, but it was more than two minutes every time.

There old metric of at least 70% was a far better metric. I suppose internally they can track both. A statistic for reporting publicly and an internal-only metric which counts the old way. My money is they have internal statistics that go far, far deeper than they’ll ever strategically share with anybody outside the company.

This makes me think about that abysmal auto-play function — that cannot be disabled — whenever you hover over something in Netflix. Is this making me a viewer of everything I pause to do something else and leave on this screen for at least two minutes?

We already knew the viewing stats at Netflix were suspect, just read: The Irishman had 26,404,081 views in the first week, says Netflix – cough, wink, cough.

This just adds another exclamation mark.