Just six months after going live with much fanfare, streaming service Quibi is shutting down. Emily Writes provides a eulogy to the platform nobody liked.
It’s almost shameful to admit it given the chorus of people bagging Quibi, but I tell you – I loved that thing.
The criticism of Quibi started with the very idea of Quibi. The streaming service was different. It provided shows with five-to-10 minute episodes or “chapters”. It was formatted to fit your phone screen.
“Only dumb millennials with no attention span will sign up for this dumb shit” was the first comment I saw online about Quibi. As a dumb millennial with no attention span who immediately signed up for said dumb shit, I couldn’t argue with that.
I felt like Quibi was genius for my generation. Constantly working in a capitalist gig economy that gives you almost zero downtime while raising kids in an era where if you ignore them for five seconds it leads to a study saying “New mums neglect their kids for their phones” I felt like it was made for people like myself. I don’t have 40 minutes to watch something – I only have five.
A 45-minute episode of television takes me an hour and a half because I always have to circle back. Who is that? Wait, is that the killer? Didn’t they die? My husband hasn’t watched television with me for three years for the sake of our marriage. The final straw was when we were watching The Blacklist and I said: “Is that guy ‘the blacklist’? Who is ‘the blacklist’?”
It wasn’t just the tiny episodes that appealed to me either. The shows on it were absolutely batshit. They were so 2020 it’s like they were 2020. I became obsessed with the content. The content was so good! Wasn’t it? Wasn’t it??
There was Murder House Flip a show as morally bankrupt as it sounds – two lovable designers go to a house where there’s been a brutal murder and they renovate it! Actual dialogue from the show, only slightly paraphrased, include: “I love the tiles you put in!”, “We found blood under the old tiles! But honestly LOOK AT HOW BEAUTIFUL YOUR NEW BATH IS! I know you hated the old bath because that’s where the body was dismembered!”, and “I can’t wait to take a bath now!”
Every single episode was like this. Honestly. “This is so beautiful you’d forget it was where all the bodies were buried”. “These floors! You would never think someone was killed here!”
I watched it twice.
In another show they just blindfolded contestants and shot food into their face with a cannon. How did people not like this?
The Most Dangerous Game was actually great. I only watched it because I’m a disgusting pervert who will take any Hemsworth I can get. But it was actually so good? I can totally do a thriller slash drama slash horror if it’s only five minutes long.
And Chrissy’s Court! I mean it’s Chrissy Teigen. Why didn’t people love it?
The Gayme Show was so stupid and wonderful. Straight cis men got quizzed on queer culture and each episode a straight was crowned Queen of the Straights. It had all of your fave queer icons. It had a one-woman “house band” with Vonzell Solomon, who was amazing. Is it problematic? I’m sure it is. But did I laugh so hard at making straights list why Kirsten Dunst is criminally underrated that I peed a little? Absolutely.
Quibi also had a show with Idris Elba trying to break a land speed record. He had a salt and pepper beard. A lot of it was in slow motion.
It had a show with Sophie Turner and a hot guy and a show where celebrities gave away $100,000 to someone who’d changed their life. That person then had to give $50,000 to someone who also then had to give $25,000 to someone. It was actually very funny watching celebrity billionaires cry as they give someone $100,000 of which they could only keep half of. I mean, it’s like nobody told them they could do this every day if they wanted to. Maybe the legacy of Quibi will be that celebs will realise you can give money to poor people without being filmed.
It had a great American Apparel Doco. It had an awesome pregnancy body horror show called Expecting. It had Anna Kendrick becoming friends with her boyfriend’s sex doll and wearing its banged-up vagina around her neck as they took a girls road trip. Really.
It had Nicole Richie as a rapper called Nikki Fre$h that was surprisingly funny. It had Kirby Jenner which wasn’t funny but it was a nice try.
And now it’s gone, just because it was deeply unsuccessful, lost an incredible amount of money and wasn’t popular in a way that everybody predicted.
A final date for Quibi hasn’t been set, but I can only beg that I get one more season of Murder House Flip to send me on my way.