With much of the world in lockdown right now, many companies are crashing since they are, by default, closed. Netflix is not one of those companies. Netflix is doing GREAT. Everyone is on Netflix right now, so much so that they have to slow their broadband rates in Europe to prevent crashing the network. Netflix is also currently unaffected by the production slowdown—they say we won’t see an impact until late 2020—and are releasing new series like Tiger King on schedule. Another new thing they have coming out on April 3 is Coffee and Kareem a comedy starring Ed Helms and Taraji P. Henson, about a white cop who has to save his black girlfriend’s son from hijinks. It looks terrible, but we’re all going to watch this, aren’t we?
It’s certainly nothing against the people involved. It’s always good to see Taraji P. Henson, and Ed Helms can be great in the right circumstances (see also: Cedar Rapids). It’s just that so often, Helms plays the same kind of dumb boy characters he played in The Hangover and The Office, and Coffee and Kareem looks like another Helms dumb boy. He’s really best playing sad boys hanging onto their decency by a fingernail, but that’s probably too depressing for this particular moment, when so many people are looking for funny and feel good. I’m not sold on Coffee and Kareem being funny—the trailer did not make me laugh once, not a good sign—and I’m raising an eyebrow at the gender/racial politics on display, but still. We’re totally going to watch this, huh? This is what Netflix is offering on April 3, and this is what we’re going to watch, because we have nowhere to go and the other big movie drop that day is The Rise of Skywalker hitting Disney+. I have a feeling people will not be rushing to re-watch The Rise of Skywalker, so Coffee and Kareem it is. This lockdown is really rewarding mediocrity.