‘The Netflix Treatment’ is, if you didn’t know, when a forgotten film or television series finds new legs on the streaming platform, typically in the form of a new series. Famous examples of the ‘Netflix Treatment’ at work include the liberation of Arrested Development from Fox (though we’re still waiting on that film, Hurwitz), the rebirth of the political spectre in Frank Underwood (née Urquhart) in House of Cards, the danse macabre of Brooker’s Black Mirror and the redemptive Siege of Jadotville. While most projects have been more Luke Cage than Real Rob, there have been flops like The Ridiculous 6 out there; the numbers don’t lie, though, and with projects based on GLOW and A Series of Unfortunate Events coming out soon, it looks like Netflix have more than a 33⅓ percent chance of succeeding.
Where do they go now, though? There’s a rather large subsection of readers who would have me strung from the nearest lamppost in Canton for not immediately saying that Firefly is a top prospect for the Netflix treatment – though, as much as it pains me to say, the main cast members of Firefly have, surprisingly, aged somewhat in the 11 years since Serenity, so a recasting or retooling of the show may be in order should it be renewed.
One of the most interesting (and, in some ways, the most successful) Netflix originals was the series 10 years in the making: ‘Making a Murderer’. And while justice seems to finally be served, stars of the film fly around the globe to give talks at Universities and a follow-up special is planned, I think another trip into the ‘real crime’ genre is more than warranted. With the interest in ‘unpopular’ Irish history on show with Siege of Jadotville, a series on something like the Guildford 4 isn’t totally out of the question, especially as the topic hasn’t really been broached since 1993’s ‘In the Name of the Father’.
Political shows, both historical and dramatic, have seen huge popularity on Netflix, including shows like the aforementioned House of Cards, Designated Survivor and documentaries like Best of Enemies & Race for the White House. One of those, Designated Survivor, is still ongoing at the time of printing, and deals with the concept of conspiracy and espionage in the highest levels of American politics – and when it comes to conspiracy and the Presidency you can’t go past the Manchurian Candidate. The original 1962 film is universally considered a classic, and it’s been over 12 years since the incredibly disappointing Denzel Washington sequel. With the latter becoming the poster child for bad remakes it makes this an unlikely project for the Netflix Treatment, though if a remake were to be greenlit it would certainly have a low bar to surpass to be heralded as at least decent.
If there’s one thing Netflix is flush with, it’s (predictably) famous faces, but not just famous faces: faces…normal faces…faces before they were famous faces…faces. Shows like Freaks & Geeks come to mind, and of course ‘My Wet Hot American Summer’, the latter of which got a Netflix-sponsored sequel. If Netflix loves anything more than ‘before they were famous’ shows, it’s reunion shows; hell, they made Fuller House! And what deserves a reunion show more than Spaced? The first major project of Pegg, Frost and director Edgar Wright, what better way to celebrate the end of their ‘Three Flavours’ series than by joining up with Jessica Stevenson to catch up with Tim & Daisy 15 or so years after we last left them. Spaced, a two-season love-letter to pop culture of the late 90s, was the voice of the generation of 20-somethings in 2001, so it would be interesting to see where the housemates are now in 2016. Is Tim the new Jack Kirby, or is he just a Scott Adams? Has Daisy finally written something? Is Mike the Minister for Defense? And, most importantly: is Colin okay?
With it looking like Netflix can’t fail, even with the odd Real Rob or Ridiculous 6, and if they can deliver any of the above then they’re in no danger of losing my subscription any time soon.