Netflix's absurd new dating show proves it wants to meme-ify the viewing experience while competitors lock in viewers with actual storylines
- Netflix unveiled a new reality dating show on Wednesday, setting off an online meme storm.
- The same thing happened with "Tiger King" and "Bridgerton" in 2020.
- That feat will come in handy for Netflix as it relies on a broad array of content to keep its place on the streaming throne.
Part of Netflix's strategy seems to be meme-ifying the streaming experience - and it's working.
Now a new reality dating show coming to Netflix in July has set the online world aflame once again. It's outlandish, slightly nightmare-inducing, and it might be exactly what the platform needs if it wants to keep HBO Max and Disney+ from gaining on it.
"Sexy Beasts" will test people's chemistry by dressing up contestants in elaborate costumes and prosthetics, transforming them into creatures like beasts, demons, and dolphins. The participants will then go on blind dates with each other and then make personality-based decisions on who they choose to match with.
Based on the trailer, there's a "Beauty and the Beast" moment in the end when the couple is revealed to each other in their human, makeup-free forms.
Netflix's promotional photos of the show, in all of their absurd glory, instantly prompted memes across the internet. You couldn't log into a social media website Wednesday without spotting the furry and made-up faces of the show's participants.
-Netflix Queue (@netflixqueue) June 23, 2021
-Nathan Vacation (@Vahn16) June 23, 2021
-Paul Griffiths (@paul_griffiths) June 23, 2021
-Preeti Chhibber (@runwithskizzers) June 23, 2021
-Will Mavity (@mavericksmovies) June 23, 2021
-kelsey weekman (@kelsaywhat) June 23, 2021
"Sexy Beasts" is the latest example of Netflix dropping a new release and immediately taking over the world of pop culture. But it's also indicative of what Netflix banks heavily on to keep viewers hooked: wild original programming, and the wilder it is, the better.
It said in April that it would spend over $17 billion in cash on content this year after the pandemic caused a lull in original releases.
Netflix defines original content as anything offered exclusively on its platform. That's been the company's strength in the streaming market as it competes with Disney+, HBO Max, and Amazon instead of, for example, rounding out its movie selection.
Of course, other platforms have had a similar cultural effect, such as Disney+ with every new Marvel release and HBO Max with its DC content. But those services mainly tether their movies and shows to specific characters. Subscribers love Disney+ because it's a cozy home to everything Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and more.
And while Netflix also has storyline-driven movies and series, it's evident with "Sexy Beasts" that the company is determined to keep as many customers entertained as it can with a wide array of content.
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