2017 is apparently the year that the apps are taking over the entertainment industry in shocking ways. It began with The Emoji Movie, a movie that is so iconically bad it has 8% on Rotten Tomatoes which is genuinely incredible when you consider that a movie where a drag queen eats dog shit has an 80%. That comparison alone should tell you everything.
That obscenely low rated movie? Everyone saw it, it raked in $70 million bucks at the box office. It took in more money than Baywatch, Atomic Blonde, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Life and perhaps most shocking of all, The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature. The Emoji Movie was just the start... or should I say, the most obvious problem. But it's not the first, it won't be the last, and we need to ask why phone apps are now taking over TV.
Yes, this exists. This has existed on TV now for a little under two months and somehow it's not being talked about as much as it should be, mostly for having the gall to exist. It's hosted by Mario Lopez who, fun fact, literally hasn't aged since 1992. This show pits two teams of people against each other to play giant versions of that app you play on your phone while waiting for the bus in the morning. To add just a cherry on top of that pile of candy, the people who win these glorified games of diabetes Tetris win $100,000 which is more money than any of us will see in our lives, and they will earn it because they swapped candy around on a board and heard a voice say "Tasty"... why can't I earn money that easily?Last time I saw a show that stunned me this much with its very existence it was a competition show about nail art... and at least Nail'd It was weirdly fascinating.
Back to Candy Crush: The TV Series. Mario Lopez literally explains how to play this basic came that everyone has played before, but it's elevated by having it on giant boards of attaching the competitors by gigantic candy canes or even giving people levers and letting them turn their team mates into Mary Poppins ya'll.
This show got a budget and airs on CBS. Its premiere episode got about four million viewers. Allow me to repeat that, four million people at some point in their lives said "I want to watch the first episode of that app I deleted about two months ago because I was annoyed that I couldn't get past level 62", that's a thing that happened. Thankfully, for the good of the human race, the show plunged in the ratings to a stunning 2.4 million... on July 23rd. Three weeks in and it's at half the viewers, and yet the show keeps going on. It's up to episode seven, it may still have a few more to burn off but let's never forget that somewhere at CBS, someone thought making a TV series based on an app that people play for 20 minutes would be a good show. This is CBS, the network that decided to greenlight the app show, but couldn't be bothered paying two Asian actors for one of their hit TV series a fair wage... just so we know where we're at right now.
But of course, it's just the most recent one to hit TV, there are others
You thought this was just a movie? Oh you poor unfortunate soul. Nope, this was also an animated cartoon that was put on something called Toons.TV, which no longer exists. This is basically what would happen if the Road Runner cartoons starred pigs and an assortment of birds. The weird thing? This might be one of the few app based series that works because it takes the basic idea, expands it a little and doesn't push it's luck. We don't end up having to tolerate this for an hour and a half, it's about 3 minutes long each episode and no one talks so we can just zone out and enjoy the silliness. It's a formula that works... which is why they repeat it with Angry Birds Blues
And Angry Birds Stella
And Piggy Tales
So, do we have enough yet? Because I think we have enough cartoons based on the app where you throw birds at pigs and make things explode. God, next you'll be telling me there's a cartoon about Farmville or something.
Well jokes on you, cos the Farmville cartoon... was planned, it was totally going to happen, but I'm guessing having Brett Ratner announce he was producing it around the time he got in trouble for using a gay slur might've killed the project dead. That or they realised that NO ONE WANT'S A CARTOON ABOUT FARMVILLE!
No, this isn't going about the 1974 TV series Shazam, which would be kind of amazing if they remade it as a new addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Captain Marvel is part of that right? Right?!).
No, this is about the game show Beat Shazam. Hosted by Jamie Foxx who, fun fact, hasn't aged since 1992, this show is exactly what you think it is. Three teams of contestants try to guess the name of a song before the Shazam! app can work out what the song title is.
This show actually airs on Fox. God I hope they didn't just hire Jamie so they could say "Foxx on Fox". Still, this show is literally just testing the knowledge of people to see if they know a song from a few seconds of it being played. It's basically that "Guess the Song" challenge you see on youtube, only bigger and with cash prizes up to a million bucks... for knowing the titles of songs faster than an app to do exactly that thing.
This show now has a second season order, because it's the highest rated new show this season. Think about that for a second. We are now at the point where a season of shows can rate so low that a game show about beating the Shazam app is somehow the best of them all... I'm sad now. I mean, what's next? A show about Tinder
...I hate me.
Yes, we end our journey of "Shows that are inexplicably made out of Apps" in my home country with a show that is being paid for by the public broadcaster ABC. No Strings Attached takes stories of dating app hookups gone wrong and reenacts them with horrific looking puppets. Not just Tinder either, nope they also include Grindr or OKCupid stories and just perform them with puppets. This didn't air on TV, it was uploaded to the ABC streaming service iView so if you wanted to see weird looking puppets performing awkward dates from various apps well have I got the binge watching session for you. It'll take about an hour since every episode is under 10 minutes but, again, public broadcaster. This is our version of PBS, and it made this app based show. Because of the reason.
So that's just a small sampling of shows that're based on mobile apps, because apparently that's where we're going now.
What other apps do you want to see TV series made out of?