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Netflix Geeked Week ’23: What’s Worth Watching

Image of Netflix HQ.
Image of Netflix HQ. By Courtesy of Netflix
By Taylor S. Johnson, Crimson Staff Writer

Netflix’s third annual Geeked Week set sail this past week from Nov. 6 to Nov. 12. An exciting introduction to what the near future of Netflix content will look like, Geeked Week reveals teasers and behind the scenes footage from over 30 new or rebooted series. It is a massive virtual event, and this is its best and worst quality. On one hand, viewers are given much to consider — especially fans of returning series — but because Geeked Week features such a wide range of media, the majority of teasers and trailers are not substantial. With this in mind, below is a list of the most promising TV shows to look out for in the coming months.

“Stranger Things” Day

For the first day of Geeked Week, Netflix put on a full day of nothing but “Stranger Things” content. Grabbing the interest of millions when it was released in 2016, “Stranger Things” is about a group of teenagers who discover something unsettling about their town after their friend goes missing. In order to save the rest of their unsuspecting town, they must work together to uncover the mysteries of a dark and poisonous alternate universe, the Upside Down. This was, by far, the most unexpected release of the week, but only because of what Netflix chose to release. This show received the most attention of all the promotional media that debuted during Geeked Week, but unfortunately, there was no information about what season five will entail or when it will be released. The day was less about the future — as it was for other shows discussed later in the week — and more of a retrospective on how the characters, costumes, props, and sense of adventure have developed over time. It was lovely to be given the space to reflect, but this did not really fit amidst the remainder of Geeked Week, and would have been better suited as the conclusion, not the kick-off.

“Sweet Home” Season Two

Returning on Dec. 1, this series is based on a Korean webtoon where teenage orphan Cha Hyun-soo (Song Kang) and his neighbors must work together against all the humans who have morphed into various monsters. This upcoming season is concerned with developing a vaccine, and proving that those who are half monster and half human can exist apart from their homicidal rage. This was one of the few shows given a detailed reintroduction, featuring both a trailer and a cast debrief. The trailer showcases graphics and special effects that look phenomenally terrifying, and the latter revealed that the season will host new characters and new twists. Overall, “Sweet Home” will be something to look forward to.

“Scott Pilgrim Takes Off” Animated Series

Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) and Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth) will put their love to the test as they venture through the realities of adulthood and defeat Ramona’s seven evil exes. In this animated TV series remake, their story is told in more detail and with an adorable art style that mirrors the original Scott Pilgrim comic book series that debuted in 2004. The trailer Geeked Week released for this series embodies this style extremely well. The blue undertones in the color scheme, the thick, sketch-like lining, and the 2D animation work together to emulate the cartoons popular in the early 2000s. Additionally, the voice cast for this show is the same as the cast of “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” — the live action movie adaption released in 2010 — which adds another nice touch of nostalgia. Geeked Week set a sweetly retrospective stage for its premiere last week, on Nov. 17.

“Avatar: The Last Airbender” Live Action Series

Perhaps the most widely debated reveal of the week, Netflix has decided to re-release a live action version of the original animated show “Avatar: The Last Airbender” on Feb. 22. Staying true to the cartoon, the show will take place in a fantasy world that is divided into four nations that govern the four elements: earth, water, fire, and air, while the Avatar is born to control these elements and bring peace between the nations. If not excruciatingly obvious from the movie released in 2010, live action adaptations are difficult to produce, much less perform well or perfect, but give this one a chance! The promotional content was not very extensive, but the special effects look much more formidable, as do the costumes and sets. This alone is a large step forward from the movie, which was mainly critiqued for its bad graphics. From what little can be seen, this show looks as though it will be — at the very least — more bearable than the movie.

“Yu Yu Hakusho” Live Action Series

This new series is a live action remake of the infamous shonen manga, Yu Yu Hakusho. Yusuke Urameshi is a 14-year-old troublemaker who, after dying during a surprisingly noble deed, is given a chance to leave the spirit world and go back to his own as a spirit detective. Netflix has released many live action anime remakes, none of which fans have unanimously agreed are good, but the visuals look gory and dark — and very promising for a horror and mystery show. This has clear potential to be an entertaining watch whether or not it mirrors the original manga, and this is fully thanks to the trailer. Tune in on Dec. 14 for action, adventure, and mystery.

“Squid Game: The Challenge” Competition Show

Coming out on Nov. 22, for 456 players there are 4.56 million dollars at stake in this reality TV spinoff of the original “Squid Game.” What is especially impressive and disturbing is that these players will be sleeping, eating, and playing games on a life sized version of the original set. Hwang Dong-hyuk, the creator of the original series, evaluated the visuals in the promotional video of this adapted game, and was taken aback by the accuracy. But this was the only thing released to advocate for viewers to watch the show, and in that sense, there is not much of an incentive being built — other than the eeriness of the concept. No one will die, of course, but what else will players do for this kind of money?

“The Umbrella Academy” Final Season

The Hargreeves are a family of adopted children who, after reuniting over their brother’s return and their father’s death, attempt to use their powers to save the world. In their promotional video, the cast told viewers to expect new villains and the same dry humor and silly shenanigans that made the last few seasons so successful. The fourth and final season of “The Umbrella Academy” does not have an official trailer out yet, nor does it have any sneak peaks, so this video of the cast is all Geeked Week released for this show, which should make fans a little wary. Even so, viewers will have closure in 2024.

Geeked Week ’23 was a partial success. The shows that debuted with trailers and sneak peaks were very effective in rallying curiosity, but because there were so few of these — more shows had cast talks and retrospectives — there was not enough focus on the future. On the surface, the week was amusing and engaging. But considering that the goal of Geeked Week is to preview Netflix’s future, the released content was far too vague. While true, the shows represented here are only a fraction of what Netflix is planning, but even considering the event in its entirety, the future remains unknown.

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