The Great Lockdown could mean boom times for streaming video providers, which are bumping up release dates and flooding shut-ins’ inboxes with offers of free trial subscriptions. But there might be no one in a better position for the current environment than Quibi.
The subscription-only service, which promises “quick bites” of programming lasting from four to 10 minutes, has been a punchline since it was announced—people are gonna pay five bucks a month for that? But while people are announcing plans to tear through War and Peace in quarantine, they may find that being in a state of constant low-grade anxiety isn’t great for their attention spans. (A few nights ago, I couldn’t make it through Babe: Pig in the City.) Ten minutes or less could suddenly feel just about right, especially if you’re locked into a crowded apartment and desperate for a quick break.
Enter Murder House Flip. Of all Quibi’s programs, it already had the most promising premise: a home-renovation show whose homes were previously the site of gruesome crimes. The idea is absurd and enthralling at the same time, the kind of thing you can’t look away from, delivered in packages small enough that you can sneak away and watch them without shame. It comes from Josh Berman, a former executive producer of CSI, so you can rest assured it will gawk at bloody crimes like a rabid onlooker pressed up against a police barricade, with none of the seriousness that might spoil this series’ delightfully tasteless setup.
From the show’s trailer, which has just been released, it seems every bit as close to borderline self-parody as we could have hoped, with young couples explaining the sweet deals they got moving into a former crime scene. “To afford to live by the beach,” one husband explains, “we had to buy a house where a guy chopped his wife up.”
It’s possible that when Quibi launches on April 6, Murder Flip House—a series about rebuilding after tragedy—may even feel like the Show We Need Right Now. But for now, it’s just one I can’t wait to see.