Crackle just released the first teaser for its new series StartUp starring Martin Freeman and Adam Brody.
Set in Miami, “Start Up” explores what happens when a brilliant, yet controversial tech idea gets incubated on the wrong side of the tracks by three strangers who don’t necessarily fit the mold of tech entrepreneurs. Forced to fund a tech company with dirty money while forming ties with a Haitian gang, their fight to build a business pales in comparison to the fight to stay alive, especially when there’s a vehement FBI agent who wields the power to make or break those he comes in contact with — and not always for the right reasons.
It appears to be a pretty well-done technology-driven, morality drama, and raises a lot of questions.
Chief among them: what the fuck is Crackle? Crackle, as it turns out, is a couple of things. It’s primarily Sony’s video streaming platform that’s just gotten in on the original content game. It’s free to sign up, and you can watch gems like Lockout, I Spy, and The Jeff Foxworthy Show. There are of course some actual good shows and movies in the mix, but who really wants to pass up an opportunity to remind people about Lockout?
More importantly, I’m hoping that Crackle is symbolic of the last remnants of the network model of TV. I don’t actually watch TV anymore. And that’s not said in that new-agey/ hipster “oh, I don’t own a TV because I’m too busy actually living my life” kind of way. I mean that I watch TV content on my laptop streamed through any of the few content providers I subscribe to. Which is amazing in many ways, but a pain in the ass in some. Not the least of which is that if Martin Freeman hadn’t been attached to this project, I never would have heard of it, never heard of Crackle, and would never find out if they have any other good content. Isn’t the point of a democratized TV system that if the show is good, people should be able to see it? Without interference from networks, worries about ratings, and big names to get the show greenlit? How are we still working in a system that requires someone inside the system before anyone gives a shit about it?
And I understand that this is a whiny, first-world problem, but why do I have to check each of the various websites to figure out which one will let me watch a goddamn show? Netflix for their content, Hulu for most shit, Amazon for Catastrophe, Comcast for whatever’s left over. I love that the internet has opened the channels through which shows can be produced. I hate that they maintain those channels all the way down the line so I have to have a literal spreadsheet to remind me to watch all of the shows I want to on all of the different websites. And again, I know that complaining that there are so many good shows that I can’t keep track of them is a great problem to have. I just wish there were a way to make it more efficient. Back in the day when you wanted to buy an album, you didn’t have to go to Sony’s record store in order to get it, right? Can’t all of the different streaming service and content providers just put all of their shit in the same place? Or at least create a website to list where all this shit is? Can’t I just tell Siri “I want to rewatch Battlestar Gallactica” and she just pulls it up for me? Are we not living in the future?
Also Crackle is a stupid name for an entertainment company of any kind. Some real, on-the-nose asshole came up with that one.