Editor’s Note: This story mentions suicide. If you or somebody you know are at resk of self-harm, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24-hour support at 1-800-273-8255.
As attention spans shorten, so does television, apparently.
Quibi, a brand-new video streaming service, publicly launched April 6 — just in time for social distancing binge-watching. The app features a slew of unique and star-studded shows broken into short episodes. Quibi, viewable in both horizontal and vertical phone orientations, is aiming to develop short-form content exclusively for mobile phone viewing. With a wide array of options, Quibi’s content may seem overwhelming at first. The Daily Texan has scoped out four Quibi shows that should be on your radar.
50 States of Fright
Taking advantage of the vast library of state-specific legends, “50 States of Fright” is an anthology series that spotlights the nightmares and urban legends of the United States. Each installment, revolving around a specific state, is split into mini parts. The first episode, directed by horror director Sam Raimi (“The Evil Dead”), explores the Michigan tale of “The Golden Arm.” The story follows the relationship between the town hearthrob and a lumberjack. After a grisly accident, the woman ends up with a golden arm prosthetic that she refuses to part with despite its deadly health effects. The episode sports some spooktacular horror sequences and heart-stopping makeup design.
“Game of Thrones” actress Sophie Turner stars in this survival thriller about a patient, Jane, who has recently been released from a mental health and wellness facility. Still dealing with personal struggles, Jane heads toward the airport with the intention of ending her life during the flight home. Her attempted suicide is halted when Jane’s plane plummets to the ground in a devastating crash, leaving Jane and Corey Hawkins’ (“Straight Outta Compton”) gentle Paul as the only survivors. Stuck in the snowy mountains with limited resources, Jane and Paul must fight for their survival. The series deals with sensitive topics involving mental health in an unfiltered way, making for an emotional yet mature viewing experience. Turner gives an exceptional performance as Jane that is sure to grip viewers throughout.
When the Streetlights Go On
After a grisly murder occurs in a small suburban town, student reporter Charlie (Chosen Jacobs from “IT”) investigates the tragedy. Set in the fall of 1995, this small-town thriller incorporates classic elements of a coming of age story with the allure of a layered murder mystery. The story is narrated by an adult Charlie, offering insight and analysis on the motivations of each character. The aesthetic and cinematography of the 1990s setting is sleek and appropriately grainy. The show excels in its intensive sequences, particularly those involving the murder. “When the Streetlights Go On” feels heavily inspired by the spirits of “Stranger Things,” “Twin Peaks” and films like “Super Dark Times” and “Stand By Me.”
Chance the Rapper hosts this reiteration of the classic prank show. Each episode features different celebrities being put into uncomfortable situations, all captured by hidden cameras. Notable “victims” include singer Sabrina Carpenter, actor Adam DeVine (“Pitch Perfect”) and singer Megan Thee Stallion. One episode sees TikTok influencer Addison Rae being pranked by an aggressive stage mom during a photo shoot at the Hype House, a content creator collective in Los Angeles. The resulting interaction is extremely uncomfortable and entertaining.