Quibi—a new streaming service that reportedly lost 92% of its users after their free trial ended, only garnered around 300,000 downloads on launch day, and only added Apple AirPlay and Chromecast compatibility after people kept complaining about only being able to watch shows on their phones—has been nominated for ten freaking Emmy Awards. Ten. Which is about how many heart palpitations I had after hearing this news. Ten. Really, Quibi?
According to Entertainment Weekly, eight of the ten nominations are in the best actor or actress in a short-form series, which include Laurence Fishburne, Jasmine Cephas Jones, and Stephan James for #FreeRayshawn, Christoph Waltz for Most Dangerous Game, Corey Hawkins for Survive, Kaitlin Olson for Flipped, Anna Kendrick for Dummy, and Kerri Kenney-Silver for reprising her Reno 911! role as Deputy Trudy Wiegel.
Most Dangerous Game and Reno 911! were both nominated for Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama Series. To be fair, I haven’t watched Quibi’s revival of Reno 911!, but if it’s as hilarious as the original series on Comedy Central that ended in 2009, I can get behind this nomination.
In fact, I can’t get down on Quibi too much here, because despite all its apparent missteps since it launched, it must have put out some good enough shows to get nominated for ten Emmys. There was a time when shows weren’t eligible for these kinds of awards because they premiered on a streaming network, so it’s a good thing that those shows are getting recognized—even if the people being nominated are already established A-listers from a more traditional Hollywood. (Come on, cowards. Nominate the lesser known actors.)
And Quibi’s streaming service isn’t that bad, really. Now that it’s (kind of) fixed its most glaring flaw of being a phone-only streaming service in a covid-19 world, it might start to attract new subscribers—if they already have Apple AirPlay or a Chromecast. But even with an admittedly niche option for some people to watch Quibi shows on their TVs, who the heck is it for? Just people who like short-form media, I guess?
I mean, I like short form media, but after being super hyped and then dramatically disappointed by Murder House Flip, I uninstalled the Quibi app from my phone. No regrets. Who needs it when there’s new episodes of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark and Unsolved Mysteries? Some shows are just better suited for a longer format.