PLEASE SEND HELP. Netflix is holding us hostage in a Saw-like chamber of our own minds, tormenting us with a stupid question we never asked: What did Bob Ross do? And will Bob Ross make it out intact? The mild-mannered painter’s legacy has eight days until possible dismemberment. We fear it will not make it out alive.
Netflix has hurled us into this madness with its trailer for Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed, a 35-second thriller presenting a colorless, law enforcement-style file photo of Ross, his grin now evoking Charles Manson’s. As the camera zooms in, to a spooky jingling of Christmas bells, the following text flashes:
WE WANT TO SHOW YOU THE TRAILER FOR
Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed
BUT WE CAN’T
“I’ve been wanting to get this story out for all these years,” the male voice of Bob Ross’s unidentified prey tells us, and then Netflix sandbags us:
(On August 25th.)
About the remaining half of the trailer is the Netflix logo, unleashing further distressing questions: What, is that the whole movie? Are we gonna have to sit through 15 drawn-out episodes of Netflix-y hemming and hawing before they drop the truth bomb? Whether Bob Ross deserves defrocking (entirely possible) isn’t so much the question, but whether Netflix can produce a shred of evidence of Bob Ross’ (apparent) crimes.
Rude! If someone sends you a cryptic memo, followed by a date, such as...
...any reasonable person would assume this is a ransom note or a hostage’s clue, which, in either case, would prompt us to call the FBI. Netflix knows that this is a successful mechanism to grab our attention.
Or we can cut to the more likely plot: The Daily Beast details a lawsuit by Bob Ross’s son, Steve Ross, against Bob Ross, Inc., a venture that Bob Ross founded with business partners. It would (spoiler alert) claim rights to his paintings, name, and likeness from his family and use them for lucrative licensing deals, which would explain the whole trailer.