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‘Palm Springs’ gets commentary cut: Andy Samberg still doesn’t know what ending means

Hulu's "Palm Springs."
Nyles (Andy Samberg), left, and Sarah (Cristin Milioti) in Hulu’s genre-bending rom-com “Palm Springs.”
(Hulu)

The “Palm Springs” time loop has taken Hulu back to the age of DVD commentary.

As the streaming era has essentially done away with digital extras that made DVD and Blu-ray purchases enticing, Hulu looks to be bringing them back.

The Disney-owned streaming service on Monday released the commentary cut for its genre-scrambling sci-fi comedy “Palm Springs,” which debuted last July. The watch-party-style version, which can be found under the “extras” tab, features video-conferencing views of stars Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti as well as director Max Barbakow and screenwriter Andy Siara. Together, they shed light on each scene and the film’s head-scratching ending.

“Here’s the ending. No one knows what it means,” Samberg says in the finale’s commentary, later adding, “There’s certain things in this movie that are not meant to be known with certainty.”

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“I have my own opinions [on the ending], and I would never share them,” Milioti added.

So the mystery lives on, but at least viewers can definitively know that it’s OK not to know. And subscribers can squeeze in another viewing during awards-season voting.

Uh, so what really happened to Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti’s characters at the end of Hulu’s sci-fi romantic comedy ‘Palm Springs’?

In the evolving entertainment landscape, which has been further disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, streamers have focused on growing their catalogs of movies and shows or ramping up their programming schedule.

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“As far as I know, we’re the first,” Samberg told Variety of the new cut. “We realized that ‘Palm Springs’ will always be on Hulu, which is great, but there are elements of the DVD experience that just don’t exist anymore. They were very amenable in talking about ways to get some fun stuff in there.”

Hulu’s commentary cut — a blast from the familiar past — seems to be the latest effort by a streamer to keep subscribers loyal as nascent services adapt to high churn rates (when viewers unsubscribe after they’re done streaming a series or film that got them to sign up for the service in the first place).

Cable and streaming giants HBO and Netflix have tried similar efforts for fan-service programming, launching companion podcasts or behind-the-scenes documentaries for popular titles such as “Chernobyl” or “Always Be My Maybe,” but they don’t require a cable subscription or one to the streaming service either.

A new report suggests more than 60% of people who dropped a streaming service did so after they watched the show or movie that got them to sign up.

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