Overrated/Underrated: Netflix moves to interactive storytelling, and going overboard on ‘Overboard’

Anna Faris
Anna Faris reportedly will take on Goldie Hawn’s role in the 1987 film ‘Overboard.’
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)


‘Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead’ (2015): A welcome recent addition to Netflix, this documentary examines the rise and fall of the National Lampoon, a subversive humor magazine that helped shape comedy. Something akin to an unhinged predecessor to the Onion, the National Lampoon left a mark on Hollywood with films like “Animal House,” “Caddyshack” and “Vacation” and oddball voices that went on to shape “Saturday Night Live.” In true comic fashion, the story is shaded by tragedy, but in the hands of filmmaker Douglas Tirola the film remains hopeful in celebrating that the Lampoon somehow happened in the first place.

Satoko Fujii: A prolific, profoundly adventurous pianist, Fujii recently released one of her most rewarding recordings yet with the solo double album “Invisible Hand.” That set offers a blend of rich melodies, inside-the-piano explorations and contemplative passages that can recall the late Paul Bley. The Japanese-born Fujii will showcase another facet of her musical exploration with a performance on Monday at the Little Tokyo jazz club the Blue Whale, which will find her backed by an expressive group that includes trumpet, guitar and the percussive rhythms of a dancer named Mizuki.



Remaking ‘Overboard’: Hollywood’s longtime addiction to reheating every leftover found moldering in the cupboard has led to a sort of numbness surrounding most project announcements, but last week’s word of Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez signing on for a gender-switched version of this kidnapping-adjacent ’80s rom-com constitutes a new level. If every mediocre movie that got semi-cult status from repeated showings on basic cable deserves a reboot, this means we’re just years from Justin Bieber taking Keanu Reeves’ role in “The Replacements.” (Apologies in advance.)

‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ programs on Netflix: Furthering a troubling perception that the most important person in programming is the viewer, Netflix announced it will soon be exploring interactive storytelling. The idea will be tested with kid’s shows, but moving it to adult fare could force us to confront uncomfortable feelings about characters and their creators. Wanting to control a story’s ending is natural, but this kind of self-centered entertainment has been around for decades. They’re called video games.

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