HBO Max and Warner Bros. drama Discovery Drama A big, frustrating mess

It’s been a stressful week. Over the past several days, my favorite HBO Max – the most used streaming service – has been the subject of rumors.

after, after Surprise Tuesday on the shelves bat girl, a movie I didn’t plan to watch at all, I swear to the gossip mill that the platform was going down the toilet. The word on the street was that Warner Bros. Discovery, the service’s newly merged parent company, is going to scrap everything we love and replace it with cheap reality shows. HBO Max will lose all of its good movies, if they are replaced by bad ones. Fans have started proactive campaigns to save upcoming unreleased content they haven’t even seen.

It was hard not to worry about all that, as there was some evidence in the questionable dessert. After all, a company deciding to mostly pull a neighboring Batman movie out of release at the last minute feels like a messy move into an outsider. Furthermore, people are starting to notice a few movies and exclusive shows disappearing from the service without warning. By the time Warner Bros. was appointed. Discovery – or WB Disco, if you want to be nice – Quarterly earnings call On Thursday, anxiety reached its peak.

It was believed that during the call, everything would be revealed. We’ll get an answer to our big question from the company’s top executives: Will WTF happen to HBO Max and all of our favorite shows?

Turns out the answer isn’t quite as terrible as we thought it might be. But it’s also not the most comfortable; Instead, she draws the steps of Warner Bros. The following Discovery is a depressing and disappointing picture of the state of the streaming industry at the moment.

Jan Smart and Hana Endbender V hacks season 2.

Karen Ballard / HBO Max

What happens to my beloved HBO Max is not surprising. It will be combined with its half-brother Discovery+, which will include de-ordering their libraries. This does not include any shocking cancellations, fortunately. Most likely, reducing the content list will mean more cost-cutting measures on the part of WB Disco: allowing licenses to expire for some acquisitions, removing content from broadcasts, or canceling projects it deems to no longer comply with brand mash or revised financial guidance.

The new goals of both scripting and unscripted — aka a little of the former, a lot of the latter — make sense too: Play around with the rules, we want money.

Either way, whatever this future streaming device might be, it’s going to be a little less than what we love about HBO Max. It’s hard to calculate, for those of us who live on a constant stream of diverse television and movies to enjoy. HBO Max’s online scammer this week was nothing if not a sad, sad reminder that content is more than just entertainment – it’s a product.

What does that mean for us as consumers of the product? How did we come to this realization? Why was this drama such a big deal? Allow us to explain.

Things are starting to look bleak for HBO Max

Last month, it looked like HBO was in a great position. Network collected 140 Primetime Emmy nominationsmore than Anyone else this year. This issue includes 32 HBO Max originals, specifically – shows like hacks And the Eleventh Station Received nods, along with HBO stalwart like BarryAnd the tranceAnd the Succession.

On the back of that good press is a good buzz for new and upcoming releases. he was there The new season of Westworld Broadcast, finally; Live broadcast father of the bride It was a remake Record a large audience; Nathan Fielder Everyone is eagerly waiting for it replay He was on his way, as he was new Game of thrones show. until the pretty little liars Rebooting, of all things, looked like it can be good.

Perhaps these are the most telling anecdotes, though: Vulture’s Joseph Adalian, who runs the site’s streaming division, rated HBO Max as Best crop flow service. He wrote that its library of old, new and exclusive content is unparalleled. A little earlier, media analytics company Whip Media released the results Survey about streaming services, which showed that HBO Max had the highest satisfaction rate among all other platforms. (Only 2,500 people were surveyed, as a warning. But when almost everyone surveyed is satisfied with your service, you won’t complain about it.)

But things were looking less happy at home. In April, HBO and WarnerMedia’s parent company, HBO Max, completed a merger with Discovery. They got together – Wait –Discover Warner Bros.. And with the merger came a tight belt.

Daniela Santiago in Veneno.

Atresmedia / HBO Max

I can’t take all the details Restructuring, integration and strategy, and other unbelievably navel-staring buzzwords. But soon after the Emmy nominations were announced, things started to change. Warner Bros. announced. Discovery that TBS, HBO’s chaotic sister network, will be turning away from scripting. This resulted in movements like a comedy series Chad is canceled in The day of the premiere of its second season; It still hasn’t been moved. The popular series that the channel shows late at night, Full frontal with Samantha BAnd the I was Leave after a few weeks.

Meanwhile, adult swimming owned disco WB leave Joe Pera talking to youView with a dedicated fan base. The CW (renamed after a previous WB merger) announced that it Sparkle series Will end Next year, side by side Riverdale; in May, I canceled NaomiAnd the BatumanAnd the legends of tomorrowthe latter paid Backlash from fans. HBO Max Originals as close enough (I prefer), Made for loveAnd the Raised by wolves All have been cancelled. The company wasn’t a full clearinghouse — but it was surprising.

Which brings us to August, when the litter was hit by a flood. In one fell swoop, HBO Max’s bat girl the movie was Pulled during post production. so it was cute look Scoop!: Holiday Hunt And the The third season of Little Elaine cartoonAnd both are ready to go. Previously exclusive HBO Max movies were released as moon shotsAnd the lockAnd the American pickle Disappeared from service. Users combed catalog To find other missing movies and series, such as (admittedly short-lived) camping And the vinyl. Warner Bros. Discovery has remained silent about all of this. Instead, she announced that Chip who is not very similar to HBO and Joanna Gaines will be getting different series Come to HBO Max later this year.

So is HBO Max actually in danger?

The question became: What the hell is going on here? With a big merger, big changes come, and that’s what’s happening here. But business decisions are guided by logic and finance, not emotion – that’s where perception works. And the perception of all these changes, many of them surreptitiously, was terrible.

bat girl trending all week, with DC fans were disappointed By losing the movie that was set as a star Latina Batgirlan asian transgender woman as her best friend, and Fave everyone Brendan Fraser as evil. that it The directors were ‘grieved and shocked’ from the news. Critics grieve HBO Max’s presumed death as the main streaming box office – a place where you can watch a DC movie Diverse crew championshipepisode of the wireA classic Hollywood movie without exiting the app.

If Warner Bros. Discovery is willing to give up on a $90 million HBO Max movie based on the character of Batman, of all things, so what was he willing to kill and bury? The sexual life of college students? peace maker? hostess? Elmo late night show?! And that doesn’t even mean getting into the theatrical side of things, with everything The problems that engulfed the DC Universe there. Somehow, Sparkle Still on schedule—But what will happen black canary bird? Or Michael Keaton’s cameo in Aquaman? Will the new Shazam Are you really out at this point?

There has been a lot of guesswork flying around, as is usual on the internet. There were rumors that HBO Max lost 70 percent of its original programming crew, which basically means no more scripting. (That was later I mentioned it is incorrect.) The rumor was that the app would collapse into Discovery+ becoming a mixture of bad reality content and 90 days fiancé pop up. (Again, that’s not what’s happening, at least for now) sub HBO Max Full of threatening users cancel their subscriptions If the company dares to do so dump until something else They loved.

It is a lot of drama about what can ultimately be reduced to capitalism that will work on capitalism. It costs money to keep shows and movies that almost no one cares about on the service, and it clogs the feed; You’re lying if you say you’ll miss me Mrs. Fletcher or witches remake.

But all of this raises anger against those of us who resent that HBO was supposed to rise above this “capitalism will work on capitalism” principle. Since its inception, it has been the rare place where art and content can coexist. The network has undisputedly the most powerful back catalog in television. This content attracted people to HBO Max in the first place, along with the exclusive streaming rights to populist favorites like South ParkAnd the The Big Bang TheoryAnd the friends.


Chip and Joanna Gaines from New York City.

Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

But there are a bunch of high-quality exclusives as well, and those shows really elevated HBO Max. Per Max Original no one remembers her name, there is a Fboy . IslandAnd the the other twoAnd the Harley QuinnAnd the Selena + ChefAnd the Veneno—They are all completely different, but all is well. Nowhere else can you find a tab dedicated to Turner Classic movies and Studio Ghibli movies streaming. And during 2021, you can watch theatrical releases with big budgets, such as Wonderful Woman 1984And the DuneAnd the And the Resurrection MatrixAnd the On your couch, because of a year-long promise to drop those movies on HBO Max by day and date.

Christopher Nolan He may have hated this latest work decision, along with a host of other filmmakers. But all of these moves generated goodwill among consumers, and HBO Max ended up becoming a fan favorite just two years after its launch.

So all the chatter and trepidation about the future of HBO Max seems, if not warranted, understandable. Bringing out content that has already been completed is horrific for those who worked on it, and our sympathy should be. Discovering shows and movies fading out without warning can be alarming. Knowing that the shows you loved were killed off hurts. Warner Bros. Discovery is the suspicious stepmother so far, and we’re entitled to question them.

We love HBO! We want the best for her! But the home box office didn’t burn up; It’s not really on fire. We can resume watching our shows accordingly—almost all of them, anyway.