Limited Series [Episodes 1-3]
Aired On: Apple TV+
Release Date: 03/18/22
THE "IMDB" PREMISE:
"The greed-filled rise and inevitable fall of WeWork, one of the world's most valuable startups, and the narcissists whose chaotic love made it all possible."
Over the past year, I have been impressed with the quality of film and TV coming from AppleTV+. Ted Lasso, CODA, and Wolfwalkers are just a few of the titles on the platform that have blown me away and WeCrashed is another worthy addition to that catalogue. Created by Lee Eisenberg and Drew Crevello, WeCrashed is the story of WeWork, a start-up company that dominated the 2010s, before falling apart in late 2019. Starring Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway in the lead roles, WeCrashed is an entertaining lesson in recent history, albeit a bit long.
Both Leto and Hathaway are praiseworthy here. Leto balances the eccentric, yet socially unaware, CEO Adam Neumann expertly. The desperation, drive, and charming persona would all seem at odds with one another with a less talented actor, but Leto manages to connect these together seamlessly. It can be a bit overwhelming and cringe-inducing at times, but it’s an intentional decision that works quite well. Hathaway bounces off this immaculately, in her role as Rebekah Neumann. Unlike Adam, Rebekah brings in social awareness, and Hathaway delivers that in spades. Rounding out all of this is the writing and production, and WeCrashed is no slouch in these departments. The editing is conventional yet engaging, the cinematography is effective, and the writing and structure of the show leave you wanting more. The usage of cross-cutting and parallel timelines offers a juxtaposition to where characters started, and it’s captivating.
For all the glitz and glamour of the show, WeCrashed has some fundamental issues picking away at it. Firstly, this is yet another quirky, socially inept CEO story. And while these have worked for me before, with The Social Network being one of my favourite films of all time, it does make for a tiring experience. Jared Leto gives it his all here, and while that performance is pretty good, it’s also uncomfortable to sit through for long periods at a time. And this directly ties into the other problem at the core of WeCrashed: it’s runtime. With 8 hour-long episodes, WeCrashed is a show that is too long for its own good. With the first three episodes dropping all at once, it becomes painfully apparent that the show has pacing problems. A part of this is due to the ubiquitous nature of the story; WeCrashed isn’t a unique series of events. While it centers on Adam and Rebekah Neumann, and the company WeWork, it’s story of corruption has been heard time and time again. The writing doesn’t flesh out the tropes enough to warrant the screentime often given to those events. Add in a purposefully uncomfortable central performance, and you have a show that can be hard to watch.