Quibi, the upcoming service from Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, takes its name from shortening “quick bites” and wholeheartedly sticks with that premise. The service will launch dozens of chapter-based movies and TV series on April 6, and each episode/chapter will run 10 minutes or less. By nature, the content is designed to be watched on smartphones or similar devices, and these series are geared toward on-the-fly binging. Due to a nearly $2 billion investment, Quibi’s coffers are already stocked full out of the gate. The site’s offering a 90-day free trial, followed by $4.99 (with ads) and $7.99 (no ads) monthly subscription charges, and there’s truly something for everyone.
Comedies, thrillers, action, adventure, and several projects that appeal to sports, food, and true-crime lovers await. Scripted and otherwise, this content includes some bizarre-sounding projects, some of which don’t have trailers at this time. Those shows include the following: Die Hart (starring Kevin Hart, as himself, attending an action-star school led by an over-the-top teacher played by John Travolta); Ice Cream Man (a horror anthology based upon an Image Comics series about a serial-killing peddler of frozen treats); Winos (starring and created by Thomas Lennon, who plays a failed Silicon Valley entrepreneur who career-transitions into operating a vineyard); and Killing Zac Efron (Efron attempts to pull a jungle-based Bear Grylls, and I hope the Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile actor drinks his own pee).
Fortunately, though, many Quibi series do have trailers already, and some of them look straight-up bonkers, including these 10 selections, in no particular order.
Murder House Flip
Does that house near the beach sound like a real steal? Well, that rock-bottom price happened for a solid reason: it’s an abode where “a guy chopped his wife up.” That premise gets cranked up to eleven in this trailer where renovations are due to begin on a home where seven people were buried in the backyard, and it’s the kind of trashy distraction viewing that promises to be addictive. Yep, this show’s a twisted hybrid of an HGTV-type house-hunting-and-renovation show with a faux-procedural bent that borders on self-parody. Oh, and there are some haunted-house vibes, as owners of these homes seek to transform their morbid abodes into marvelous spaces. Good luck with that!
The Hitcher meets Black Mirror in this terrifying-looking movie-in-chapters starring Maika Monroe as a ride-share driver who picks up the wrong passenger, portrayed by Dane DeHaan, who guides his potential victim to the middle of nowhere and toward a remote mansion. That’s when DeHaan’s character starts calling himself a sociopath and claims to have shot the woman who lives at the luxury home. “Here’s the deal: if you tell me a really good story, then I will let you live,” he sneers. You’ll never see Uber and Lyft chit-chat the same way again, and this project promises that Quibi can deliver effective bite-sized thrillers that will stick with you, long past their runtime.
Fans of cooking competition shows will receive a “high-octane” variety in this series. Each episode begins with a mystery food dish being cannon-blasted into the faces of two goggle-wearing chefs. How can you not be intrigued by this premise? From there, the chefs will compete to recreate the original dishes by attempting to figure out the ingredients of the exploded meals, and yeah, this sounds both terrible and wonderful. Considering that the show hails from Chopped creator Linda Lea and is hosted by Tituss Burgess (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), the theatrics should be outstanding.
A plane-crash survival story doesn’t automatically sound like something that would work in bite-sized portions, but this trailer looks so surreal and trippy, it just might work out. Visions of pills and therapy sessions transition to the action focus of this movie-in-chapters, which revolves around the aftermath of characters portrayed by Sophie Turner (who must relish the action after only walking around in fur robes on Game Of Thrones‘ final season) and Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton). They’re not only fighting through harsh physical conditions but also against their own personal demons, and this show sounds super-pulpy and unbelievable to an enjoyable extent.
Well, this home-renovation-focused series will be for the dogs — because all dogs deserve to be spoiled, but these pups are truly living it up. In Quibi’s own words, their homes end up being “OFF THE LEASH luxurious.” Very good dogs will receive very good houses that have been renovated and customized into oblivion. Actually, some of these dog houses end up looking fancier than most of our own living rooms, so you might end up with a case of house-envy while watching these furry little faces light up. It’s the dog-focused content that the world demands.
Another home-improvement themed series stars Will Forte and Kaitlin Olsen, so you know it’s gonna get weird. The duo portrays a “chronically underemployed” couple who somehow gets mixed up with a drug cartel (Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria, and Arturo Castro) while attempting to launch a renovation-focused TV show. Yes, there’s an enormous pile of cash involved, and the show-within-a-show aspect might test the confines of the short-episode format, but watching not only the roasting of HGTV but drug-crime shows like Narcos promises to be an irresistible combination.
Elba Vs. Block
Idris Elba pulling off increasingly outrageous driving stunts against famed rally car driver (and “tire slayer”) Ken Block? Hell yes! Shot in London, this series sounds like an adrenaline-fueled monstrosity that barrels through feats called Wall of Death, Car Tightrope, and Flaming Obstacle Course. Obviously, we know that both men survived these eight challenges, but Block’s known for his extreme driving skills, and this show promises to be a nail biter and one hell of a (literal) ride.
50 States Of Fright
Horror maestro Sam Raimi directed and co-wrote (along with his brother, Ivan) the Michigan-set episode (“Golden Arm”) of this series that digs into urban legends from each U.S. state. Rachel Brosnahan stars in that particular episode, and the rest of the season is stacked, with Colorado serving up a “Red Rum” episode starring Christina Ricci and Jacob Batalon. Over in Iowa, Taissa Farmiga and Ron Livingston will be “Almost There,” while in Kansas, Ming-Na Wen will uncover “America’s Largest Ball Of Twine.” Raimi executive produces across the board here, and that includes Florida’s “Santeria” and Minnesota’s “Grey Cloud Island” entry that stars Asa Butterfield.
Nightgowns With Sasha Velour
Sasha Velour, the 2017 winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, presents the “drag artist’s drag show” that springs to small-screen form after being born as a monthly theatrical showcase in Brooklyn. The show will celebrate a different drag performer in each episode with 2-3 minute lip sync performances after showcasing their backstories and daily lives. Sasha hopes this show will boost drag performers from all backgrounds with the Quibi platform pushing further in “transforming the system that doesn’t work for us.” As this trailer promises, each episode will feel like a different universe, and that’s exactly the kind of escapism the world needs today.
Does chasing the perfect tan sound, I don’t know, slightly dumb these days? Sure it does, but with all the other danger lurking outside in real life, this seems like no hurdle to enjoy this vibing series about a couple of pool cleaners who go adventuring at some of the “sickest” pools in town. The teaser doesn’t reveal too much, but we know that this show takes place in a perpetual summer and will be produced by the Funny or Die team, based upon their short film of the same name. Slacker comedy might hit the spot for the currently stressed-out potential viewers, and even if these shows don’t hit the mark, they’re all so short that you won’t waste much time watching them.
Quibi launches on April 6 with 50 fresh TV shows, and more to come.