The Adam Project had a solid run for an original movie on Netflix, staying on top for over a week since its debut in the US, a successful, decently reviewed blockbuster that I’m sure produced numbers for Netflix to brag about.
But its time on top has come to an end and it has been replaced by…something I can’t say I saw coming. That would be the reality competition show “Is It Cake?” which has now taken the #1 spot on the service, leapfrogging over the mini-documentary Bad Vegan, which seemed like it was maybe going to reach #1 eventually.
Is It Cake? appears to have been spawned from a popular internet meme where there would be video of what appeared to be a normal object, then people would cut into it to reveal it was actually an extremely well made cake.
The show version of this concept on Netflix has bakers designing cakes to look like a wide range of objects and then judges eliminate and promote bakers to reach the end for a cash prize. This is not the first reality cake-baking show out there, but it appears to be more limited in scope with the “trying to look like real objects” concept which…I’ll be honest, does not sound like the most alluring hook in the world. But enough people are curious to see what exactly it is to have the series reach #1 on the service.
Is It Cake? feels like a long walk for Netflix down the reality show rabbit hole, where they learned what many channels learned 10-15 years ago, that reality content is cheap to produce and widely watched. One of Netflix’s most popular series over the past year has been Love is Blind, the reality matchmaking show, and we’ve just seen more and more of these reality projects come to fruition as part of Netflix’s “shotgun blast” content strategy, where one day an expensive Ryan Reynolds blockbuster is topping the charts and the next day it’s…a show about people baking cakes to look like bowling pins and shoes.
As for The Adam Project, I would not be surprised that with this kind of performance, it gets the Red Notice treatment and a sequel to be made down the road. However, I will say it’s taken quite a while for Netflix to produce sequels for some of its biggest movie hits. The ones that seem to get made right away are things like Tall Girl 2 or 11 different Kissing Booth movies. But we haven’t seen Bird Box 2, Extraction 2 or anything like that yet.
I have no idea how long Is It Cake? will stay on top here. My guess is that once Bridgerton season 2 arrives in a few days, that reign will end, and the Shonda Rhimes show will stay on top for a good long while.
Viewers continued to travel back in time with The Adam Project. For the second week in a row, the sci-fi film topped the English Films list with 85.36 million hours viewed, making it the most watched title on Netflix for the week beginning March 14th. The action-adventure was also in the Top 10 in 93 countries.
Rescued by Ruby pulled at the heart strings of animal lovers. The new film, starring Grant Gustin (The Flash) and Scott Wolf, entered the list at #2 with 19.94 milion hours viewed, appearing in the Top 10 in 84 countries.
Psychological thriller Windfall, starring Jason Segel, Lily Collins and Jesse Plemons, debuted at #7 with 8.36 million hours viewed and appeared on the Top 10 in 45 countries.
Based on the book of the same name, Black Crab starring Noomi Rapace was #1 on the non-English Films list with 35.92 million hours viewed. The Adam Berg-directed film marks the first time that a Swedish film has topped the list. Meanwhile, Peruvian romantic drama Without Saying Goodbye and Argentine drama Today We Fix the World both made the list with 12.93 million hours viewed and 2.64 million hours viewed, respectively.
The Last Kingdom climbed to the top of the English TV list with 48.95 million hours viewed. The fan favourite was in the Top 10 in 62 countries. Documentary series Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives came in at #5 with 26.96 million hours viewed. The twisted tale was also in the Top 10 in 38 countries. And the highly anticipated second season of Top Boy returned with 21.74 million hours viewed.
Why Louis Reed’s Inevitable Death Is Illogical
Mark Ruffalo’s cameo of Adam’s dad is that of a tragic hero destined to die, but his choice doesn’t necessarily make sense in the story. The Adam Project, but his choice to be permanently absent is an irrational one from the perspective of a scientist, and grievous from that of a husband and father.
Obsessed with preserving his tenets as a researcher, Louis seems to miss the very obvious implications of his discovery of time travel and chooses to accept his untimely death in 2021. He thus plays out his role in Adam’s life perfectly—by not being there at all.
The Adam Project casts Mark Ruffalo as being a zany-but-approachable professor and scientist, who happens to be an idealist believing in a “fixed timeline,” wherein all particles exist in their preordained quantum positions. Working for antagonist Maya Sorian, he is able to lay the groundwork for what is to become time-travel tech. This all happens before time travel is used at all, so it fits in with the “natural”, unaltered timeline of the universe.
This also sets up conundrum #1, as Louis’ actions in the movie help stop the discovery of time travel in the first place, drastically altering the theoretically stable fixed timeline.
The Adam Project’s villain, who commits history’s first time-sin by making contact with her younger self. Her actions are indubitably selfish, working to create a future society dominated by her corporation. Yet, despite her remodeling of the fixed timeline, there is no evidence within the story to suggest her adjustments have threatened existence in any way.
This is conundrum #2, that Sorian seems to have disproved the fixed timeline theory. Even in her time-travel-induced death, she continues to prove the universe will survive major time alterations without missing a beat. Thus, it must be surmised that Adam and Laura’s quest exists on a purely moral basis, having nothing to do with principles safeguarding time travel.
The Adam Project’s Laura and Adam Reed ultimately meet under the same conditions as before the destruction of time travel, showing either the power of unrequited love or the resiliency of fate. But the fact they meet at all brings about conundrum #3—if key events are predestined, then it doesn’t matter what changes are made utilizing time travel. Louis Reed would have no knowledge of these events, but could have instead digested the implications of what had transpired moments before with Maya Sorian.
There is an alternate consideration to be made looking at events as they unfolded in The Adam Project, time travel having always generated paradoxes. The creation and destruction of time travel could be viewed as a fixed timeline loop that needed to occur given the momentum of scientific advancement. If so, then these loops will continue to happen indefinitely until the destruction of the human race.
Further, this has its own caveats concerning Louis Reed’s time path: in the re-established natural timeline, he is the only one left with the knowledge of time travel. This alone could be considered grounds for the universe wanting/needing him to die.
Whether or not the universe wanted Louis Reed dead, as a character with knowledge of potential future events, he was already affecting the course of the universe by his very existence in The Adam Project. The butterfly effect of his intransigence with the older and younger Adam had already deeply impacted the chain of events by the end of the movie, and his decision to calmly voyage into the night belied the logic of a universe which is perpetually self-correcting.
Having already established morality as the basis of time travel doctrine, Louis essentially made his theoretical beliefs into a self-fulfilling reality at the cost of his own family.
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