Three shows that that were hot topics on social media in January 2019

R. Kelly, Fyre Festival, You Netflix
Surviving R. Kelly, Fyre Festival, You Netflix

In the month of January, where cold Canadian winters and holiday credit card bills come in, the best thing to do is stay indoors.  It’s up to you what you want to do. 

You can play video games. You can catch up on some good reads. You can watch a variety of programs on your streaming devices. Or you can simply just fornicate 😍. 

If you choose to consume some content into February, here are three recommended shows you should watch that had social media buzzing.

Surviving R. Kelly

R. Kelly is a monster.

Legendary R&B singer R. Kelly’s controversial docuseries kicked off 2019 with a bang.  Surviving R. Kelly was executive produced by filmmaker and music critic Dream Hampton.  The docuseries revisited Kelly’s infamous history of having sexual relations with minors. 

Multiple victims including his own wife were interviewed, sharing their traumatic accounts with the ‘Pied Piper.’  The three-time Grammy winner’s scandalous past were brought up from stories as old as 25 years ago.  Most notably his marriage to the late Aaliyah, who was of under age at the time. 

Despite being cleared in 2008 on child pornography charges, Kelly still found himself in hot water repeating his sexual behaviour.  It is believed that he is currently running a sex cult on his properties and holding women captive.

Trailer for Surviving R. Kelly

The three-night, six-hour series debuted on January 3 and averaged 2.1 million viewers on the Lifetime channel. The bigger story came out of all of this was the impact it had on social. It was a trending topic (#MuteRKelly) that led to many R. Kelly collaborators distancing themselves from the disgraced singer. RCA Records, his long-time record label recently dropped him.

Public opinion has waned on the 52-year-old, who plans to pursue legal action against the creators of the docuseries. But the jury is out, R. Kelly’s once wholesome image is more tarnished than ever. Had social media been more prevalent in the early 2000’s around the time his child pornography charges became headlines, his career could have been derailed back then as well.

Loveable creep? #YouNetflix

Bookstore lover and killer.

Netflix’s first big hit of the year aside from Birdbox that had people talking online, was the television show You.  The 10-episode show was released on Netflix the day after Christmas, with the script based on the 2014 novel written by Caroline Kepnes

You is a love story of a bookstore keeper who believes in old school romance, even at extreme costs.  Think of this show as a fusion of Gossip Girl meets Dexter. Coincidentally it is Gossip Girl alum Penn Badgley, that plays main character Joe Goldberg in a masterful way.  His persona is lovable yet literally deadly.  You grow to root for the charming Goldberg despite his evil ways.

Viewers watched episode by episode of Joe courting his relationship with love interest Beck, played by new comer Elizabeth Lail.  He is a social media ninja that uses technology to his advantage in creepy ways that many viewers might relate to.  Goldberg will to do everything (including murder) to prevent anyone who gets in the way of his affairs. 

There are many complex layers to the Goldberg character, including an anti hero sub plot. Joe even plays the role of big brother to his next-door neighbour Paco, who despises his mom’s abusive boyfriend.  Take a wild guess how he plans the exit strategy for this one? 😅

Joe Creep 101.

Season one of You had already debuted in the fall of 2018 on Lifetime, while being labeled a Netflix original simultaneously.  The reason being was because the show had already released earlier on their international streaming markets.  When Lifetime thought the low TV ratings did not warrant a second season, You officially found a home on Netflix.

As of this writing, You has now been streamed over 40 million plus times on to critical praise.  The addictive show was the perfect binge-watching series for the streaming giant.  Season two was already picked up in early December 2018 and many viewers cannot wait for its future release.

The fire masterminds behind the fyre?

Fyre Fraud 🔥.

Every now and then, we’ll see something on Instagram and think that this is the hottest thing since sliced bread.  We get suckered into thinking…oh wow we need this, it will fill a void in our life etc.   A lot of this stuff is just mass marketing gone to waste.  Enter Billy McFarland, the 27-year-old entrepreneurial mastermind behind the Fyre Festival.

What was supposed to be a luxurious musical festival in the Bahamas with some of the biggest names in the industry, turned out to be a disaster trip from hell.  Travelers instead discovered an over hyped event that never delivered.  Private villas and first class service were no where to be seen.

Fyre Festival was designed ‘to sell a pipe dream to your average loser’ through influencer marketing while taking all of your money in the process.  Netflix re-visits this joke of a festival in FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Was that debuted on January 18.

The trailer for the disaster party that was supposed to be the Fyre Festival

Early on in the documentary you see a lot of trust that the people around Billy McFarland had for him.  By the end of this film, you see what a true con artist he really turned out to be.  He left hundreds of employees and partners stuck with so much financial burden, you cannot believe that this was all real. 

Initially you get the impression that that you were watching a young visionary in McFarland, with so much ambition to pull off such a unique and interesting concept. And while he found success at a young age as a tech entrepreneur, Billy took on more than he could handle.  He bamboozled $26 million dollars of other people’s dollars while trying to get the logistics right for the April 2017 concert.

The recent talk of the Fyre Festival has brought up mixed feelings of such a horrendous event.  The topic is back in the headlines again nearly two years later, especially on ethical responsibility if this could have been prevented ahead of time.

The infamous ‘luxurious’ sandwich tweet that went viral 🥪

End point.

So, there you have it.  Here are three worthy shows/documentaries worth checking out.   They all received a lot of discussion on social media.  All of them masked strong cringe worthy opinions, particularly Surviving R. Kelly.  Social media has allowed many of us to revisit old headlines, bring them back to light in the mainstream.  And in some cases, bring justice to them as well.

It was interesting to see how You performed with low TV ratings on Lifetime, yet found greater success on a platform like Netflix.   Point in case to make here, is that we have been seeing a shift in technology and how we consume programming this decade.  A lot of people these days are not getting their content primarily from televisions, but rather through their laptops or smartphones with an internet connection.

There was even another Fyre Festival documentary that aired a few days earlier streaming on rival Hulu before January 18.  The competitor was trying to capitalize on the buzz of the Netflix release.  When Fyre director Chris Smith was tipped off in advance of this, he told Netflix executives who were unfazed.  Hulu has only 25 million plus subscribers, while Netflix has…try 139 million plus.