Paul Feig’s sitcom Other Space lands on the sci-fi streaming service DUST on August 1st, with all eight episodes of the show’s currently the only season set to be free to watch. It’s a marriage made in a relatively obscure part of heaven; Other Space came and went without much fanfare following its initial release in 2015, while DUST ranks as one of the more niche streaming platforms. The show’s creator Feig is still most famous for directing the 2011 movie Bridesmaids, but Other Space‘s arrival on DUST may enable his sitcom to finally take off.
Yahoo, we have a problem
Misfortune played its part in Other Space‘s inability to gain traction among audiences in 2015, as the show premiered on the doomed video hosting service Yahoo! Screen. With Yahoo! Screen picking up the acclaimed comedy series Community for its sixth season, it appeared that Other Space would be in good company. Yet Yahoo’s streaming gamble didn’t pay off, which is a diplomatic way of saying that the video platform lost $42 million on Other Space, Community, and Sin City Saints, another original series.
Yahoo! Screen shut down in 2016 and was replaced by Yahoo! View, comprised of what used to be the free section of the streaming platform Hulu. Yahoo! View was closed down in 2019, while Hulu has since fully transitioned to requiring paid subscriptions. That huge failure for Yahoo was not a comment on the quality of its series, given that Other Space‘s score of 66 on Metacritic indicates that its first season received generally favorable reviews.
I can’t wait for people to be able to watch @OtherSpace again. I am so proud of it. Such an amazing group of talent involved with this. We’d love to do more seasons! 🤞🤞🤞 Thank you to @watchdust for putting us back into orbit! 🚀🛸🙏 https://t.co/0hendbilRM
— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) July 8, 2020
In Other Space, Feig introduced viewers to a cast of characters that were thoroughly unsuited to taking on the challenge of space travel, with a series of bizarre circumstances bringing this crew together and then sending them to the far side of the universe. Feig has declared his hopes that this partnership with sci-fi specialists DUST will reach new audiences, while stating his openness to producing further seasons.
The show’s cast included Karan Soni, who has since starred as Dopinder in Deadpool and its sequel, and Milana Vayntrub, who enjoyed a recurring role in This Is Us in 2016. While Other Space brought together a team of talented actors on the rise, it’s Feig’s name that had (and still has) the serious star power. That’s largely thanks to one piece of work that stands out as his finest: Bridesmaids.
Feig’s Bridesmaids legacy
The Hollywood Reporter credited Bridesmaids as the reason why female comedies subsequently made a comeback, with Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Melissa McCarthy thriving in a cast that delivered one of the funniest films of the 21st century. It’s difficult to think of a comedy movie that has had a greater impact in the last ten years, given Bridesmaids‘ huge influence on pop culture and the entertainment industry.
It’s certainly one of the most quotable films, with the list of 27 of its most popular quotes at Ranker proof of how Bridesmaids delivered zinger after zinger. Some of those quotes (notably ‘help me, I’m poor’ and ‘I’m ready to paaaartyyy!’) have been adorned on t-shirts hosted at sites like Redbubble, an example of how some of the movie’s scenes and lines have been firmly embraced by modern meme culture.
Bridesmaids has also had an important impact on the entertainment industry. Movies that inspire online slots are generally from the action genre, but Bridesmaids proved so successful that it defied convention by providing the focus for a slot hosted by a number of high profile providers.
The slot uses Bridesmaids characters as symbols on the reels, testament to how the movie’s cast is as memorable as the quotes that they produce. Bridesmaids has had a more indirect but equally important influence on several movies since 2011, with Alexandra Pollard of The Independent identifying Booksmart, Girls Trip, and Like a Boss as three films that wouldn’t exist without Feig’s smash hit.
A tough act to follow
It’s no criticism to say that Feig has struggled to match up to the success of Bridesmaids since, although the director has continued to deliver interesting takes on the comedy genre. Feig’s 2018 dark comedy A Simple Favor took cues from the Alfred Hitchcock school of directing, while his 2016 Ghostbusters reboot reunited him with Wiig and McCarthy. Ghostbusters largely disappointed critics and audiences, perhaps as expectations were raised higher given that Feig, Wiig, and McCarthy were teaming up.
While those movies may not have matched the runaway success of Bridesmaids, they have helped to boost audiences’ familiarity with Feig in the years since Other Space was first released. This means that the sci-fi sitcom may stand a better chance of being a hit in 2020 than it did in 2015. Part of Other Space’s failure first time around was a lack of promotion by Yahoo; that mistake won’t be made again, with Feig’s name likely to be shouted at every possible opportunity.
Only time will tell whether Other Space will feel more at home on DUST than it did on Yahoo! Screen, but if it can attract substantial audiences then the sitcom may well earn a second season. Although much of Feig’s work since 2015 has been on the big screen rather than the small screen, the Other Space creator would surely jump at the chance to try and produce another piece of work that can stand alongside Bridesmaids as his most acclaimed.