At one point during WeCrashed’s pilot episode, Rebekah Paltrow (Anne Hathaway) clasps her hands to Adam Neumann’s (Jared Leto) face, and tells him, “You’re a supernova.” It’s a testament to Hathaway that she seems to genuinely believe it, although audiences may beg to differ. Based on a true story, the series has a curious, cartoonish void at its heart, which, rather unfortunately, happens to be Leto’s accented eccentric of a protagonist.
The rocky, semi-improvised and extremely hyperbolic rise of the co-working office space company WeWork forms the narrative of AppleTV+’s latest offering. It’s not a spoiler to say that the company’s fortunes weren’t as assured as Neumann led people to believe (the clue is in the show’s name). The development of a startup, as spearheaded by its hustler founder (or as he describes himself, a “serial entrepreneur”) and his new wife, has equated to a story where the value of someone and something is only measured in dollars. Does the relentless pursuit of wealth by a person who is not especially interesting as a character make for fascinating television? Not really. And yet, WeCrashed has a slick sheen to it, making it watchable in an undistinguished kind of way.
There’s a lack of imagination that prevents the show from transcending its rather matter-of-fact presentation. The first episode is even called This Is Where it Begins. The most discernible creativity is to be found in Leto’s Israeli accent, which comes across as a caricature of the real-life Neumann and sounds like Gal Gadot had a baby with the Count from Sesame Street (while also directly channelling James Franco as Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist). The more appealing storyline belongs to Paltrow and her thwarted ambitions as an actress, and Hathaway’s droll delivery mines both the humour and pathos to be found in her scenes.
Perhaps the most obvious flaw in WeCrashed is a disconnect between intent and reception: the cast and crew may have assumed that they were making a worthy, topical drama, but the end result is a glossy, enjoyable yet fairly disposable soap opera.
WeCrashed is released on Apple TV+ on 18th March 2022.
Watch the trailer for WeCrashed here: