July 26, 2013 -- intro:Netflix has just purchased a live-action mermaid TV show from Australia -- and by now we know if Netflix is buying something it means there's a market for it.
They have access to their users' most watched movies, shows, and actors… but they also have access users' favorite genres, something that has paid off in their selection of programming. Netflix's original shows were nominated for 14 Emmys this year (the first year they've had original programming), putting them at the big kid table with competitors like HBO and Showtime.
House of Cards was carefully constructed after studying user data. Kevin Spacey must have a big Netflix following.
In an interview with Fusion, Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos said, "We do use the data to cast. You could have two people who are great for a role, but if the data says that one actor is less popular on Netflix..." Uh-Oh.
The latest Netflix purchase is the Australian teen hit Mako Mermaids, a spinoff of another successful Australian show H20: Just Add Water. The first 13 episodes are available on Netflix today. The second 13 episodes will be available in a couple of weeks.
When I asked Sarandos if his data showed that mermaids were the new vampires, he laughed, "They may be the new vampires. Actually, what we learned from Hemlock Grove was that gypsies are the new vampires. Fans were mostly interested in the gypsy storylines, more than the werewolves and vampires."
Obviously I asked Sarandos if they'd considered doing a show about gypsy-mermaids then. He smiled, "With Kevin Spacey as the lead?"
I think it's safe to say we can expect an H20: I'm An Underwater Gipsy coming next summer.
But back to mermaids:
We've seen them in movies, documentaries, books, and dolls… but we haven't really seen them on TV shows -- except Animal Planet's big hoax. We really believe mermaids are making a comeback, and here are 9 examples why.
quicklist:1title:Mako Mermaidstext:This is the Australian teen show that's making a splash -- I had to -- on Netflix.
It's about 3 teenage mermaids who get legs, and a human boy who gets fins. Or something. It sounds different (lame) but I watched the beginning of the first episode and I'm ashamed to say I'm hooked -- had to again, sorry.media:19627762
quicklist:2title:The Animal Planet Hoaxtext:So last year Animal Planet released a mockumentary on mermaids called Mermaids: The Body Found. The "scientists" were really actors, and the "secret footage" was really clearly fake.
Still, the documentary-style of the show left millions of Americans believing in mermaids. So many in fact, that they took to Twitter to release their rage at Animal Planet.
This year Animal Planet re-released the two-hour special with a bonus portion including "new evidence." It was called Mermaids: The New Evidence.
The same thing happened. They had the most viewers they've ever had: 3.6 million.
What does this say about humanity? We want to see mermaids.media:19631059
quicklist:3title:Mermaid Novelstext:Sure, mermaid novels have been around forever, but just last year over 18 mermaid novels were published.
Some books depict the adventurous mermaid (Ariel-style) who is curious about "land creatures", while others are much, much creeper.
In Waking Storm, a mermaid novel, the mermaids are abused or brutalized girls who died near water who "take their past pain out on unsuspecting humans." No, no, no, no, no.
quicklist:4title:Merman. The TLC one, not Ben Stiller.text:A few months ago this happened.
This guy "becomes" a mermaid whenever he can get in the water. (I'd be so creeped out if I were the old man who spotted him while fishing). But he's not the only professional mermaid/merman/merhuman...
quicklist:5title:Hannah -- the Professional Mermaidtext:No, not Daryl Hannah.
Hannah Fraser is a model/actress and a professional mermaid. She won't tell you her age, but she'll tell you her astrological sign... it's Aquarius. *gasp*media:19628266
quicklist:6title:Mermaid Appstext:"Baby Mermaid" is like a Tamagotchi but with fins and a cartoon baby's face.
"Mermaid World" isn't that exciting either.media:19631223
quicklist:7title:The Little Mermaid Is Coming Out Of The Vault!!!text:On October 1st The Little Mermaid is coming out in its "Diamond Edition"!!! -- which basically means on blu-ray with fancy colors and a bonus song that won't make you nostalgic for your childhood.
quicklist:8title:MerContext:Just like every other fantastical thing in the world, there's a convention for mermaids too.
Also, since 1983 there has been a mermaid parade on Coney Island in New York City, with celebrities such as Lou Reed, Judah Friedlander, Queen Latifah, and Annabella Sciorra being crowned King Neptune and Queen Mermaid each year.media:19628253