The title sequence of the new Apple TV+ blockbuster mini-series, We crashed, features an abandoned unicorn tramping through the busy spaces of a co-working space. If you lose the meaning of these images, so will most of this program, which requires a certain level of LinkedIn knowledge (and tolerance) to meet face-to-face. The unicorn — an irritating business term for a startup with a valuation of more than $1 billion — is WeWork, the office space company with beer on tap and ping-pong that skyrocketed to a valuation of $47 billion in just a few years and then , as the show’s title somewhat spoils, it tumbled down.
WeWork’s founder and CEO was Adam Neumann, a former Israeli naval officer, played here with hypnotic zeal by Jared Leto. Leto portrays Neumann from his late twenties to the present day – a feat of timeless vampirism that 50-year-old Leto is well equipped for. Neumann (who keeps calling himself a “Serial Entrepreneur,” so intensely that you wonder what else he would have done serially…) has a vision for WeWork and, unlike so many entrepreneurial success stories, it’s not so much a work ethic as it is more of a vision messiah complex. “You know you’re not God?” his co-founder, Miguel McKelvey (Kyle Marvin), tells him. “You have to admit, I look a bit like him,” Adam replies.
But ego-wise, he’s matched pound for pound by his wife Rebekah, an actress, former yoga teacher and first cousin of Gwyneth Paltrow, whose brittle perfectionism is gleefully brought to life by Anne Hathaway. When Leto and Hathaway are on screen together (and that’s a big part of the show, whose tagline is “A $47 Billion Love Story”), there’s this special alchemy that shows Big little lies and True detective reach: Oscar-winning movie stars who can overcome the contraction of their format. Hathaway in particular has such a glowing star quality that I’m sure I’d be spellbound just watching her read the phone book on my Apple Watch screen.
And star power is something that rules this New Age couple. “You’re a supernova,” is Rebekah’s tiger mom chorus, which she rolls out when Adam acquires his first properties and when he’s ousted as CEO. Despite Adam’s cult-leader charisma, she’s the one pulling the strings — or other things while cheering him on for a new investment by jerking him off in an abandoned warehouse. At their wedding, she referred to the two as “cosmic travelers”; a ceremony that only came about after she physically placed him in a position to propose to her. “I manifested you,” she tells him afterwards.
Like many of the tech start-up dramas that have followed David Finchers The social network, We crashed is overly long and literal. The problem, perhaps, is that it’s also a parable about the pitfalls of waste (“At some point in life you have to ask yourself: How much is enough?”), one investor asks Neumann at one point, namely: as Shakespeare would say, that rub) the creators of We crashed know that his audience will likely have some sympathy for the Hustle Culture’s tire dream. Why else would you watch an eight-part series that brings a gravitas to pitch decks and floorplans usually bestowed on great works of art? Despite the fact that Neumann is portrayed as a half-Tommy Wiseau The roomand half-Viktor Navorski The terminal (he even says “bite to eat” which will have terminal fans cheering) We crashed carries his satire very lightly.
Ultimately, the story of WeWork’s demise and (partial) demise isn’t one that Interesting. It doesn’t have the excitement of the founders’ fallout at Facebook or the sheer fireworks of Theranos’ self-immolation. So the heart of We crashed instead becomes this oddly sympathetic love story — you might say repulsive personality types attract — between Adam and Rebekah. For all the talk of unicorns and leases and IPOs, the real drama is human. Neumann’s oft-repeated motto for WeWork was “It’s not what you can see, but who can see you.” To bastardize his own words, We crashed It’s not about what you see, but who you see.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/reviews/wecrashed-review-apple-b2038689.html WeCrashed on Apple TV+ Review: Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway bring special alchemy to an unlikely love story