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Watch a trailer for WeCrashed
In age of the gig economy where corporate start-ups, LinkedIn entreprenuers and freewheeling wordsmiths define a culture, new Apple TV original WeCrashed feels surprisingly serendipitous.
Following hot on the heels of Disney+ show The Dropout, this Apple original celebrates innovation, invention and sheer messianic fervour with gusto. Not only telling a story which is guaranteed to resonant with the here and now, but one which puts House of Gucci star Jared Leto front and centre in a way audiences will find hard to ignore.
But is this rollercoaster ride of dazzling showmanship, dogged determination and big money bluster worth the investment? It turns out the answer is a resounding 'yes'.
In 2010, after failing to kickstart numerous business concepts Israeli borne Adam Neumann founded WeWork. A company which leased customised workspace to up and coming entrepreneurs, burgeoning start-ups and everyone in between.
Alongside Miguel McKelvey, his friend and business partner, they went out seeking investment capital to establish this revolutionary concept.
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Under the guidance of Neumann, WeWork would be more than just an office based corporate space, decked out with hardwood floors, ping-pong tables and brand specific coffee cups.
He saw this new company as something akin to a living breathing organism. A space in which like-minded people could come together, trade ideas, forge new alliances and perhaps meet future partners.
However, for this to happen there needed to be an endless influx of fat cat cash cows with capital, because Neumann considered rapid expansion and corporate growth key to its long-term success.
This groundbreaking approach to the workplace, did away with offices, closed door policies and creative isolation. Offering instead an unfettered optimism, unrivalled expansion opportunities and access to an environment with infinite creative avenues to explore.
Spearheaded by a founder who embodied every principle he preached; WeWork went from start-up ignominy to a record-breaking valuation of 47 billion dollars in less than ten years.
How Apple have made this concept heavy long form drama more palatable to mainstream audiences is the key to why audiences should tune in.
From his first moments on screen Jared Leto is riveting in this role. With the trademark jawline, flowing locks and distinctive intonations of a self-made billionaire, he embodies Adam Neumann completely.
Anyone who has watched House of Gucci and joined others in browbeating Leto over his outrageous performance in that film, need to take stock and revaluate him in WeCrashed. He has always embraced the unusual throughout his career and this character is no different.
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Periodically barefoot and dismissive of doubters, Leto carries this series throughout with a performance which feels organically orchestrated.
Demonstrating his unrelenting optimism through flashbacks, either in professional endeavours or more personal pursuits, there is no denying how much WeCrashed relies on his central performance. A feat which is matched to a lesser degree by Anne Hathaway as his life partner Rebekah, who emanates the same self-assurance making them a formidable couple.
On screen each actor elevates the other as Hathaway drops her natural register, does away with any softer edges and becomes this bedrock of belief. She is the mantra by which Adam lives, manifesting, visualising and willing WeWork milestones into being.
Back stories for both are eloquently told within the maelstrom of corporate jargon, while this simple concept becomes more and more intriguing as each episode passes. With a modicum of corporate espionage, some moments of personal drama and a genuinely magnetic performance holding it together, WeCrashed is a solid piece of television.
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Aided and abetted by America Ferrera of Ugly Betty fame, alongside Kyle Martin’s Miguel McKelvey there are also some solid supporting players. Both holding their own against a headlining couple who work hard to deliver subtlety and nuance, despite the disadvantage of opulence which distracts on occasion.
Whether WeCrashed should be viewed as a cautionary tale comes down to perspective. In a society where connections are key, remote working is now the norm and people live professionally nomadic lives it feels prescience. Celebrating as it does the entrepreneur in anyone who has the tenacity to never give up, strive for excellence and seek out new ways of working in a world looking to exploit innovation.
If audiences needed a better reason to embrace AppleTV+ they would be hard pushed to find one. This is yet another example of quality content coming from an independent corporation with deep pockets, who became a world leader by taking risks.
Without people like Steve Jobs and Adam Neumann there would be less choice, less opportunity and less avenues to explore for inspiration. Think about that next time anyone chastises the iPhone.
WeCrashed will premiere globally on Apple TV+ with the first three episodes on 18 March, followed by new weekly installments each Friday during its eight-episode season.
Watch: Anne Hathaway shares WeCrashed diet