Isn't it weird that both Rings Of Power and Wheel of Time were flops? Like how often do you see two big properties kasplush like that one after the other. I know we've that those instances before you know where two very similar big properties launch at the same time and one is a flop, but both? I bet somebody at Amazon had a very unfortunate series of meetings that week...
Honestly, not really. It would have been a bigger surprise had one or the other turned out to be actually good.
Without broaching the political and social bullshit around the show, Amazon as a corporation is a massive perpetual shitshow that succeeds despite itself. The various complexes and psychoses of its founder and director of the board will be analyzed by the psychiatric community for decades after his death. Amazon Studios was founded as a Johnny-come-lately vanity project for the exclusive purpose of creating a "cultural phenomenon" prestige/flagship show on the scale of Sopranos, Breaking Bad, or Game of Thrones, and it continues chasing that dragon to this day.
Except, Amazon's prototypical strategy of "throw money at it, and if that doesn't fix the problem, buy out the competition and call it innovation" doesn't lend itself particularly well to artistic creativity. Look no further than its lack of support for its few good
, or at least creative or novel in some way, shows, while throwing weight behind shows in decline or formulaic content. I'd give no single finer case example of the bone-headed way it approached The Expanse, following its acquisition of distribution rights after Syfy's cancellation of the series:
Snatch it up, after it enjoyed the Breaking Bad effect of binge streaming success via word-of-mouth and was at peak popularity. Explode the budget but reduce episode count, eliminating the one thing the show did very
well: slow burn storytelling with heavy worldbuilding, that built up to tense and high-stakes climaxes with far-reaching ramifications. Transition on a book widely regarded as the weakest in the series due to its insulated and episodic nature, but provide only bare bones connective tissue to link Cibola Burn
to the greater setting, that amounts to little more than foreshadowing Nemesis Games
. Then, worst of all, flub promoting the series, so all that hype following season 3 went entirely to waste.
That Amazon acquired a license from the Tolkien estate to produce Middle-Earth content at all is one of the greatest ironies of contemporary entertainment, given its Morgoth-like proclivity towards "corrupt and dominate, but never create".