What/If

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What/If
What If (TV series) Logo.png
Genre
Created byMike Kelley
Starring
Composer(s)Fil Eisler
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)Stephen Sassen
CinematographyJeffrey C. Mygatt
Editor(s)
  • Mark Manos
  • Sue Blainey
  • Adam Bluming
  • Leah Breuer
  • Greg Babor
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time44–56 minutes
Production company(s)
Release
Original networkNetflix
Picture format4K (16:9 UHDTV in high dynamic range)
Audio formatDolby Digital
Original releaseMay 24, 2019 (2019-05-24) –
present
External links
Official website

What/If (stylized as WHAT/ IF) is an American thriller web television miniseries, created by Mike Kelley, that premiered on May 24, 2019, on Netflix.[1] The series stars Renée Zellweger, Jane Levy, Blake Jenner, Daniella Pineda, Keith Powers, Samantha Ware, Dave Annable, Saamer Usmani, John Clarence Stewart and Louis Herthum.

Premise[edit]

What/If is a neo-noir thriller that explores "the ripple effects of what happens when acceptable people start doing unacceptable things. Each season will tackle a different morality tale inspired by culturally consequential source material, and the power of a single fateful decision to change the trajectory of an entire life."[2][3]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Jane Levy as Lisa Ruiz-Donovan, the CEO and founder of a biotech startup called Emigen Molecular Sequencing
  • Blake Jenner as Sean Donovan, Lisa's husband. A former pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, now he works as an EMT.
  • Keith Powers as Todd Archer, Sean's best friend since high school. He works with Sean as a fellow EMT.
  • Samantha Marie Ware as Angela Archer, Todd's wife. A surgical resident, she has been having an affair with Ian Evans
  • Juan Castano as Marcos Ruiz, Lisa's brother and an attorney
  • Dave Annable as Dr. Ian Evans, the Chief of Surgery
  • Saamer Usmani as Avery Watkins, the new COO of Emigen Molecular Sequencing
  • Daniella Pineda as Cassidy Barrett, Lisa's best friend and the CFO of Emigen Molecular Sequencing
  • John Clarence Stewart as Lionel, Marcos' boyfriend and a real estate broker
  • Louis Herthum as Foster, Anne's right-hand man
  • Renée Zellweger as Anne Montgomery, a venture capitalist based in San Francisco[4]

Recurring[edit]

  • Derek Smith as Kevin, a go-go boy whom Marcos and Lionel slept with
  • Nana Ghana as Sophie
  • Monique Kim as Miles
  • Allie MacDonald as Maddie Carter, Sean's ex-girlfriend
  • Gabriel Mann as Gage Scott[5], Anne's business frenemy
  • Julian Sands as Liam Strom, Anne's financial backer and mentor

Guest[edit]

  • Marissa Cuevas as Christine, a former high school cheer captain
  • Keegan Allen as Billy, Christine's ex-boyfriend from high school and a commercial director

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

On August 17, 2018, it was announced that Netflix had given the production a series order for a first season consisting of ten episodes. The series was created by Mike Kelley who was also expected to write for the series. Executive producers were slated to include Kelley, Melissa Loy, Alex Gartner, Charles Roven, Robert Zemeckis, and Jack Rapke. Additionally, Jackie Levine was slated to serve as a co-executive producer and Phillip Noyce was expected to direct and executive produce the first two episodes. Production companies involved with the series were expected to consist of Page Fright, Atlas Entertainment, Compari Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Television.[2][6][7] On April 23, 2019, it was announced that the series would premiere on May 24, 2019.[1]

Casting[edit]

Alongside the series order announcement, it was confirmed that Renée Zellweger had been cast in the series' lead role.[2][6][7] In August 2018, it was announced that Jane Levy and Blake Jenner had joined the cast in starring roles.[8][9] In September 2018, it was reported that Samantha Ware, Juan Castano, Keith Powers, Saamer Usmani, Dave Annable, and Louis Herthum had been cast in the series with Herthum in a recurring role.[10][11] In December 2018, it was announced that Daniella Pineda had joined the main cast in a series regular role and that Tyler Ross, Derek Smith, Nana Ghana, Monique Kim, and Marissa Cuevas would appear in a recurring capacity.[12][13]

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release dateProd.
code
1"Pilot"Phillip NoyceMike KelleyMay 24, 2019 (2019-05-24)T13.21401
2"What Now"Phillip NoyceMike KelleyMay 24, 2019 (2019-05-24)T13.21402
3"What Happened"Russell FineDavid GrazianoMay 24, 2019 (2019-05-24)T13.21403
4"What Drama"Jessika BorsiczkyRobin WassermanMay 24, 2019 (2019-05-24)T13.21404
5"What Next"Fernando Coimbra & Jill MaxcyBlair SingerMay 24, 2019 (2019-05-24)T13.21405
6"What History"Joanna KernsBrenna KoufMay 24, 2019 (2019-05-24)T13.21406
7"What Ghosts"David RodriguezElizabeth BenjaminMay 24, 2019 (2019-05-24)T13.21407
8"What Secrets"Maggie KileyBlair Singer & Mike KelleyMay 24, 2019 (2019-05-24)T13.21408
9"WTF"J. Miller TobinDavid Graziano & Robin WassermanMay 24, 2019 (2019-05-24)T13.21409
10"What Remains"Randy ZiskMike KelleyMay 24, 2019 (2019-05-24)T13.21410

Release[edit]

On April 23, 2019, the official teaser for the series was released.[14] On May 13, 2019, Netflix released the official trailer for the miniseries.[3]

Reception[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 40% based on 30 reviews, with an average rating of 5.35/10. The website's critical consensus reads, " A deliriously delicious performance from Renée Zellweger can't save What/If from its own mediocrity, but boy is her juicy scene chewing fun to watch."[15] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 57 out of 100, based on 10 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[16]

Haider Rifaat of The Express Tribune wrote, "The writing is pretty much the heart of the show. Immaculate dialogues, nuanced characters and relationships, both broken and unscathed, are a few exciting features that make it compelling. Not to forgo the incredible acting prowess of Zellweger, who impeccably embraces the character of Anne. Subtle gestures, symbolic interaction and character development are some commendable aspects that intensify the actors’ performances."[17] NPR's Linda Holmes concluded: "... it's not a good show, but it's entertaining in a very specific way. Zellweger has sunk her teeth so deeply into this notion of Welcome To Rich Prowling Cougartown that she's practically licking up bowls of milk. Everything in What/If is forever being revealed and unfurled and figuratively glitter-bombed, and if I were trying to distract myself from the problems of the world and had perhaps a tankard of wine and a dear friend at my disposal, I just might put my head on a fuzzy pillow and fire it up." [18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b @seewhatsnext (April 23, 2019). "Renee Zellweger, Jane Levy, and Blake Jenner star in @what_if, a dark and twisty new series from Revenge creator Mike Kelley" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ a b c Andreeva, Nellie (August 17, 2018). "Renée Zellweger To Star In 'What/If' Netflix Series From Mike Kelley". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  3. ^ a b McHenry, Jackson (May 13, 2019). "What/If Trailer: Scary Tech Investor Renée Zellweger Has an Indecent Proposal for You". Vulture. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  4. ^ Baldwin, Kristen (May 21, 2019). "What/If is terrible and I can't wait to see more: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  5. ^ Harnick, Chris (April 23, 2019). "What/If, Renée Zellweger's First TV Show, Looks Straight Up Sexy and a Little Frightening". Enews. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Littleton, Cynthia (August 17, 2018). "Renee Zellweger to Star in Netflix Drama Series 'What/If'". Variety. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Goldberg, Lesley (August 17, 2018). "Renee Zellweger Heads to TV With Lead in Netflix Morality Anthology 'What/If'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  8. ^ Petski, Denise (August 22, 2018). "Jane Levy To Co-Star In 'What/If' Netflix Series From Mike Kelley". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 31, 2018). "'What/If': Blake Jenner To Star In Netflix Social Thriller Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  10. ^ Petski, Denise (September 4, 2018). "'What/If': Samantha Ware, Juan Castano, Keith Powers & Saamer Usmani Join Netflix Social Thriller Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  11. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 18, 2018). "'What/If': Dave Annable & Louis Herthum Cast In Netflix Social Thriller Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  12. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (December 20, 2018). "Daniella Pineda Joins Netflix's 'What/If' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  13. ^ Petski, Denise (December 21, 2018). "'What/If': Tyler Ross, Derek Smith, Nana Ghana, Monique Kim and Marissa Cuevas To Recur In Netflix Social Thriller Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  14. ^ Allaire, Christian (April 23, 2019). "Renée Zellweger Is Back—We're Just Not Sure in What, Exactly". Vogue. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  15. ^ "What/If: Part 1 (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  16. ^ "What/If". Metacritic. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  17. ^ https://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/83732/whatif-defying-the-norms-of-conventional-television/
  18. ^ https://www.npr.org/2019/05/25/726159925/what-if-you-were-in-just-the-right-mood-for-some-good-bad-television?ft=nprml&f=

External links[edit]