WeWork IPO looms in Apple TV+ series

WeWork is finally going public in this week’s installment of Apple TV+ series WeCrashed. But is it too late for the company? Is it too late to save Adam and Rebekah’s marriage? And are any of these truly pertinent questions in a show about the waste of millions of dollars, aired during an economic crisis?

The show goes long on the emotional connection and dreams of these characters at a time when interest in them — after six episodes of watching them behave like spoiled children — is at an all-time low.

WeCrashed recap: ‘The Power of We’

In this week’s episode, titled “The Power of We,” WeWork founder Adam Neumann (played by the execrable Jared Leto) is flailing. Ever since SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son (Eui-sung Kim) pulled any future investments, Adam’s been searching for additional capital.

After a disastrous meeting with Google and Elon Musk, Adam finds no one willing to help him stay independent. Everyone from Google to Chase Bank to Benchmark Capital’s Bruce Dunlevie (Anthony Edwards) tells him to take WeWork public, to IPO before he loses it all.

Adam finally agrees, but it may be too late. It isn’t until he sees how angry Miguel (Kyle Marvin) is with him about the state of the company that he finally relents.

Meanwhile, Rebekah (Anne Hathaway) is running her school with an iron fist. She’s micromanaging the color of her teachers’ shoes, and is shocked that no one is enrolling. She’s trying to book herself TV gigs to talk about the company, but no one cares about her or her school. She winds up doing podcasts, which she looks down upon, because no one else is remotely interested. Her interview is a disaster and she comes across like a psychopath.

Insults and insanity

Adam insulted Rebekah last episode by suggesting that he’s given her everything and she hasn’t built anything. She still hasn’t forgiven him.

One of the flaws in WeCrashed’s DNA is that the showrunners still think there’s any reason to care about Rebekah and Adam’s relationship. If the show is about the nonsensical enterprise that is WeWork, and every week we see the complete emptiness of Adam and Rebekah’s lives, it’s really not of any interest to see their marriage woes.

These are both awful people. I personally don’t care if they fix their marriage. And if the show wanted that to be a centerpiece facet, it needed to lay much deeper foundations.

These are millionaires who send employees who displease them to fetch tea. Why do I care if they get along with each other? Hathaway plays Rebekah as one of the most casually evil people in New York, and she doesn’t leave much room for us to empathize with her. So the many, many minutes inside her emotional state seem wasted minutes in a show that already wastes 10 minutes an hour on party scenes.

Interesting we spend a huge chunk of this episode watching Adam try to win back Rebekah’s affection, which he does.

You’re interested in that one?

The bulk of the episode consists of nothing more than Adam and Rebekah at the WeWork offices by themselves. They’re reconnecting, falling back in love and reminiscing about WeWork while inspirational indie music swirls in the background.

It’s a pretty tone-deaf display, going all in on the idea that any of this was real. The best counterpoint to stretches like this that I can think of is in the Danny Boyle movie Steve Jobs. It ends with Michael Fassbender introducing the iPod and then metaphorically ascending to heaven, like he’s really gone and made the world a better place.

That movie doesn’t see anything wrong with the idea that technology, which becomes obsolete every few months, now controls every single aspect of our lives. similarly, WeCrashed forgets, whenever it’s convenient, that WeWork was a scam from the word go.

A couple of fun scenes

There is one moment in this week’s episode that I liked, though. Miguel goes shopping for a Roy Lichtenstein print at a gallery. (Adam set him up an appointment to encourage him to live a little.)

It looks like it’s going to be a rare moment of guilt-free pleasure for the perpetually lost Miguel. But then the dealer tells him the print costs $48 million. Miguel picks a tacker piece with a smaller price tag, and the victory is over. WeCrashed should have pursued more microcosmic absurd tragedy like this — it’s not like it didn’t have time.

There’s also a fun scene where some of the low-level WeWorkers go to Adam’s house to get his mail. They wind up getting hammered while they daydream about what they’re going to buy when they IPO, not knowing that they’re probably going to get screwed.

Sorry, not heroes

But then the episode ends in such an insultingly earnest fashion, with St. Vincent singing, “I have lost a hero! I have lost a friend!” While the S1 form that Rebekah and Adam came up with — the thing that’s going to introduce their company to the stock market — gets torn apart by the financial media.

Like you’d think any of this matters. I don’t feel bad that someone working for WeWork thought they were going to make $30 million and wasted $22,000 on a purse they can’t afford now.

How anyone hung around waiting for this company that sold nothing to become a cash cow is beyond me. The degree to which the WeCrashed writers are willing to admit that everyone should have known better changes every episode. That’s because if they admit that this was a lie, the kind of thing you could smell was rotten from the beginning, why produce a multimillion-dollar, eight-episode, prestige TV miniseries about it?

That might seem like a huge waste of time and money…

Watch WeCrashed on Apple TV+

New episodes of WeCrashed arrive each Friday on Apple TV+.

Rated: TV-MA

Watch on: Apple TV+

Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of the long-running video essay series The Unloved for RogerEbert.com. He has written for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Nylon Magazine. He is the author of Cinemaphagy: On the Psychedelic Classical Form of Tobe Hooper, the director of 25 feature films, and the director and editor of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at Patreon.com/honorszombie.

Leave a Comment