Like MoviePass before it, the streaming service Quibi only ever seemed to capture the attention of social media when there was bad news to be shared. Today, audiences got the worst news of all: the platform would stop streaming tomorrow, and there is no current plan for where its content may end up next. While the short-lived platform's handful of hardcore advocates mourn its loss and others wonder whether there was a version of Quibi that could have survived the pandemic, a not-insignificant portion of the tweets include a fake Wikipedia synopsis for a purported Quibi reality series, which has left Twitter users baffled.
We'll start with that one, since it seems like the most fun to address. The (fake) show is titled The Jack Sparrow House, after the name of the pirate from Disney's The Pirates of the Caribbean dark ride and its related film franchise.
Here's the synopsis, via comedian Rory Strahan-Mauk:
Jack Sparrow House was a reality television show that streamed on Quibi. The television show placed fourteen Jack Sparrow impersonators in a single family home, who were eliminated if they broke character. Quibi head of content Colin Davis described the show as “more of an endurance contest than a true talent competition.” Quibi head of brand and marketing Megan Imbres described the show as “the source of a significant amount of litigation.” Three contestants were kicked off the show after separate public defecation incidents, and one contestant was forced to withdraw upon discovering the house was within 500 feet of an elementary school.
There's a lot to unpack in there, but the giveaways that it's fake -- besides the fact that no such Wikipedia entry exists -- are probably the trio of "separate" public defecation incidents, and the idea of producing a show that would, by necessity, be loud and boozy near a school. After the first public defecation incident, it's likely the producers would have gathered contestants together to say "hey, this can't happen again," so the idea of having three separate incidents feels pretty unlikely.
In any event, this feels like some kind of metaphor for the way Quibi was, generally speaking, received by the wider world. Its buzziest and most newsworthy moments were almost always when a new report suggested things were going badly, or when co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg said something that didn't play well with investors and the press. To have its final viral moment be a seamless blend of farewell tributes and a bizarre internet urban legend just waiting to be born...well, it fits.