Vanessa Ramos Brought An Important Lesson From Brooklyn Nine-Nine To Netflix's Blockbuster

When "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" writer Vanessa Ramos' brand new Netflix series hit the streamer earlier this month, the world thought it was odd that "Blockbuster," a story based on the world's last video store that Netflix popularly put out of business, would find a place on it. Viewers are undoubtedly familiar with the irony of Netflix making a show about their former competitor available to the rest of the world. Ramos knows it too.

"Blockbuster" star and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" veteran Melissa Fumero and "Fresh Off The Boat" star Randall Park play the leading roles in the series as the employees of the last Blockbuster video store in the United States who fight to keep the store relevant. /Film's Valerie Ettenhofer, in her review of "Blockbuster," described the series as "a bizarrely dissonant look at late capitalism" and that its wacky humor makes it an enjoyable network-style sitcom to watch. That appears to be the one thing the show has in common with its creator's former project, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." Ramos has revealed that her experience writing the police procedural comedy series taught her an important lesson that she carried forward while working on "Blockbuster."

Planning ahead of time is crucial, says Ramos

In a recent interview with Digital Spy, the writer-creator of "Blockbuster" discussed the lessons she learned during her time on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," from showrunners Luke Del Tredici and Dan Goor. The writer's room for the NBC series practiced meticulous planning ahead of its season: they charted out characters and their individual journeys, ensuring that they underwent the necessary experiences to reach their goals by the end of the season. Ramos said that Del Tredici would plan the entire season out on a whiteboard, always being sure of what he wanted from the character from the onset of the season.

Ramos detailed the creative process, explaining:

"He [Del Tredici] would do this little: "'OK, we're starting here. We're ending here. Let's put in little measures. If we need to get to this Holt thing at the end of the season, what do we need to hit in mid-season, emotionally or in his work story, to get him there?' And then you take it piece by piece."

The "Blockbuster" creator applied the same technique to her new show and stated that it was "extremely helpful" to plan ahead of time. Whether Ramos has a story planned out for the second season remains to be seen — the show has only just begun streaming on Netflix. Ramos was intentional in using the finale to set up a second season, though, so we'll have to wait and watch to see yet to learn if Netflix will greenlight a second season. Along with "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "Blockbuster," Vanessa Ramos is also known for her work on the Kenan Thompson-starring NBC sitcom "Kenan."