Netflix’s sitcom ‘Blockbuster’ revolves around Timmy Yoon, who happens to be the manager of the last operating Blockbuster store in the world. Without a head office to regulate or support them, Timmy becomes the sole custodian of the store, which is an integral part of all the employees’ lives and the city of Iron Creek, Michigan. As the series progresses, Timmy tries his best to increase the subscriptions of the store so that he can run the place on his own. The resilience he displays when his workplace faces challenge one after the other has inspired us to find out whether he is based on a real person. Here are our findings!
Is Timmy Based on a Real Person?
No, Timmy is not based on a real person. The character’s life and his storylines are fictional and conceived by creator Vanessa Ramos and her team of writers. Although Blockbuster was a real video store franchise and there is indeed a real manager, Sandi Harding, of the “Last Blockbuster,” Timmy is not based on that particular individual as well. Randall Park, who plays Timmy in the show, even revealed in an interview that Vanessa refrained from watching the documentary titled ‘The Last Blockbuster,’ which revolves around Sandi’s efforts to run the last Blockbuster store, till she created her show to avoid similarities.
Having said that, Timmy and Sandi aren’t very different from each other as the fictional and real managers of the “Last Blockbuster” respectively. In the show, Timmy refers to himself as the “Blockbuster daddy,” which is astoundingly similar to Sandi, who refers to herself as the “Blockbuster mom,” according to ‘The Last Blockbuster.’ Like Timmy in the show, Sandi was determined to keep her store running even when all the other Blockbuster stores were getting shut down. For her, as Timmy says in the show, everyone who is a part of her store is also part of her family.
“It’s a family business. I mean, we have relationships here that we have created over the years. I mean, I have… all my employees are family. I mean, they call me the Blockbuster mom. They’re all getting married now and having kids, now, I am having Blockbuster grandkids, and I mean, this is a family business,” Sandi said in an interview given to FOX News, as per ‘The Last Blockbuster.’ Sandi’s words also explain Timmy’s motivation behind fighting for the survival of his Blockbuster store. His employees are his family members and he has found a home in their store.
The similarities between Timmy and Sandi end there. They both have severely different personal lives. Still, Blockbuster is the connection between them and their respective communities.
While Timmy exists only in the Netflix show, Sandi is still running the last Blockbuster store in the world, located in the city of Bend, Oregon. She and her store take part in several activities for the community. In May 2022, Sandi and her co-workers hosted a Suicide Awareness Day at their renowned store. The event offered a stage for local animator Animation Eddy to screen an animated film by the artist. She also takes part in several fests that happen all across the country to sell the “Last Blockbuster” merchandise.
Sandi also participated in the Blockbuster World Video Game Championship, which happened in Portland in October 2022, to recreate “some elements of our store including shelves of the best 80’s and 90’s movie boxes and merchandise from our Bend store.” Sandi also collaborates with several institutions in her community to serve the good folks of Bend, where she lives with her husband Brad, and their children. And of course, she is always present in her store where customers can choose from thousands of titles to rent.