Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Netflix Originals

Instant Netflix has everything from Being Elmo to My Left Foot, except HBO shows because they are fighting THE FIGHT. After failing with Quikster, where Netflix separated their dvd rental and instant service, Netflix has come back in the market, and have even launched their own TV series: Lillyhammer (which stars Steven Van Zandt of Sopranos fame, who has entered the witness protection program and has been sent to Norway (not surprisingly he sets up a mob there). The series cost around 6 million to produce in the United States and it doesn't stop there, Netflix has also purchased the rights to produce new episodes of Arrested Development. Plus, are in works with Social Network, Fight Club director David Fincher and Kevin Spacey on the show House of Cards

Netflix wants us to watch. That's their big plan. And I'm scared.

I am scared of Netflix and what it may be doing to my precious television. Who do these people think they are? You can't put all the episodes up at once, like Lillyhammer, I should have to wait for an episode each week or two weeks, the way it was intended. Nor have I been comforted by advertising from my favorite products. It's just another option in a slew of options. 

At what point do too many options become a bad thing? At what point are there so many televisions shows on television that we no longer have a common language, a common bond in the medium? How many times have you been asked if you watched something, and you respond, "No, but I heard it's good." 

We lose our ability to have a communal experience, instead sports have become the new ground for the communal. We do not gather for television shows the way we do for sports, we watch it on our own time, whether on TiVo, On Demand, or by stealing it online. And Netflix may be further severing our cultural connections. Our water cooler conversations will now revolve around the delicious flavor of the liquid. 

The problem is, I watched Lillyhammer and liked it... a lot. It had great moments of humorous cultural exchange and not being able to communicate because of broad differences. Will we all be proverbial mobsters in Norway in our own country because of shows like these dividing us further? Yes. 

We need to look to the older generation. The really older generation. 

When we are older will we sit like our grandparents to watch mass commercial marathons of Law and Order without thinking of changing the channel? This sounds awful, but isn't there something to be said for that type of dedication. It's something that we've lost, it's defeating that an older generation watches television better than us.
 It's a blow to my ego at least, not to mention they also watched the same shows back in the day and now, namely anything on CBS. They may have had less options, but they had more people for conversation. I'm hoping we reach that point again, where we can all discuss the same shows without having to go to a chat room. Watch what's popular, watch what others are watching, don't be different. Be a "drone." I should be able to turn to someone in a bar and talk about Modern Family and know they will know exactly what I'm talking about.

The Hollywood Defender

No comments:

Post a Comment