My Month With Netflix

Well, it’s happened. My free trial finally expired, and there’s a new $8.99 charge on my bank account. I honestly thought this day would never come. All my life I’ve paid the ridiculous price for cable and been on top of all my shows. Absorbing so many television shows and movies has left Netflix a bit of an absurd idea. Sure, Netflix isn’t the only way I planned to stay to up to date of various shows, but somehow this free service become an every day thing for us. It looks like it’s sticking around, since we decided to “cut the cord” of cable forever.

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The girlfriend and our four year old son seem to love the service, while I feel like I’m scraping the barrel of Wal-Mart $5 DVDs for entertainment. Our son begs to watch his shows on Netflix everyday, while the girlfriend takes every chance she can get to put on whatever TLC owned reality show she can. Together we binge watched House M.D., while I’ve been running through Malcolm In The Middle on side. Seems a bit odd for me, although since Breaking Bad I’ve kind of been wanting to re-watch Malcolm. However, I would have never obtained it otherwise if it wasn’t for Netflix. I’m still not sure if it’s a blessing or a curse.

Our spontaneous movie nights have become even more absurd. Instead of random box office smashes we missed years ago to cult classics from the 80’s, we’ve been left picking documentaries and foreign films I can’t even explain. From Fat Kids Rules The World, to Terms & Conditions May Apply, to a 1988 Russian take on Alice In Wonderland that maybe the weirdest freaking thing I’ve ever seen. Although these movies were enjoyable, you won’t see me recommending them anytime soon.

At the same time, Netflix is full of movies and TV shows that are on everyone’s “everyone needs to watch” lists. Breaking Bad, Donnie Darko, Legit, It’s Always Sunny, and Filth Element; to name a few. If I wasn’t such a media buff, I would be in love with Netflix. But I’m also one of those people who watches everything, and I only watch them once which leaves a lot to be desired. It also seems when there is some uber popular movie that I realize I need to show the family, it isn’t there. But there sure as hell will be a spoof version, or even the lesser interesting¬† sequel. So even though Netflix has a decent selection, it isn’t large enough to keep someone like me occupied.

As a consumer, I would prefer quality over quantity, but it seems the corporation has chose another route. They try to keep a perfect mix of both, but it falls short in many aspects. The “quantity” side only leaves room for movies you don’t even watch the trailer for (example: The Starving Games). While the “quality” side does offer the 10/10 show Breaking Bad, it’s missing things as important as The Simpsons, The Wire, Black Mirror, and a handful of other shows on the top of everyone lists.

Although the selection is basically as random as it can be, it doesn’t stop it’s amazing convenience. If the kid is bored, we hand him a controller. If the girlfriend is bored, she picks up the controller. Between the speed, and quality, I have to admit that $9/month is a great deal compared to the close to $100 we paid for Nickelodeon and TLC. So there’s at least that.

As a show/movieaholic; I have to say that if you’re thinking about cutting the cord, you better have another alternative for getting media. If you’re just looking for background noise, and being years behind on most of your favorite shows; then Netflix is just for you. After a month, we’ve pretty much watched everything we initially wanted to. Now we’re scraping that barrel, but at least I finally get to finish watching Fringe.