5 Reasons Why You SHOULDN’T Be Mad at Netflix
Some of you reading this might be subscribed to Netflix, if that’s the case then if I quote the phrase “I messed up, I owe you an explanation” you’ll know exactly what I am talking about. The DVD rental and media streaming behemoth has lately been under heavy scrutiny due to raising its prices and changing its available rental/streaming plan structure. What was once “all the DVD’s and streaming you could ever want for ten bucks” now costs — holy shit — sixteen fucking dollars. Stop the presses, this is highway robbery and Netflix is a leather-clad biker wielding a tack hammer strung onto a chain who is also raping your girlfriend at the same time. Netflix’s decision to alter their prices has led to a shitstorm of problems culminating in the company completely severing their trademark “DVD’s in the mail” business practice and stuffing it into their new company “Qwikster”. If you believe jerk-offs like this guy with 26 Twitter followers you’d think Netflix is dead.
Please. Get over yourselves you whiny pussies. Netflix may have screwed up and dropped the ball but crucifying them alive is no way to treat this company. Here’s five reasons why Netflix, even with the $6 price increase, is still the best deal in TV and movies, bar none.
Have you seen TV lately? I mean, not literally but figuratively; have you paid attention to the amount of utter shit that passes for television these days? Call me cynical but overall television has been downhill since the first season of Survivor. Sure, there have been groundbreaking series such as Lost that demonstrate the lost (hah) art of writing can still keep up with the likes of shit like American Idol but do you know what the real problem is? People are retarded and will mindlessly take in worse and worse programming until everything around them is utter shit. It’s easier and cheaper to cash in on a show about nothing more than a psychologist standing in the house of someone who’s never thrown anything away for two decades and say “holy shit” for 45 minutes multiplied by 20 episodes than it is to go through the process of finding writers, actors, effects artists, catering, or virtually anybody else who doesn’t have a job involving a camera or an editing suite.
There’s a programming term out there called “least objectionable programming” (LOP) which basically describes a show that you will “tolerate” when nothing of interest is on. Reality TV began as LOP but never went away, in fact while you were busy watching black people yell at each other on Cops producers working for every network in the market were busy reducing costs by getting their own reality shows in the works. What was once mindless crap you’d watch when you had nothing else better to do ended up becoming the status quo. Now there honestly is no television market, every single channel is filled with LOP. Remember when The Learning Channel (TLC) used to show Junkyard Wars and How It’s Made way back in the 1990’s? Yeah, fuck that. It’s easier to follow some unimportant bimbo with 8 kids around and record the mindless shit they do than it is to research and put together something you can actually fucking learn from, you know, considering the word appears in the channel’s goddamn name.
And seriously, where does Discovery Channel get off thinking we want to watch a bunch of old fat guys work on motorcycles for eight fucking seasons?! Holy shit on a Jesus wafer that’s almost 200 episodes of the same exact shit every single time!!
Remember when Animal Planet used to show the documentaries that Discovery Channel used to air? Back when you could watch a program and learn something about an endangered species or something meaningful? Yeah, there’s no money in that anymore, but you want to know what does make money? Midgets with pit bulls. Don’t fucking ask me how but that’s their magic formula. They went from airing educational programming to shows that will make you clinically retarded if you watch them for more than three minutes at a time.
And don’t get me started on how the market feeds off of unoriginality. Speaking hypothetically, you know what’s a fun show to watch? Pawn Stars. Now that Pawn Stars has made a quick buck for History Channel there are me too’s out there to completely ruin the market; now we have copycats like Hardcore Pawn and offshoots like Auction Kings popping up on TV. Also, remember the scruffy guy who restores everything the pawn shop buys? Yeah, they gave that nobody a show too. Ever watch American Pickers? What could be better than watching two middle-aged guys wade through the house of someone previously featured on Hoarders? Two chicks doing it. Yeah, Lifetime Network decided that the world needed Picker Sisters, a show that’s exactly the same as American Pickers except the hosts have vaginas. That’s it. Modern-day television is just a cesspool of shit that takes a weekend to shoot 100 episodes’ worth of content and costs a fraction of what it would to produce a show that would require some amount of coherent thought to execute.
How does Netflix fix this? I mean, they have Jersey Shore available for streaming — if you’re Neanderthal enough to watch that kind of crap — but they also feature the few genuine shows presently airing on cable right now. Tired of seeing The X Factor shoved down your throat and want to watch House? Go do it. Want to watch an episode of Saturday Night Live from a decade that didn’t, in your opinion, blow? Go do it. Netflix features most of the programming that gets covered up in a shit-saturated market without having to deal with the shit in the first place.
You know what the best part of watching cable TV is? The part where your show stops so Anthony Sullivan can masturbate into a vacuum steam mop dust-buster and show you how it can improve your car’s performance for only $19.95. Seriously, I believe with the exception of Xbox Live, cable TV is the only thing you can pay for to be blasted with advertisements and it’s only gotten worse since media executives started finding out creative ways to stuff more advertisements into their programming.
On average, a 30-minute television show lasts 22 minutes with the remaining 8 being given to commercials. If you crunch some fuzzy numbers this means that about a fourth of everything you watch on TV is an advertisement. For every three minutes of Piers Morgan punching Howie Mandel in the throat there’s one minute of some ridiculous ad for a Jamster ringtone you don’t need.
The “8 minutes of commercials” became a kind of industry standard, one that’s maintained today, but of course corporations are going to find ways to squeeze in just one more Zhu Zhu Pets commercial into each half-hour of programming because the advertising package for those little electronic hamsters probably cost more than the combined total value of the lives of you and your immediate family multiplied by forty. That’s just extra change in their pockets and since we’re talking about faceless media conglomerates here you know where this is going. Remember when TV shows used to have credits? Actual credits that usually played a reprise of the show’s theme song? Yeah, TV shows made today don’t have those since every channel smashes them into a tiny little column on the left side of the screen so ads can play in the larger half on the right.
Recently Viacom revived some of their old licenses from the nineties to air late at night on the TeenNick channel as “The 90’s Are All That”. As you might imagine, I was pretty floored at the prospect and was eager to see reruns of All That again. The very first night the block aired I knew something was wrong with the episode shown mostly because it didn’t have credits and a lot of the content had been truncated. I sent an email to the department behind the programming block and would you like to know what they told me?
“Due to the changes in the amount of advertising shown on television today as compared to 1994 we had to make some nominal changes to the episodes airing to edit them for time.”
Yep, Nickelodeon is having to whittle down their old shows because more ads are being shown in television in 2011 than they were 20 years ago. Big surprise, right? Skip all of it, get Netflix.
Perhaps the most infuriating thing about TV is timeliness, something TiVo tried to fix with the advent of the DVR. Most cable companies will give you a free DVR to record your shows which has pretty much led to the dismantling of TV scheduling as we know it. Networks know that you’re probably going to record their best programming and watch it later so they can afford to put their good shows on at their usual times and proceed to fill their morning and afternoon lineup with eight hours of Scrubs or Spongebob Squarepants because that’s basically dead air time nobody’s going to tune into.
Netflix isn’t a DVR and it doesn’t get new episodes instantly upon airing (that’s what the Internet is for) but if you’re looking to watch a specific episode of a specific show, they have it. There’s no need to wait for the Bob Saget episode of Saturday Night Live to air on E! Entertainment, sitting through three months worth of Keeping Up With The Kardashians (fuck you, Kim Kardashian) just to try and catch your favorite SNL is a thing of the past. All you have to do is turn on Netflix, punch in “saturday night live” in the search box and you’re good to go. You can effectively cut out every single rejected piece of TV trash in a millisecond with the service and watch anything you want right there, right then. Plus, there’s no commercials.
Also, did I mention the whole “Netflix does full movies too” thing? Because yeah, they do that. I know I’ve kind of underwritten it in this article; you get all the TV shows plus every “premium” movie channel.
Know what you need to watch cable TV? A television. Sounds obvious. You can be poor as shit and still use Netflix though, because while a TV is generally useful for watching TV and movies, you don’t need one. You can watch Netflix on pretty much any TV-enabled device (Playstation 3, Roku, etc) but you can also use their service on your computer, and pretty much all computers are able to play DVD’s these days unless you bought an eMachines junker from Wal-Mart in which case the CD drive is faulty and will start a fire. You could probably watch Netflix on a rock with two sticks glued onto it if they’d give you an activation code for it.
But you can also watch Netflix on a laptop, or a tablet, or a mobile device. Anywhere. You can take virtually every fucking television show and movie ever made with you in your goddamn pocket that you can access at any time. Waiting in line at the airport for your turn for the TSA agent to fit his hand in your ass to search for bombs? You can watch King of the Hill on your Android phone while you stand there spread eagle against the wall. Tired of crunching for that test in the university library? You can login to Netflix on your laptop and watch Aliens from start to finish and turn in an essay on Xenomorphs to your professor because you just don’t give a shit. The point is you can do so much more with a Netflix-enabled device anywhere in the whole entire world than you ever could by sitting in front of your ridiculous 3DTV watching Paula Deen shit butter into a Tupperware bowl.
Finally, standard television is just a goddamn rip off. On average if you subscribe to the “full bells and whistles” package (which is arguably what you get with Netflix) you’ll end up paying over $100 per month to your cable or satellite TV provider. If you subscribe to Netflix for unlimited streaming and 1 DVD out at a time, which basically guarantees you access to everything they offer with the service, do you want to know how much you’ll be paying?
No, that’s not missing a zero somewhere, that’s sixteen dollars. For $16 you get a service that has virtually anything ever released on TV that you’d ever want to watch plus movies, you can watch it anywhere, and there are no commercials. Even with the “unfair price hike” that’s still the best deal in entertainment bar none. Even with the ensuing break into two separate companies (owned under the Netflix name) the end result will still be the best damn deal there is.
So everybody needs to quit their bitching and realize that paying $16 to watch the same shit — and then some — that you’d pay $100 for with your cable company is still a pretty damn good deal. There is absolutely no reason people should be up in arms with Netflix other than being whiny little asshats with entitlement complexes. Netflix is to Dish Network as what a value menu cup is to a Super Size one at McDonalds: you’re drinking the same soda, so there’s no reason to buy a giant mug.
– Dracophile and Roastmaster