The Netflix Effect
So, here’s a question: how many of you out there are part of the twenty-nine million people who have Netflix? Hands up please.
Huh. That’s quite a lot of you. Well done.
I’ve heard for a few years now about the wonders of Netflix. The beauty of streaming. The broad selection. Having almost an encyclopedia of film and television right at your fingertips.
Of course, most of you already know that. You’ve enjoyed it. You’ve spread the word.
So why, for God’s sake, did none of you warn me about just how dangerous it can be?
Seriously, I mean it. I love movies. You love movies. We all love movies. We would watch them every day if we could. And now, with the power of Netflix, we can. Unfortunately for me, that also increases the chances that I will. Now I don’t know about you, but my boss isn’t very forgiving to the “I was late to work today because I was streaming the last five minutes of The Usual Suspects” excuse. Not that I’ve tried to use that, because before I would never try to squeeze something like that in. The problem is that, with Netflix now, I CAN.
Netflix, to me, is the merger of two beautiful things: my movie collection and the IMDB. Search up a movie, find it, and BAM! watch it right then and there. But as anyone who has done any kind of marathon watching can tell you, it can be very, very dangerous. You don’t just get movies by title or genre here. No no. You can pull up actors and actresses. Earlier yesterday, I had come across an intriguing movie featuring Sam Neill (no, it wasn’t Jurassic Park). When I couldn’t remember the name of the film, I simply typed in Mr. Neill’s name and Netflix gave me a list of all of the films in their database that had Sam Neill in them (and believe me, there were a lot). That’s just dangerous for someone like me. If I ever decide to have a Robert Downey Jr. marathon, I’m doomed.
Netflix is also terrible in that it makes me realize just how many films I still need to see. We all have that list of movies to watch “one day”. The movies we’ll get around to seeing when we have time (right, because we have so much of that kicking around). They’re often movies that have been out for so long that everyone else has already seen them. They’ve also often been out for so long that nobody bothers to reference them anymore. Take Fargo. It’s on my “To Watch” list. And now, thanks to Netflix, it really is on my “to watch” list. Along with about a dozen other films. It makes me nervous to see just how far behind I am in my own mind.
Getting my Netflix up and running after years of promising I would was like Charlie Bucket finding the Golden Ticket and being invited to the chocolate factory. Now if I can get in and out of there without massive cavities and weight gain every day, I should be good. Everything in moderation, right?
Pfft, yeah right. People who are still able to moderate themselves obviously don’t have Netflix. And that’s probably for the best.