1. Video Killed the Radio Star...
...and Netflix killed the video stars. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually miss the Blockbuster days. It seems somehow less exciting to rent movies nowadays and a part of me has to blame the Netflix, Hulu, etc. craze. Because of Netflix, renting movies has become something that seems ridiculous and a little bit extra. Even Redboxes are hardly mentioned anymore. It seems that if a movie isn't online, it just can't be watched. And, if Netflix isn't streaming a movie, it's usually not going to be something I do watch. My reasoning is that I'm already paying a monthly fee for Netflix and I just can't spend the extra $5 to rent a movie anywhere else online. And I definitely can't also have a Hulu account or Amazon account, that's just too much for lil' old me! It's a bit sad really. But, whatever your movie- and movie-watching poison, this craze has definitely taken away some of the joy of watching movies (for me, anyway). I miss strolling the aisles of stores filled with DVDs, taking comfort in the fact that pretty much all movies ever made existed there. I was free to peruse movies of all genres from all times and choose whichever suited my fancy for the day. There would no buffering on this movie, no un-skippable ads, and no monthly fee for these movies. I would return them the next day and maybe rent another. Whatever the case, watching movies certainly seemed more fun. And besides missing Blockbuster, I also believe that Netflix has a severely limited movie list. As I continue to tell my mom, "Netflix doesn't have any new movies, it's mainly used to watch TV series." And though I do appreciate how easy it is to watch television series on Netflix, it certainly is a shame that so many movies will never be available to stream on Netflix.
2. Where Have All the Good Shows Gone?
I am not sure if this is just a me thing or something, but I swear that every series I begin to watch on Netflix is doomed to be taken down after just two weeks of me watching it. I lost Doctor Who (which I loved in tenth grade and was definitely planning on re-watching), Psych, The X-Files, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and so many other good shows just in the last couple of years. These may not be your favorite shows and some of them (like The X-Files) I never got to finish, but losing the ability to watch a show that you'd just begun is zero fun and puts me in a salty mood. I'm not sure exactly how Netflix works, but I have to say, if Netflix is going to add a show to their list, then they darn well better try to keep it up even if the number of fans is small.
(This one hits especially close to home because I just found out that Sense8 has been canceled. It was an amazing show and I will never know how it ends, which drives me up the wall a little bit.)
3. It's Too Easy to Binge
This one is pretty self explanatory and really more of a judgment on myself, but I'll write a couple of sentences on it anyway. For those of us that have little self-control, Netflix is absolutely a time dump. I cannot tell you how many times I've "accidentally" watched six or more episodes of something in a row. This has also, unfortunately, kept me awake way past my bedtime on more occasion than one. Some shows have begun to consume my life and, because I like to blame things that are not myself, I have no problem blaming Netflix for making it too easy to procrastinate on things and instead focus on plowing through half a season of Breaking Bad in one short evening.
4. This One's Personal: I Just Miss TV
Honestly, I'm at the point in life where watching cartoons on TV and trying to figure out how to work other people's remotes have become fond memories. Sure, commercials were incredibly annoying, and, sure, waiting a week to find out what happened next in some shows was never fun, but there were good things about TV, too. I loved surfing channels and getting excited to have my friends over for the premier of a new Disney movie (like High School Musical) even though there would be commercials. It was easier to keep up on the news and I miss watching Late Night shows with my mom. I liked watching cooking shows with my dad and cartoons with my sister and I always was down for an ABC Harry Potter marathon. I even liked the weekly wait for new episodes of shows. Watching just a couple of shows per week never took up too much of my time and I always had something small to look forward to. I fondly remember crowding around the small family room TV with my mom, dad, and sister every Wednesday night just to watch The Middle and Modern Family. We had one hour a week where we were sure to share a bit of time with one another and a good laugh together no matter what else was going on during our weeks. With the loss of movies and the privatization and personalization that Netflix brings, I believe we have lost a bit of the camaraderie that TV once brought. Even today, a group of friends and I watch episodes of the Bachelorette on TV together when we have the time to head to someone's house. I have to say, commercials (as annoying as they are) give us just enough time to be distracted and talk to one another about the show and a TV screen is absolutely the perfect size for a small group of friends to share.