I kind of love technology. I never thought I would be one of those people who would read tech blogs or desire to be an early adopter or that I even would be an early adopter of a few things.
I often consider the greater sociological impacts of some of the tech innovations we witness. Blame it on my sociology background, but I just can’t help it. I love watching the world change and people’s behaviours change with it.
This year I feel like there has been a real shift in the Netflix landscape. The story of Netflix is well-known: they started as a movie rental by mail system but evolved into the streaming service we all know and love.
The thing is, most Netflix users have been required to change their viewing habits and expectations when using the service. And on one hand, that’s okay. Many viewers want things to change. We don’t want to be interrupted by commercials and we want to watch when and where and how we want. The whole notion of sitting down in front of a television at a prescribed time each week seems antiquated. Heck, even waiting a week to get a new episode of a beloved program is hard for us now. Netflix gives a freedom that viewers want at the pace we can dictate.
My family has embraced this new landscape of television viewing to the degree that we have completely cancelled cable. The big screen television is still used but not as often or as widely as it used to. My kids primarily use it for Netflix. We watch one thing a week on it as a family. Otherwise, my husband and I are usually watching our preferred shows on tablets, laptops, or even the desktop.
The unfortunate part of this shift in viewing habits can mean that we are left waiting for new seasons to show up on Netflix, even after they’ve been watched and chatted about by our friends. Netflix isn’t the place for new fresh content.
Since 2011, Netflix has been acquiring original content. It started with House of Cards, which quickly became one of those can’t miss shows. And Netflix didn’t stop there with the binge-worthy original content. Orange is the New Black was another one of their massive hits.
We’ve been enjoying these and a handful of other Netflix original programs for a few years, but this year I really feel like Netflix is hitting it out of the park with their releases. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, created by Tina Fey, is not just awesome. It might be one of my favourite shows ever. Watching it, I finally felt like Netflix was offering original programming that I could really crave. Meanwhile, my husband was totally taken with Marvel’s Daredevil, calling it one of the best superhero productions and effectively convincing me to binge on it (after I finished Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt of course, which I have also now convinced Dan to watch.) And while I haven’t yet seen Bloodline featuring
Coach Eric Taylor Kyle Chandler because I just found out I have a week to watch all three seasons of Veronica Mars before Netflix Canada stops streaming it, I have heard that Bloodline too shouldn’t be missed.
With all of these programming exclusives (being released of course as full seasons and not week by week), Netflix is quickly defining itself not as the place to go for once-forgotten movies and television, but the only source for certain critically acclaimed, can’t be missed shows. While so many of us are already Netflix subscribers, Netflix is effectively creating a service that people need to have if they want to take part in key cultural conversations. And that’s a pretty cool evolution to watch. Especially when it means that we now have all these great shows right at our fingertips.
“Age doesn’t matter. You can die at any time.” –Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
What is your favourite Netflix Original program?
I am a member of Netflix’s Stream Team and as such I have been compensated with a complementary Netflix subscription and a few other perks. The stories and opinions are all my own and have not been bought.