Remember when there were less than 100 channels on cable? They were all “standard definition” and you only had one TV in your house? Maybe if you were lucky you had two… But regardless, they weighed three times as much as you and took 5 minutes to warm up before you could watch anything anyways. Those were the days.
You used to wake up at the crack of dawn. You’d race to the basement to snag the best spot on the couch for Saturday morning cartoons. Then you, your brothers and sisters, the friend who slept over the night before, would watch the show together. All week you’d talk about the last episode in anticipation of the next - it wasn’t just a one-time deal. TV was a bonding experience.
Thanks to Netflix, those days are gone. Here are 5 ways how everything has changed:
You used to share a TV
Somehow, Netflix has taken possibly the least social of human activities (sitting on a couch and staring at a screen) and made it even less social.
In the stone ages, there was none of this unlimited-content-instant-streaming-laptop-capable treasure trove of shows and movies to watch. No, you probably had one TV at home- and you had to share it.
Meaning, if your little brother wanted to watch his shows, your parents probably made you take turns. The option was simple: stay and watch, or get up and go do something else. Now, everyone in the family can watch exactly what they want for as longas they want to watch it - on whatever smart-device they choose. Probably in solitude.
More flexibility, more solitude.
Let's face it, no one watches just one episode.
With Netflix, we start new TV shows like we open party-sized bags of chips. Just go down to the cupboard, pop it open, and see how much you can finish in one sitting. Either you eventually finish the bag a few weeks later or they just get stale because you forgot about them.
Even if you and a friend are binge-watching the same show, you’re probably not on the same episode. So nobody talks about it because neither of you know how far along in the season the other is. Trying to be “polite?" No, you just loathe human interaction now.
You used to wait all week for ONE EPISODE. It was all anyone would talk about FOR THE WHOLE WEEK. People would host viewing parties for season premiers, now we host pity parties and remiss about how we don’t have any friends.
I can say that, I’ve been there.
At least HBO has the decency not to release a new show an entire season at a time (yes, I’m looking at you Orange is the New Black).
Too much of a Good Thing is not a Good Thing.
With so many options, no one has an opinion of what to watch. Not to mention most of it is crap and not worth watching anyway. Obviously there are exceptions but let’s be honest, there are some absolutely pitiful excuses for movies on there.
For the record, I used to LOVE nature documentaries. You could probably spend a lifetime trying to watch all of them on Netflix. Now, I’ve seen so many I never want to watch one ever again. I swear, if I see another panoramic nature shot with a British narrator telling me how “vast” or “majestic” something is, I think I’m going to lose it. GO OUTSIDE. NARRATE NATURE YOURSELF.
Commercial Free Auto-play Will be the Death of Me
The problem is, when the next episode starts in 5 seconds, you know I’m watching another. My brain is fried from the last 5 hours of TV... You think 5 seconds is enough time for my fresh-air-deprived-half-melted brain to process the mistake I am making? I was supposed to start being productive halfway through the last season! Netflix should cut you off like a bar tender after having one too many. Instead of asking “Are you still watching?” it should ask, “Are you okay?”
See, when an episode on TV ends, there are at least 5 MINUTES of commercials for me to reassess what I’m doing with my life. We’re so absorbed in our shows, blinded by the vacuum of commercial-free content. You’re no longer forced to watch the same Viagra commercial you'd begin to recite- at which point you realized it’d probably been too long since you got up (pun intended).
We All Know We’re Never Going Back
We don’t want to change. Netflix makes us lazy. The lazier we get, the more we want to Netflix. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. God Help Us All.
In the end, who actually goes through with the cancel?