I finally folded and got Netflix. It seemed like a no-brainer and I couldn’t come up with valid reasons as to why I hadn’t already. I was trying to find sources for Marvel’s Jessica Jones and things just weren’t gelling. Versions were either too high quality or too low quality. I didn’t know about audio/visual levels and after half an hour or so of kerfuffle, I thought why not just get it straight from the cow itself? Now I’m milking my free month for all it’s worth. It’s not like a trial thing, I already know that I’ll stay on for the following month. It’s just nice to have a risk-free intro period.
It’s not without its risks though, during the sign up process I was shown a list of titles and I had to click three that hinted to my tastes. Netflix would then take these shows and recommend me programming with one of its many labyrinthine algorithms. My knees got weak, arms sweaty. With the taste of mom’s spaghetti lurking at the back of my throat, I clicked on Master of None with trepidation. Okay, one down. That wasn’t so hard. It was a series I profoundly enjoyed, I like giving support to creator driven material. Easy choice. Maybe Netflix would even think I was cool for choosing some of its original programming. My mouse hovered over the Netflix Daredevil series. Okay, but what’s it gonna think if I’m only clicking Netflix material? I don’t want to be some lousy brown nosing sycophant. I did enjoy the series, but what if Netflix thinks I thought it was flawless? It wasn’t without its faults. How do I feel about losing one of three finite choices to Daredevil? Then again, I did get a Halloween costume out of it, so maybe I kind of owe it to them. Okay, Daredevil it is. One choice left, what do I pick? I liked Archer, but I’m still a season or two behind. If I click it will it just keep throwing FX and Adult Swim content at me? Nothing wrong with it, but outside of Rick and Morty I haven’t watched a ton of it. What about these dramas? House of Cards was awesome but I’m not up to date. How can I commit a click to something I wasn’t even committed enough to keep up with? Do I just click Breaking Bad and be done with it? But I bet EVERYONE clicks Breaking Bad. How’s my spread so far? Comedy, comic book. I guess I might as well throw in a drama. Breaking Bad, you’re in. If only to keep away garbage people shows like 2 Broke Girls.
With that, I had an account and I’ve been watching Jessica Jones since.
This whole process says a thing or two about Netflix’ efficacy. I’m not an easy consumer to grab. I’m frugal (if we’re being polite. “Cheap” otherwise), picky and I have enough nouse to find more economical (free) ways to get things. I haven’t owned a TV in about 10 years, instead opting for desktop based programming. If I do spend my money, I want to put it towards companies I consider to be doing a great job running their operation. Netflix is doing this. They’ve got an expansive catalogue, enable (in every sense of the word) marathon sessions without tying you to appointment viewing. There’s flexibility to its use, backed up by both creation and cultivation of excellent content. House of Cards, Daredevil, Master of None, Wet Hot American Summer, BoJack Horseman and a shitton of stand up comedy specials. They’re giving the consumer what they want and they’re packaging it in a way that’s both convenient and considerably managed. High definition streaming, a variety of languages and subtitles. It remembers where you left off, allows you to rate shows in order to nurture the sort of programming that’s recommended back to you. It’s the kind of service I’ve been waiting years for, a service that actually operates in accordance with the way I view. It’s nice that someone’s doing it right and I’m happy to put the cost of 2 coffees a month into supporting that while recouping the benefits.
BRB in a few months. I’m hibernating.