I realized that I’ve actually come to see good content on Netflix as unusual. Garbage is the norm. I’ve actually coined a word for decent content I find on the service—Netflukes—the hidden gems that are worth watching. I’ve also found myself repeating a phrase after many Netflix sessions: “Noooow I see why it’s on Netflix.”
I like the old Netflix—a service that allowed me to watch as much of the best current video content I felt like consuming. That was in the DVD and Blu-ray Disc era. Now, in the streaming agony that has become Netflix I can’t find anything decent to watch. When Netflix broke their model into two separate products—streaming and snail mail—they literally broke their model. Nobody noticed because the good content was phased out. For awhile, subscribers got access to streaming content as a bonus. The streaming selection wasn’t good enough to constitute a stand-alone offering. It still isn’t.
I no longer watch Netflix, I search it. There are times I feel like watching something and can’t find a single thing to watch. Then I realize I could have watched an entire TV episode in the time it took to look for something decent to watch on Netflix. When I subscribed to Netflix I expected it to waste my time by entertaining me—I didn’t realize I’d be wasting my time scrolling and selecting and searching and starting again.
In the FAQ section of the Netflix website, the company describes it’s selection this way: “You can browse our selection to see some titles that are popular on Netflix right now. Remember, this is just a sample—we have thousands of other movies & TV episodes available to watch instantly right on your TV via any other device that streams from Netflix, including PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, or your computer. There are never any commercials no matter how much you watch, and you can pause, rewind, fast forward or re-watch as often as you like. It’s really that easy!”
What kind of description is that, really? I could care less about pausing, rewinding, fast forwarding or re-watching content as often as I like if it’s garbage. Not on a PS3, not on a Wii, not even on an Xbox 360.
I’d rather have way less content to choose from if the selection were better. By better I mean newer movies with better plots. No more Red Dawns. No more classic movies that aren’t even “classics.” I’m tired of seeing better movies available from Apple to rent or buy on my Apple TV only to go into the abyss that is Netflix for another round of disappointment.
And there are strange things in the abyss. Many cancelled TV shows live there. Shows that didn’t make it on Network TV make it on Netflix. But do they have their own category labeled, “Shows the World Rejected?” No. They are mixed into the new releases category in an attempt to show something, anything, new. I also hate how you scroll right in a category only to end up in the 30’s and 40’s within a few clicks
If the price of Netflix were any higher, I don’t think people would pay for it. As it is, people must feel like they can throw away $7.99 a month. I mean, if there’s nothing good to watch, it’s less than $10, right? Nobody in their right mind would pay, say, $95 for Netflix, would they? Oh wait, that’s the annual price.
Netflix is beginning to produce original content, but I’d rather not subsidize a production company. That’s not what I signed up for.