Netflix Is Killing The Binge-Watch
I can't remember specifically when it was that Netflix switched everything over to streaming. In 2008, I was still getting three DVD's a day from them, burning copies on the PC, and returning them the next day, but I do remember somewhere in there the addition of streaming to every account. The only reason I remember it is I tried streaming something, but the internet speeds with the previous cable company in town was so slow, it didn't work out so great. I ended up compiling all of the TV seasons I wanted soon after, and the novelty of bootlegging wore off, so I canceled my Netflix sub right after this point in time.
I'm not sure when they made the switch to 100% streaming, but it became a monster. Everybody had Netflix. It even made an impact on popular culture with the whole Netflix and Chill thing, the whole country was binge-watching episode after episode of their favorite shows. The pandemic lock downs across the country and self-quarantine time was probably a whole lot easier because of Netflix. It was easy enough to turn it on and start watching some historically awesome shows... until everyone else decided to get in on the game. Friends left Netflix for HBO/MAX, The Office followed soon after to NBC's platform, it was a bummer... but by that time, I think I came to the decision that binge-watching entertainment just wasn't for me.
I just don't have the attention span for it. Sure, I'll pay attention to it for an episode or two, but I inevitably get bored and start surfing the web while it plays in the background. I think there are more people out there that share in that trend too since Netflix announced this week they're doing away with the binge-watch ability of new shows going forward. They'll be taking a Disney+ type stance where they'll release one episode per week, and I'm looking forward to that premise... granted, I can't think of a single Netflix Original show that I like beyond The Ranch, and it ended a while ago. I've tried, but they write for a different generation of people now, and I just can't even.
For instance, Critter signed up for Disney+ when the first season of Mandalorian wrapped and we got together for a quick whole season binge of it one Saturday whenever that was. We cooked steaks, homemade some salsa-ranch dressing for the salads, and hit play. That first episode was legit! That bounty bot was killing it, the action was there, and the story took off right at the end. By episode five I was checking emails and seeing what the forums were talking about in my little circle of the web... I was bored out of my mind. I'm pretty sure I slept through episodes 9 and 10, and I couldn't even begin to describe what the last episode in that first season was about. Regardless, when season two began, I watched each episode as they came out. One per week, and I really got into the story. I felt like I had a full week to digest and talk with others about what was going on, and we could have that classic "I bet this is what happens next" moment around the coffee maker. I much prefer this slow release of consumable entertainment.
There seems to be some mixed reaction to the killing of the binge too. A lot of people would rather get an entire season of entertainment out in one weekend vs stretching it out over twelve weeks. How a full season became twelve weeks is beyond me. Back in my day, it was 22-24 weeks minimum, but that's another post for another day. What do you think of the decision to limit the release of entertainment?
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