The Imperfect Perfection that is Netflix


Introduction: Madison is our entertainment guru, keeping us up to date on the latest books, TV shows, and movies. She loves to cover pop culture and I'm glad to have her voice in this capacity.

{This post written by Madison Ward, Superstar Intern}

Looking back on the energy-absorbing year of 2017, it is easy to reflect on the good times and the bad times of the year. As it is increasingly known, I love entertainment and I have found myself pondering the best and the worst parts of how I do television and how 2017 did television.

Entertainment Magazine’s Best of 2017 Awards is a phenomenal recap of the year and has made me even more grateful for how accessible all of these amazing creations are. Now only having cable television myself, I must resort to watching my shows through channel apps like Amazon, Hulu, and--most definitely--Netflix. But as much as I, like millions of others, have found Netflix a safe haven from all the stress and exhaustion of everyday life, I have also decided Netflix isn’t perfect.

Now, as heartbreaking and soul crushing as it is to admit, Netflix is the equivalent of typical movie Cinderella. I don’t care how expensive your new dress is or your new shoes or your new confidence; I knew you when you were trashy, and that can never fully be scrubbed from my mind. Netflix is a secondary source of television, real television, and real television is a real princess, born and bred and giving scraps to the poor. As much as I would love to fully appreciate everything that Netflix gives me--all the comedies, and action, and romance--I know it came from another source and that that source caved in, and let Netflix borrow it, which inevitably makes me feel like it isn’t making any money besides the rented position on the secondary source, which makes it feel cheap, which makes everything cheap.

Though this is an issue for adopted movies and television shows, Netflix Originals are an unforeseen solution and downfall. Netflix creating their own works was ingenious. This way, the network can provide entertainment from other networks, simultaneously becoming an actual network, producing its own goods, making it just like any of the other channels it derives from. (And they are good! Great even, in most cases.)

Netflix, although it is an inexpensive source of entertainment, makes bank and spends its money extremely wisely on scenic locations and blossoming young, never-seen-before actors/actresses. Their shows are humanely made, stressing emotions most millennial real television shows try to hide from. Unfortunately, Netflix is also very impressed with their new way of providing for the common people of the couch potato variety, and have been popping out Netflix Originals nonstop. Because of this, most of the originals don’t end up making the cut and are done after barely starting off one season. The time limit between cutting off these shows comes way too fast for mine and many others’ opinions, causing at least one show that I am aware of, Sense 8, to be brought back for a finale, because the audience went crazy at it’s untimely demise. Reproducing good television at this rate is unhealthy and the mother of a beast that Netflix is, cannot withstand it--no matter how successful they currently seem to be.

Because of this apparent success, Netflix is becoming inflated with popularity to the point that other extremely famous actors/actresses have also joined the ‘Original’ Game of Unknowns. Will Smith partook in the recently released Netflix Original movie, Bright, and Tim Allen and Dax Shepard can also be seen in the Netflix Original El Camino Christmas. Good for Netflix. Look at them go! The only thing I am worried about, is them actually have to be going after spreading themselves too thin, while also bulking themselves ten thousand sets a day with new, new, and more new. If Netflix keeps cutting everything before they even touch ground, they must have incredibly short contracts for their actors/actresses and if not, those ‘fillers’ won’t be happy for very long. I’m not happy for them! Netflix’s popularity will have people coming back for a while, but like everything, Netflix will one day meet its peak, and I fear that day is approaching faster than expected.

I don’t think all of this will be happening in 2018, but soon enough. And yeah, maybe I’m being over dramatic, maybe I know nothing about directing or financial situations networks may find themselves in, but some of the things I have said must be true (I mean, statistically, I can’t be completely off, can I?... right???).

In the past year of 2017, Netflix has reached new heights, impressive and dangerous. I’m worried those heights will drive them right over the cliff of sustainability and into the network equivalent of cardiac arrest. I still love Netflix and most of everything it provides, but the things you love are not always perfect and I can admit that I think Netflix belongs in that category.

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Kristin Shaw