Why Netflix is the only way we'll watch TV

#1
I have talked about this in various other places, so I thought I'd gather my thoughts here.

A lot of people post in the forums with the following questions:
"Should I ditch cable?"
"Netflix or Hulu?"
"How will I watch TV in real time if I don't have cable?"

The answer to all of these lies with Netflix. I'll answer these questions and explain.

Yes, you should ditch cable. You should ditch it for Netflix.
Without talking talking about Roku or TVs or even computer monitors -- this is for another post -- Netflix is option you should take. After a quick Google search (from this article from Forbes that you should also read), I found that the average TV bill is $86 without anything else like internet or phone.

This is wholly unnecessary. Netflix is $8 a month, or about $100 a year. How does that look to you?

But Candice, how will I watch TV?
Welcome to Netflix. There are enough TV shows and movies, you won't ever be bored. There will always be that one movie that you should watch, or that TV show you've been meaning to see. These options will be there for you and there's a large chance they will be on there for a long time waiting for you.

Blackfish was a movie I wanted to see all of last year but it wasn't playing in any of my local indie theaters. Netflix got in before the end of the year, just in time for me to complain to everyone about how it wasn't nominated for an Oscar.

This happens all the time with movies. With TV shows, it's even better. When Breaking Bad was ending last fall, I knew I had to be a part of it even though I hadn't seen any of the show beforehand.

Last summer I watched four seasons of Breaking Bad and was able to watch the second half of season 5 in real time.

How did I watch it if I don't have cable? That's the thing. I will always have a friend who insists on having cable. This will always be the friend whose house my other friends and I will congregate at so we can communally scream at the TV. If that's not available because all my friends have made the decision, there is always someone's friend. Sometimes there's a Meet-up group! If it's important TV, there'll always be someone hosting a lot of people to watch it.

Which brings me to my next point.

Netflix is about the community
Netflix is like the one channel we all have nowadays, and it's always playing the primetime shows. When someone says, "Oh my god, I marathoned all of Arrested Development this weekend," everyone else will say, "YES THAT'S WHAT I DID TOO." Because that's what Netflix is for: marathoning shows.

But because there are only so many shows that someone like you or me would want to watch, and our friends tend to like the same shows naturally, our tastes are finally aligning into something cohesive. Our TV tastes are something we can fully talk about now because we've seen all the same things. And if we haven't, we have an easy of getting to it.

This is all about putting everyone on the same page of quality TV content. We have either all seen the same thing, or we will watch it together. Then we will discuss.

Umm, [hushed whisper] what about illegal streaming?
Let's be honest, everyone HATES illegal streaming. There's too much spam, there's a lot of sites that could mess up your computer, and sometimes the quality of the video / stream just isn't good. With Netflix, all of that is solved by having one tidy, aesthetic, legal place to do all your bidding. We're impatient beings. We don't have any time for that. That time could be spent watching TV with your friends.

This is all I have to say about the way we watch TV. If you have any comments or disagreements, let me know!
 
#2
Great post! I think you put your finger on the issue I have with illegal streaming. There are times when I think it's justifiable (when my access to a free-to-air program is unreasonably blocked or when legal services have let me down repeatedly), but it will always be a last resort for me and it creates more work than it is usually worth(finding streams, trawling through pop-ups, getting it to load). So I would always seek out a legal, manageable alternative that does the work for me before I lapse. Your ideas about the Netflix community made sense to me, but for me (and others judging by the popularity of live-tweeting) there is no substitute for watching a program together as a community rather than in stages - granted you get a bit of that back with Netflix originals as everyone tends to watch them instantly.
 
#3
I'm glad you agree with my illegal streaming issue. And I do see what you're saying about watching TV with everyone as a whole. It bums me out when Bob's Burgers or Archer (the other night) or Parks and Rec are live-tweeting and I have to avert my gaze.
 

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