– by Anna Oldham
I’m sure by now most people in the Western world have heard of Netflix. The only reasonable explanation for that not being the case is if you’ve spent the past fifteen years being held captive in a bunker as part of a doomsday cult. If so, to catch you up to speed, Netflix is an Internet streaming media that allows the viewing of selected movies and television shows for a monthly fee. It was founded in 1997 by two men named Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph (originally sending out rented DVDs in the mail), and as of 2015 has 60 million subscribers globally.
I was initially wary of Netflix. I’d heard people singing its praises for years and assumed it couldn’t possibly live up to such high expectations. So I didn’t expect much when I did eventually cave. It’s not often I like enjoy proven wrong, but this was a happy exception. In my opinion, Netflix is great. It’s relatively cheap, legal, and perhaps most importantly, doesn’t require any real effort to use. Instant gratification at its finest. Although, speaking from experience, you might waste a lot of time scanning titles until eventually just clicking one in frustration; only to decide five minutes later that you’ve made the wrong choice, and start the process all over again.
Alongside the countless movies and TV shows available to stream, there’s also the Netflix Originals to compete for your attention, some of which I cannot recommend highly enough. These titles are only available legally through this site. Full disclosure, I am subscribed to the US version of Netflix, as I signed up before it was available in Australia. So if I mention a film or show not released in the AUS version, I don’t mean to taunt you.
Among my favourite of the Netflix Originals I’ve watched so far: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Scrotal Recall, Marvel’s Daredevil, Derek, and Hemlock Grove. And the title’s I’m currently eagerly awaiting the release of: Arrested Development season 4, Sense8, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, and Marvel’s AKA Jessica Jones.
Don’t get me wrong, Netflix isn’t perfect. People are always going to find things to complain about, as any venture onto the internet will tell you, and Netflix is not immune to this. Not that I’m disagreeing with the claims of instant gratification making us lazy. (Remember before when I mentioned one of its main attractions is the lack of effort it requires?) But for the time being, the pros are great enough to outweigh the cons in my mind.
So if you’re looking for a fun night in with friends, Netflix is the way to go…since all ten seasons are available to stream instantly.