from the when-evolution-isn't-good-enough dept
Case in point, Wired complained a few years ago that Netflix wasn't complete until it implemented a channel surfing feature, because having the choice of a mountain of different options was apparently too difficult. Similarly there's been seemingly endless lamentation over the last few years about how Netflix's choice to release seasons all at once is bad because it kills the "water cooler marketing buzz" created as office workers prattle about each week's show plotlines. Of course, as noted previously, people apparently love to binge watch, and there's absolutely nothing wrong in giving the people what they want.
Still, the idea that Netflix isn't "cable enough" never seems to go out of style. The latest example comes courtesy of Rex Sorgatz over at The Message, who not only laments that Netflix has destroyed the "water cooler" chatter that helps drive show marketing buzz, but complains that Netflix's release style ensconces him in a cocoon of spoiler paranoia, from whence he's unable to hold any conversations about TV programs without spoilers:
"But you see the problem: We can’t talk about buzzy Netflix shows because our schedules are out of sync. The rough expectations for knowing if your friends are on episode 12 or episode 1 have been destroyed. Netflix thinks it has performed a noble act by releasing the entire season en masse, but it has actually wreaked havoc on the best part of television: talking about television."Has Netflix really done that? Really? It seems to me Netflix is giving people what they want -- a whole lot of content to be consumed on whatever schedule people see fit. As Frank Underwood himself noted in 2013, dumping an entire season at once gives viewers the power to do whatever they want. Still, Sorgatz proceeds to argue that this is a "problem" in desperate need of fixing, and as such, he's offered this solution:
"This, I propose, is what Netflix, Amazon, and HBO should do. They need to bring back the schedule, updated to modern lives. That schedule should be: Every day, a new episode is released, always at the same time, and blind to time zones. Imagine if House of Cards had played out over two weeks, like a mini-series...Can you imagine? The conversation around this viewing window would be massive, almost unbearable. Fans would feel compelled to catch up every night, so as to be involved in tomorrow’s discussion. And if you missed a day or two, catching up would be painless."Except if you think about it, that actually solves nothing. If I'm able to watch the show on Tuesday night but you've got an evening cheese club meeting, I'll still spoil the show for you when we meet on Wednesday. Here's a crazier idea: we just accept that Netflix is very different from the traditional cable experience (which is still available if that's your preference by the way), and that this is a good thing? It seems so much simpler than endlessly complaining that Netflix isn't more like a cable TV industry most of us agree is in desperate need of a sharp kick in the ass.