In the wake of yesterday’s announcement that Blockbuster will be closing the rest of their brick-and-mortar movie rental storefronts, I thought I’d confess that I represent one of the main reasons why movie-rental stores like this are now a thing of our past, a quaint memory of a time gone by . . .
I’ve been a Netflix subscriber since 2005.
At the height of my DVD subscription (3 at a time), I had a steady stream of red envelopes coming and going in the mail, typically at the rate of one going out and one arriving every day. It took a while for instant streaming to catch on for me as a user—because it meant having to sit at the desk in the office to watch it on the only device hooked up to the (wired) Internet. But then, in 2009, when I bought my new laptop with built-in wireless capability I went ahead and took advantage of my cable internet company’s offer of a free wireless router for my house. Now I could stream movies on a portable device—could watch sitting in my comfy chair in the living room or even in bed with the laptop set on the nightstand. Of course, it really needed to be plugged in for power, as the laptop’s battery would only last 2 or 3 hours, but that was okay. It’s not like I was going to be watching somewhere for any length of time where I wouldn’t have access to a power plug.
I enjoyed watching old movies I’d never heard of before. Then there were (are) the TV shows—those I’d never watched, and those which had been off the air for a very, very long time.
I became a Netflix Binge Watcher.
With the ability to watch a full season of a TV show in less than a week, seven years of an entire series in less than a month, there was no stopping me—especially when I was on deadline to get a manuscript finished and turned in. With some shows, I was able to catch up and then start watching them as they air on TV. Others, I waited until the entire series was finished before starting to watch. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, Supernatural, Call the Midwife, The Walking Dead. If you were to take a look at my viewing history over the past few years, you’d see that there are very few actual movies I watch on Netflix now—it’s mostly about TV shows. Though I will watch the occasional movie that I’ve really been dying to see (and didn’t go see in the theater)—but I’m doing it as a way to decide whether or not I want to buy the movie on BluRay. You see, with movies, I want all the extras—the behind the scenes featurettes, the commentaries, the blooper reels.
All of that to (not briefly) lead into my plans for this weekend, which will include some heavy-duty watching in the methods that make up two of the three the main ways in which I consume entertainment these days (the third is DVR):
Although he’s not still an obsession, while I was writing An Honest Heart, I’ll admit that I obsessed over Chris Hemsworth—after all, he’s the template for Dr. Neal Stradbroke in that book. But even without the obsession, there’s so much to look forward to in this movie, including Zachary Levi taking over for Prince Charming in the role of Fandral.
Wait, did someone mention Zac Levi?
This fall, I’m taking one day of each weekend to do what I’ve tiled the Colossal Cleanout. I started with my bedroom last weekend (mainly cleaning out the closet/wardrobe, bagging up stuff to get rid of and re-organizing what I’m keeping). This weekend the Colossal Cleanout moves into the office, the spare bedroom in my two-bedroom house, a room which has become the catch-all for all of my junk that doesn’t have anywhere else to go (because my actual closets are so tiny).
Last weekend, a re-watch of Season 1 of The Walking Dead and a first-time watch of half of season 1 of Revolution got me through Part 1 of Colossal Cleanout. Quite serendipitously (because of the banner at the top of the Netflix app on my iPad), I discovered last night that Chuck is now streaming on Netflix. I’ve seen the first couple of seasons—I got them on disc from Netflix back when I had a disc subscription a few years ago. I watched Episodes 1 and 2 last night, and was reminded of just how binge-able this quirky show is. I look forward to a couple of great weekends of CC and Chuck in the near future.
Will you go see Thor while it’s out in theaters? No spoilers, please if you’ve already seen it!
Do you Netflix? What are your favorite things to watch on Netflix? What’s the best “hidden gem” you’ve found?
I’m Owen Lars. Which one are you?
(Click the image to see it full-size so you can read it.)
Who knew porcupines made such cute sounds? I want one! But . . . they’re probably not as cuddly as Teddy looks.