Seriously. I mean, why even put words here? There’s no need to hook you in the cheek and reel you in until you drop on the deck and flop like a fish. The subject line speaks for itself, right? The simple fact is: The subject line worked. You’re already here. Game over.
Once again I had to take it on the chin from Netflix. Netflix is The Evil. And for those tedious little nits keeping score, yes, I used the words “balls” and “take it on the chin” in the same post. This shit is cutting edge. If that doesn’t prove you are in the presence of true quality I don’t know what will.
Let us dispense with the pleasantries and get right to the motherfucking point. Make the jump to push play on this internet appliance.
The movie: Extract by Mike Judge and starring Jason Bateman. Mike Judge is the fellow who brought the world one of the movies on my all-time top ten list, Office Space. He also brought the world Beavis and Butthead. In short, the man is a genius.
So there I was successfully living my life without knowing or even caring that the movie Extract even existed. And then I saw it available for streaming on Netflix. Hella. It just became movie night. This is one of those titles known as a queue-jumper, which is a lot like the Disneyland’s Fastpass service only without all of the Disney bullshit. Seriously, do you think they could tone done the Disney meme just a skosh?
The family assembled in front of the internet-powered entertainment device. Popcorn was popped. Real butter was applied. (Therefore not an entirely authentic movie-going experience but some sacrifices had to be made.) Special alcoholic beverages were invented using only the ingredients available on hand.
This was going to be a special experience.
We hit play and the movie started to stream. Netflix was working. This really was a special night after all!
It was back in 2012, kids. Back then we still had a thing called The Internet. And in June of that year, for one brief moment in time, a service that took your money every month actually did what it said it would. Man had landed on the moon, and Tang (owned by a tobacco company) was still available in stores. And a service called Netflix was able to deliver 90 percent of a movie. 90 percent is nothing to sneeze at.
Yep. The movie (which was merely mildly intriguing) was proceeding apace and we could sense that the big finish was approaching. Would the main character work things out with his wife? Would he lose his extract business? Was the busybody neighbor finally going to be punched in the face?
That’s when the movie abruptly ended and returned to the menu. And the menu did not offer the ability to “resume.” It only offered the option to “play,” like the title had already completely finished.
Like idiots, of course, we grabbed a remote and went through the fruitless motions of futility. We hit play. We fast-forwarded to the exact spot where the movie went over the edge of the end of the world. Same actions, same result.
The last 17 minutes of the movie simply weren’t there.
Ass fuckings are nice when you can get them. But when you get to pay for them, too, well: Those are truly the moments of your life that need to be celebrated. I jumped from the sofa in search of some General Food International Coffee, perhaps even Cafe Amaretto itself.
For days after that we’d play the part of the idiot. We’d select the movie Extract from the onscreen menu and see if anything had changed. Nope.
Finally I decided to try something new. I’d report the problem to Netflix. Yeah, that would work!
This is where things took an interesting turn.
I went to the Netflix website. I found a page that showed things we’d “watched” recently. I spared myself a moment to chuckle at their quaint terminology, like we had actually seen the goddamned thing! Lo’ and behold, next to each selection on the list, a handy “report a problem” link was provided.
This was so convenient. I actually remember thinking, wow, they make this so easy.
Eagerly I clicked that link and was taken to the following page of options:
Holy checkboxes, Batman! None of those fucking options pertain to our problem. Where’s the box for “The last 17 minutes of the movie were eaten by Yoda.”
“Stay cool, Robin. With the application of a bit of logic we should be able to produce a desirable result. Observe! I’ll merely check several of the boxes and hope that the kindly attendant on the other end of the wire will be able to piece together our problem. To the batshit cave!”
I clicked the options for “missing” audio and picture, and also “unexpected pauses.” Taken together I figured that kind of described the nightmarish hell Netflix had thoughtfully created on my television.
I figured the next screen would probably provide a space to enter additional comments where I could describe exactly the problem, which seems so damn simple in retrospect, right?
For being a negativity expert, I’m still amazed at the level to which I’m able to fool myself. So naive, so trusting. So fucked.
Netflix didn’t mince any words with their response:
Thanks for your input.
We will investigate and resolve the problems as soon as possible.
And that, as they say, is that. We never heard from the motherfuckers again. And the problem was never fixed.
But wait, there’s more! Last night we noticed that Extract had completely disappeared from the menu on our streaming device. What the hell? They took the thing away!
I decided to search it on my computer. Apparently in the last 24 hours the title got converted to DVD only. I apologize to all Mike Judge fans out there. This is clearly a direct result of the fact that I expressed interest. Clearly I had to be made to suffer.
This reeks of bait-and-switch. Normally companies do that to get new business. But when I’m involved that’s when the shit gets real. Netflix was clearly ready to go to any lengths to personally go after me. Leave it to Netflix to bait-and-switch customers they’ve already got.
Well played, Netflix. Now I’ll never know how that movie ended.
T-shirt idea: “I was streamed by Netflix and it tasted good.”
Can they not tell that the first word in Guru Of Negativity is guru, and that implies a certain level of vision? How could you not see what they’re trying to rope you in to?
You’d be surprised how often I let my guru hair down and feel actual hope. I am ashamed.