Netflix in Fuckflux

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“Do you want to sign up for our service?”

“I don’t know. What are you selling?”

“Mythgets.”

“What the hell are those?”

“Mythical widgets we haven’t invented yet. By signing up now you’ll be first in line when they actually exist. And, here’s the good news. They are only $8 a month.”

“Yes, please.”

——–

As P.T. Barnum once famously said, there’s a me born every minute. Or something like that.

Don’t get me wrong. Netflix has some value. I read in the Wall Street Journal the other day that people are watching entire seasons of their favorite television shows in a single weekend. I dub this activity “superpotato.” Normally it would cost $15 or more to buy a season of shit on  DVD, but now with Netflix you can watch many of these in a single month, all for only $7.99. The fat cats that produce shit like this were lamenting their lost revenue in the WSJ while the spirit of Rupert Murdoch looked on sympathetically.

But that’s the old purchase vs. rental again. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. But still, even I can admit there is some value there.

Like last night we finally found out what happened in Breaking Bad in the season three cliffhanger. Did Jessie shoot Gail to save Walt or not? I was on record with a 80 percent chance that Jessie would aim wide at the last minute.

No, I won’t spoil things by doing a sneaky reveal. See how thoughtful I am?

——–

If you stream Netflix over an “appliance” to your television, then you are no doubt familiar with the “Loading” screen. By far the “Loading” stream is the longest sexual relationship I’ve ever experienced in my short little life.

I’m told I have a state-of-the-art high speed internet connection. Everything else we do with it works like butter. Even commercials and movie trailers load like butter on the damn thing. But the moment you try to stream from Netflix?

LOADING…

I suspect they went to market with something they wanted to profit from before it was mature enough to actually work. And all this on an internet framework that was never intended to carry audio and video. Inconceivable!

Netflix worked reasonably well when the signal was low-res. It still glitched and paused a lot but it mostly worked. Then we got an HD television and, somehow, we even ended up with all the correct cables and widgets to make the bloody thing work right. I was amazed. I hooked it all up and basked in the glory of an HD picture in my own home for the first time in my life.

That was also exact the moment our Netflix television life went straight to hell. We were in for more marathon sessions of lovemaking from the Loading screen. Netflix really should provide Vaseline with their service because it was painful.

We finally had to dump the HD option and go back to low-res. It just didn’t work. And, since then, Netflix works like crap. The menus reboot all the time, the queue doesn’t work right, and we get Loading screens up the ass. Then we go from four dots down to two or three, which is a lot like watching your favorite TV show as a pixelated JPEG image.

But switch to another channel and the commercial loads quicker than butter. How odd.

——–

Netflix: All of the shit you sort-of kinda want (but not really) and none of the shit you really want.

The other day I looked up a movie. Netflix provides a “search” function for this. The way it works is you think of something you really want. You punch it into Netflix. Then, after only a few seconds, Netflix tells you that they don’t have it.

Now that’s value.

The odd thing is, though, the other day this process actually worked. That cost me an expensive ride in an ambulance. Thanks a lot, Netflix!

Long story short, my wife and I, who were equally amazed by this inconceivable turn of events, sat down with anticipation to watch “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

The video started and we were both like, “WTF?”

It was a documentary about the movie. Not the movie itself.

Well played, Netflix. Well played!

9 responses

  1. I feel your pain, although I haven’t experienced myself, because I am too cheap to order Netflix and am willing to wait for months to get a movie from the library for free (well, I did pay for it with my taxes) rather than pay for it. Now, that’s a LONG loading time.

    To avoid the hardship of these modern inconveniences, I suggest this lifestyle:

    Like

    1. You’re right, of course. When modern marvels like Netflix become too annoying the obvious thing to do is go back to doing things like churning your own butter. Great idea!

      I also often wait for movies.

      Netflix is pretty good, but it still feels a lot like we’re guinea pigs and paying for the privilege of participating in what really should be their public beta.

      Like

    2. By the way, the playback of that video sucked. I imagine it’s what being on drugs feels like. Irony!

      Like

      1. Hey, I didn’t have any problem with video playback. Hmmmm. I think I see the problem.

        Like

  2. I especially like when they yank a series you’re halfway through without a warning.or posting an expiration.

    Like

    1. Yes, that. Good point. That’s happened. It makes you feel like such an idiot to be spending your time re-watching something you already own on DVD (because you’re too lazy to get out of your chair). If the put up expiration dates or something then you could prioritize your viewing and watch more short-timer content.

      And then there’s that whole Extract thing. It’s a movie starring Jason Bateman. The final 17 minutes didn’t work. I fired off a complaint to Netflix about it but they never replied or did anything about it. Then the movie suddenly disappeared from the queue.

      Never forget Extract!

      Like

  3. Superpotato LOL!

    Like

    1. Woohoo. Of course, your comment makes me realize what songs I should have embedded in my post. I’m so stupid. Maybe I’ll go back and edit them in.

      Like

  4. Cathy, I am more than willing to consider the possibility that it’s me, not them. That hypothesis fails to explain why commercials load like butter, a phenomenon I have named The Higgs Netflix Boson.

    Just yesterday I was trying to watch a video about Citizens United v. FEC on the Story of Stuff website. The video playback was marred by little micro-glitches every 1.42 seconds or so.

    My personal theory is that glitches like this an off-track audio are being introduced as subliminal and fringe attacks against our consciousness. Once we’re properly disabled by the anger and frustration (that we’re not even aware of) the aliens will land and take over our infrastructure, roads, cities and resources without a fight. It’s brilliant.

    Like

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