What Are You Watching on Netflix?


 

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I’ve just realised that it’s two years since I started using Netflix or to put it another way, binging on Netflix. Is that healthy? I don’t know, but I’m not complaining since I must have totally ignored TV for the best part of ten years when I thought I had better things to do, which in fact I did due to an adverse reaction to badly dubbed films showing on cable TV here in Argentina, not to mention a 1Mb net connection which put us in the Stone Age for downloading anything for that day or indeed that week.

What are your Netflix favourites?

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I had to remind myself when and what we started to watch by going into My Account/My Profile/Viewing Activity on the Netflix homepage, which is a little scary reminding yourself just how much you’ve consumed over the years. We started off with Prison Break, moved on to House of Cards (US version), 24, Homeland; the list goes on and on and, of course, you don’t need to wait till next week for the next episode, which can be either a boon or a curse. Many a morning the alarm has gone off and I feel like my eyes are propped open with matchsticks such is the sacrifice I made the night before. But heck, I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Even now people ask ‘Have you seen Game of Thrones yet?‘ or ‘You mean, you’ve never seen Breaking Bad? Where have you been?‘ Well, I have seen Breaking Bad; in fact I couldn’t tear myself away from it and I place the blame fairly and squarely at the feet of Mr Heisenberg for luring us in so cunningly. Actually, Breaking Bad turned out to be one of the best series I’ve ever seen; it never seemed to slack and thankfully didn’t end up all soapy like Jericho and The 100, which I felt obliged to finish, only because it seemed a shame not to, or something like that.

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You know what it’s like when you and your wife are going out, she complains that she’s got nothing to wear and you take a peek in the wardrobe only to find it bulging with dresses and tops. Kind of reminds me of Netflix; there’s always something there following that empty moment when you just watched the last episode ever, ever, of Mad Men which, let’s face it, was pretty damned good and always reminds me of the kind of excesses we shipping men used to get up to in the old days in London, but that’s another story.

The Walking Dead Z nation

Netflix pretty much hooked me into the Zombie cult. That first pilot episode of The Walking Dead was a clincher for me and I ended up watching the entire series up to season five, end-to-end, twice over. But that wasn’t enough; I needed more undead and found Z Nation which was a total surprise in every way. It would be cruel to call Z Nation a spoof, but I suppose that’s what it is really, or possibly The Walking Dead on steroids or some other wacky substance, such is the off-the-wall style.

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The Americans has an interesting premise and is all the more realistic following the events of 9/11, not to mention the rise of ISIS and putting one’s own feelings of xenophobia aside, it’s not difficult to imagine a similar scenario emerging today, although many of the characters just weren’t likeable, which for me is a real turn off.


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Narcos on the other hand, is believable in every way and sheds light on Pablo Escobar’s life and modus operandi in a way that even transcends fiction. We were totally gripped and even found ourselves shouting at the TV at times. I’m pretty sure old Pablo was probably even more brutal in real life, much like Shorty Guzman is. When that season of Narcos came to an end, I struggled with Jericho and The 100, both of which were excellent ideas, but badly executed. They could have been so much better and just seemed to fizzle out like spent matches in the end, as if the writers had run out of puff.

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So, during the recent elections and other news here in Argentina, we seemed to be gripped by wall-to-wall live news coverage which brought us back into the real world with a bump, until that soon got a tad dull, especially after the three escaped convicts were eventually caught, so we gave Downton Abbey a go and are completely hooked. I suppose being British myself, I can relate to the outrageous snobbery, class system and punishing servitude downstairs and can also quite see why this series has gripped viewers in the USA so much. It must be fairly alien to most people and for my part, having languished in many a British institution in a similar tradition, I have no doubt that much of what is portrayed in Downton isn’t very far from the truth.

Streaming is the future

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There’s no doubt that Netflix has revolutionised our viewing habits, probably for ever. I’ve written about this in other articles and for the princely sum of US$8.99 per month, I consider it to be an absolute bargain considering what you get for those bucks. I often wonder which other outlets would be showing all those long forgotten films, documentaries and TV series, if it weren’t for the Internet. I mean, who hires DVD’s anymore? I’m not ignoring the other big movers in media streaming of course; it’s just that I have no experience with Amazon Prime, Hulu and the hundreds of others as Netflix pretty much has everything we need for the moment. Until the next big thing comes along, that is.

 

About the Author

Marc Thomas

Marc is an avid traveler, motorcyclist, entrepreneur, and gamer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. His interest in computers and technology began in the early 1990's when he was introduced by a friend to a Zenith Data Systems computer running DOS. In the years following he has experienced all versions of the Windows operating system, built hundreds of systems, and fixed many more for his customers. Marc also has an interesting forum you might like to check out at Argentina Expats

7 Comments

  1. Certainly not the up-to-date variety of offerings available in the USA.
    Our Wester societies are still in wierdo-land.
    We have World Wide Web, we can purchase goods online from around the world, we can ‘Skype’ family and friends around the world, in real time, on video.
    Contact with ‘information’ web sites in the blink of an eye through a server in the USA.
    I will say CRAZY WORLD, I have a Neflix account, I Pay for a range of movies, more are available by the same method as everything above, but NOT AVAILABLE IN YOUR COUNTRY, Australia, what are we seen as in Australia, colonial reprobates, well it damn-well feels that way, just like hearing, “Oh you are in Australia, oh well, we can throw crumbs to you, but we WILL take your money,”
    Understand this Netflix, VPN downloads will continue while you play Dog In THe Manger.

  2. Agree with Jon (above) on limited content in Oz. However, that’s down to regional licensing rather than anything Netflix has done.

    Enjoyed Narcos, even with Spanish subs.
    Luther – best show EVER!
    Suits – brilliant!
    Rake – terrific, best Australian show ever.
    Vikings, Tyrant, The Blacklist, The Fall, Peaky Blinders, Line of Duty – all top notch.

    Yep, I watch a bit of tele. 🙂 I agree Netflix is great value, just set it up for my daughter and she is addicted.

  3. Hi Marc,
    Having what seems to be imilar tastes give La Reina del Sur a try. If you live in Argentina you surely speak spanish. If so I bet you will love this series and you will be scotched to it like Downton Abbey and Narcos.
    The secret with these sucessfull series is that you do not have dead moments as in every minute something new takes place and action takes off again to our delight. No time to get bored.
    I live in Switzerland and also use VPN to get some series not available locally. I recently had optical fiber installed and it’s really blazing fast speed (600 mb up and down)

  4. I am adicted to Indian Movies and they always have twist and turns and I never know what happens next.

  5. BBC programs EXCEPT Downton Abbey. I just wished that Netflix would get all the seasons that are available and stop removing shows (Miami Vice, South Park, etc). But I must say that they have extended the life of some tv shows that have been cancelled, which is always nice.

  6. Problem with NetFlix in Canada is that the CRTC handcuffs us because of the big Service Providers in Canada like Bell, Rogers, Shaw, preventing us from seeing the big list that the US Netflix has to offer. Now Netflix has clamped down on VPN users opting for US content.
    https://davescomputertips.com/netflix-to-block-vpns-proxys/

    We have to opt for extra services like “Crave TV” and “Shomi” here in Canada to make up the difference, which both are run by the big Service Providers so that they get a piece of the pie.