About three years ago, as part of my Frugal Frannie regimen to send my husband off to grad school, I killed my cable and went all-Netflix. We currently stream through our trusty PlayStation 3 console. We had both the streaming and the DVD option until about two months ago, when we realized we would hold a DVD for weeks before returning it. Since a lot of cable programs broadcast tinny reality shows and I can wait til a movie streams to watch it, I miss neither the Netflix DVD option, nor cable.
With the exception of HBO. I could wax poetic about my love for HBO Original Programming! (The Wire is my favorite television series, and according to Entertainment Weekly, it is the greatest TV show of all time/ ever known to man/ in the history of television/ point blank period/ don’t argue with me.) HBO shows do great things with characterization, invoking the spirit of a city, dialogue, nuance…basically, they write great stories.
Imagine my surprise when, a few months back, Netflix presented House of Cards, a political drama centering on an ambitious journalist and an avaricious politician. Like Oreos and milk, those two. I loved the show, which had me binge watching it over a weekend, perched on the edge of the couch at midnight. The company also gave us Hemlock Grove. I’m pretty squeamish, so I elected to just read all the spoilers about yet another vampire/werewolf grotesque fantasy show.
I am pacing myself (no binge-watching!) with Netflix’s newest offering, Orange is the New Black, simply because It. Is. So. Good. A yuppie New York woman finds herself in prison for a year based on some Dirt She Did When She Was Young. I’ll be honest and say that the main character, Piper Chapman, is tangential for me. The real boon of this series are the women who populate the prison and the scenes with such life. They are neither one-dimensional, nor so outrageously caricatured that the show loses credibility. They humanize people. Plus, the dialogue is golden! The aspects of comedy do not cheapen the drama that is inherent in a prison setting.
If Netflix continues churning out nuggets like OITB, I may not have my seasonal withdrawals for quality television. Now if HBO would just get it together and either put HBO programs on Netflix or offer an a la carte streaming option…my (TV watching) life would be complete.
Have you seen any of the Netflix Original shows? Am I a little too geeked about them?