Ahhhh… Netflix

About seven months ago we decided to get rid of cable. We got the little Roku box, hooked it up to the TV, and prepared to receive all that wonderful, streaming entertainment from Netflix. We love the $7.99/month price, and the selection is great; however, I’ve now become a little disillusioned with the whole thing.

Initially I thought we would watch less TV, but the shorter running time, lack of commercials, and complete seasons have caused us to gorge ourselves. Recently I’ve been binging on The Office. It’s one of my all-time favorite shows so I am enjoying it…. but. After 4 or 5 episodes in one afternoon I feel like I do when I eat one too many cookies, or when I get two scoops of ice cream instead of one. Bloated. Discontented. Slightly nauseous. Too much of a good thing.

Something I never would have expected is the difficulty we face in choosing something to watch. Yes, cable has lots of stations too, but there are limits based on day of the week and time. When you turn on Netflix, the choices are truly overwhelming. I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I have sat down to watch something and we end up scrolling, reading, scrolling again, discussing, trying to agree on something, and scrolling some more until in utter frustration we just give up and go to bed. I won’t even mention the other channels you can subscribe to- Hulu, Vudu, MGo, OMG! Way too much of a good thing.

There are definitely things that I miss about network and cable TV. When my husband and I go on vacation, one of the main things that we look forward to is laying in bed and watching… wait for it… HGTV! And Food Network. And crazy reality television in all its sordid glory. Oh yes, I’ll admit that I love America’s Got Talent, and I’m sad I’m missing it. I also hate to miss awards shows. I watch clips the next day on You Tube, but it’s NOT the same. I miss the pleasant feeling of anticipation and excitement I had when I waited a whole week for the next episode of Once Upon a Time. I think maybe what I miss most of all are the commercials. They make you laugh and cry, they make you outraged, they make you hungry. They have jingles you can sing to. They are a signpost of where our culture is and where it is going.

Overall, I feel a little disconnected from mainstream America without live television in my life, but despite the drawbacks we have no plans to go back to cable- for now. We are considering getting a pair a rabbit ears so we can enjoy the Big Three stations again. Viva la television!

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