On October 26, 2013, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos argued before a group of film industry insiders—producers, buyers, directors—who had gathered to hear him give the keynote at that year’s Film Independent Forum in Los Angeles, that the movie business will soon die unless cinema owners embrace the distribution model Netflix has championed. Ideally, Sarandos would like to see all films—from big-budget summer blockbuster hopefuls to small, independent documentaries—released simultaneously in traditional movie theaters and via Netflix streaming. In the nearly three years since Sarandos’s chiding speech, theater owners have still not adopted the Netflix model; but neither has the movie business died as a result.
Television has changed a lot in recent years. No longer the sole domain of networks and cable companies, TV is now distributed—and produced—by a growing flock of internet content providers. Facilitated by devices such as Apple TV, the web-based delivery of quality programming is also changing our viewing habits, making bingeing the norm and patience a quaint old virtue. With the release of the fourth season of House of Cards on Netflix this past Friday, we decided to explore our Topics pages for the ways viewers are watching the Emmy-winning drama and other lauded shows.
“They say we get the leaders we deserve,” begins Frank Underwood’s Oval Office address to you, his loyal fourth wall, in a recent trailer for House of Cards. Season four of the Netflix show premieres tonight and, frankly, the timing couldn’t be more appropriate. As Underwood claws and scrapes his way to victory, so do our own presidential hopefuls. Soon, all the campaigns will blur. Fiction and reality will become one. If we play our cards wrong, this November we may end up with a fictional character for president.
Orange Is the New Black, Netflix’s most original original series, does not disappoint in its third season. That said, I binge-watched it in order to write this post, but I don’t recommend you do the same. There’s a lot of heavy stuff here, as there should be in a prison dramedy, and sensitive souls like myself may feel that weight more than others. So take it slow, an episode a week, or maybe one every few days, if you must. You may as well make it last—season four won’t be available until 2016.
Last Friday, Netflix released the second season of Orange Is the New Black, loosely based on Piper Kerman’s prison memoir—which means it’s now possible to binge-watch the show in all its glory while feeling guilty about staying indoors all through an early summer weekend. But why would you do that? I’ll tell you why.