January 13, 2015

The Netflix Effect


Between school, work, extra-curriculars, social lives, and sleep, students today are busier than ever. Rarely do we have the opportunity to sit down and watch their favourite TV shows, so it’s no surprise that we are turning to binge watching – cramming viewing marathons of TV shows. Admit it, we’ve all had those nights, whether it be rushing to catch up on Suits before the next season or discovering a new show and burning through three seasons in one weekend (guilty).

The rise of services like Netflix, Hulu, and on-demand services has allowed viewers more choice and flexibility. We can decide when we want to watch each episode, whether it is in a single sitting or an episode before bed every night. It also allows us the opportunity to find new shows, because not everyone catches onto the good ones right away – Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan credited the show’s popularity to Netflix, as it offered a chance for new viewers to catch on.

These services have evolved into a viable channel to reach viewers, with Netflix launching original programming in shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black (each of which premiered to a larger audience than the last), and even comedic offerings like Bojack Horseman. The fourth season of Arrested Development bypassed traditional broadcasting and went straight to Netflix. Long gone are the days where TV was for actors who couldn’t make it on the big screen – the quality of shows is higher today than ever before, with many being critically acclaimed. For example, the cast of True Detective included Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey (alright, alright, alright) and the first season of House of Cards earned three Emmys and a Golden Globe – not too shabby for a Netflix exclusive.

With a growing number of consumers often opting for binge watching and thus bypassing commercials, broadcasters have also had to find a new way to compete. CTV and Global now offer online streaming of their shows, and TV service providers’ on-demand services give subscribers access to thousands of programs. More and more of these services are launching and more programs are being added to online rosters (for example, Lizzie McGuire for the 90s kids and Friends for well… everyone), which only means good things for viewers.

We’re living in a golden age of TV during a time where we have unparalleled access, and in my mind, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Bask in the small screen glory, fellow binge watchers. Go ahead and watch that next episode.

Recultured readers, what shows do we need to be watching RIGHT now? Here are some of my picks, in the form of a Quietly list!

Binge Watch Picks

By Dalena Nguyen

Grab some popcorn, curl up in bed, and pull up Netflix. Here are some of my top picks for shows you should start binging on now. Apologies in advance for the late nights and unproductive weekends.

  • The Netflix Original: House of Cards

    By Dalena Nguyen

    House of Cards stars Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, the conniving politician you both hate and admire. Watch and see if you can guess what the next step of his master plan is.

  • Comedy: Parks and Recreation

    By Dalena Nguyen

    Watch an eclectic team of government employees who you’re sure to find bits of yourself in, from Tom’s entrepreneurial spirit to April’s dry wit, to Ron Swanson (in general).

  • Drama: Homeland

    By Dalena Nguyen

    Follow Carrie Mathison, a CIA agent trying to balance her personal issues and feelings with the looming threat of acts of terrorism. You’ll constantly be left wondering who is working for the enemies.

  • Classic: Arrested Development

    By Dalena Nguyen

    Annyong! From chicken dances to never nudes, this series is full of running gags and jokes. You’ll pick up on more jokes each time you watch it, making it prime binging material. 

  • Sleeper Pick: House of Lies

    By Dalena Nguyen

    This series about a group of management consultants gives a hilariously crude and exaggerated answer to the question of what business consultants really do (spoiler: nothing, really).

Featured image via Flickr

About the Author

Dalena Nguyen
Dalena Nguyen
Dalena is a final year Business student at Simon Fraser University and is former editor of Recultured. She is a self-professed social media junkie, a Canucks fan, and an impulse shopper. When she's not running from meeting to meeting or trying to find her next meal, you can find her on Twitter @dalenanguyen_!

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