Monday, August 29, 2011

Goodbye Netflix

It started out as a birthday present, and as a desire, in 2005. I had heard about Netflix, and was frustrated by my local library not readily having DVDs of The Bourne Supremacy and Before Sunset, both of which I wanted to see badly. And suddenly, March 21, there was my opportunity. Three DVDs at a time. And I could watch those right away.

Now it's the final week I'll have Netflix, and I can't count how many DVDs I've gone through with the service, how many Mom, Dad and Meridith have watched as well, but I do remember that in the last year, we switched from three DVDs to one. Cheaper, and streaming was still included. And I'm cancelling my subscription just like others have. DVDs and streaming in the same plan aren't permitted anymore. They charge separately. And I liked having the convenience of a DVD being sent, because most of what I watched wasn't available through streaming, and I also liked reminiscing about my childhood with such shows as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Beakman's World, both available through Netflix Streaming.

My final DVD came down to a decision as well. Two weeks ago, I deleted my entire queue, all 433 titles, as well as the 100 or so that were in my streaming queue. After, the site always implored me to have at least 6 titles in my DVD queue. I didn't need six. I wasn't going to watch that many by the end anyway. I've been Tivoing Boston Legal off of TV Land, and, having regained interest in the writing style of David E. Kelley, I became curious about The Practice, of which Boston Legal was its spinoff. I wanted to see it from the start, so I added the first disc of the first season to my queue. But when I went into my nearly empty queue, I saw that The Beaver, starring Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster, and directed by Foster, was at the top of my queue, and I was curious about that one. So what was it? Satisfy curiosity or delve more into the worldview of David E. Kelley? I still want to see The Beaver, and I will some day, most likely through whatever library in Las Vegas has a copy, but I like to go with what currently interests me, keeping up the momentum. So the first disc of the first season of The Practice will be my final DVD. And I probably won't watch all of it anyway. Tomorrow's the 30th, the DVD comes in the mail tomorrow, though I'll begin watching on the morning of the 31st (I don't spend any time in my room during the day, and that's where my DVD player, VCR, and 46-inch widescreen TV are), and have to get it back out by Friday, since the next billing date is on Sunday. Netflix isn't taking any more money from here.

Technology and the opportunities to watch what you like have changed in 6 years, with Amazon offering new services, Hulu existing, iTunes, and so many other opportunities. Plus, having rediscovered my passion for reading and realizing that that is what I love the most in life, I don't need Netflix as much as I used to. The Beaver is available for rental on Amazon. Maybe I'll do that.


  1. I was thinking of just keeping the "watch instantly" and ditching the discs... there's plenty of goodies for me to watch there when the mood strikes... and I have the app for my iPad so I can stream directly onto that (say, while soaking in the tub)... but like you, I'm mostly about reading.

    Who knows? Maybe someone will gift you a year-long NetFlix subscription, and you can have it back again! Sounds like a good Christmas gift idea!

  2. Perhaps, but I won't crave it again. I've got Turner Classic Movies, the Independent Film Channel (occasionally), though in movies out on the living room TV (with Tivo), I've not even gotten to the movies I taped a few months ago, such as "Saint John of Las Vegas." Reading happily gets in the way.

    I don't feel that need for movies like I used to. When I wrote movie reviews for years, I thought it was fun, thought it might be what I would want to do for a full-time career, but it begin to feel more like an endless hamster wheel. I still love movies, but I enjoy them less often now. "Casablanca" vs. "Robinson Crusoe"? Hand over the book.

  3. Unless I'm misreading the fine print on NetFlix, it looks like the plan changes are effective as of September 20, not Sept 1. For me, anyway. Does it depend on the day you signed up, you think? Is that why yours is the 1st? Or is it the 20th for everyone? You might be able to squeeze a few more discs out if it's the 20th for you as well...

  4. I got an automated e-mail from Netflix on July 12, detailing the changes to come, and this golden nugget at the bottom:

    "These prices will start for charges on or after September 1, 2011."

    The next billing date for my account is September 4. It depends on the day you signed up (I think my account began on March 4, 2005), and so that's my day.

    "The Practice" will be enough for me anyway, and I'll begin watching it in the morning. After that, I'm done.