Once upon a time, when people watched TV, they had to be there in front of the box at the exact time it was being broadcast, or else they missed it. Potentially forever. Someone would have to tell you what had happened in the last episode if you wanted to make sense of the next one and, maybe, one day, you might be able to see it as a repeat. Though that may be many years in the future. Today, we don’t have those kinds of problems. Almost everything is available on catch up – and that’s if it was ever broadcast at all, rather than exclusively streamed online. (more…)
This weekend the streaming service Netflix unveiled their latest Original Programming show Stranger Things upon the public. Set in the 1980s surrounding the mysterious disappearance of a small child in small-town Indiana, the show has become a bona fide hit. Already with a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, critics and fans alike are delivering high praise for the eight-episode television show steeped in nostalgia, science fiction, action, comedy, and horror. The show pays homage to many of the classics from the 1980s as well, drawing influence from Stephen Spielberg, John Carpenter, Stephen King, and many others. Many fans are already clamoring for a second season, and Netflix hasn’t even said if they were going to do one. Rest assured, if Marco Polo can get a second season, Stranger Things will sure get one as well!
Here’s a good news/bad news situation, though the powers that be would likely want you to focus on the good news. Fans of the CW‘s very popular line-up of shows were disappointed, angered and upset earlier this year when the network’s deal with Hulu expired, and it looked like a new one would not be reached. Given that a lot of people watch their favorite CW series in the days following its network airdate on Hulu, it seemed like people were going to have to either pirate those programs or, God forbid, get a cable account. So the good news is that all the shows presently on the CW’s schedule will now be coming to Netflix. The bad news? They won’t be coming as soon as you’d like. (more…)
Netflix has been pretty damned good about bringing viewers some quality “television” shows over the past few years. Their foray into producing their own series has brought us such amazing programs as House of Cards, Daredevil and more. Now they’ll be jumping on the reboot bandwagon, though the property they’ve chosen to bring back is one that just might be ripe for a new interpretation. What show is that, you ask? The 1960s sci-fi classic Lost in Space. (more…)
Netflix‘s second season of Daredevil was fantastic in so many ways. Jon Bernthal knocked it so far out of the park when it came to Frank Castle and the Punisher that Marvel and Netflix decided to spinoff the character into his own Netflix Punisher series. Bernthal recently talked about the character and what we might expect to see in the series and had some interesting and poignant things to say about Frank Castle and the Punisher. (more…)
In the past, the streaming giant Netflix has stated that they would not have an “offline” option for their service. Amazon Prime and Comcast gave their customers the option to download shows/movies from their apps to their smartphones/tablets/PCs for offline viewing at later times. Those worries about maxing out on their bandwidth (or just wanted to watch service in an area without Wi-Fi or 3G) had the option to download and view later for their own convenience. However, Netflix was firmly against such an action in the past. Statements like “It’s never going to happen” came from their director of communications Cliff Edwards in 2014 and “I’m just not sure people are actually that compelled to do that, and that it’s worth providing that level of complexity,” came from their chief product officer Neil Hunt last year. It looks like Netflix has had a change of heart.
There’s a new rumor floating around the Internet about Marvel and Netflix‘s upcoming Defenders movie. That’s the movie that will bring together the heroes of each Netflix series, Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Iron Fist (Finn Jones) to fight some evil in New York. This is another of those take with a big grain of salt Internet rumors so buckle up and let’s consider it. Word is that the Defenders will take on Mephisto in the movie, or at least he’ll be the big baddie behind everything that is going wrong with the city. (more…)
Netflix members around the world are making their own rules when it comes to watching TV. Instead of one episode per week, Netflix members choose to binge watch their way through a series – that is, on average, finishing an entire season in one week. Though binge watching is clearly the new normal, not all series are enjoyed the same way. Today Netflix unveils The Binge Scale, revealing which shows we devour and which we savor.
“As The Binge Scale indicates, the viewing experience of a series can range from the emotional to the thought-provoking,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Content at Netflix. “Netflix helps you to find a series to binge no matter your mood or occasion, and the freedom to watch that series at your own pace – whether that’s to appreciate the drama of Bloodline or power through Orange is the New Black.”
The programming which is “Devoured” tends to be films and television shows which feature action, fast-paces, and shock value. Also, most of Netflix’s original programming falls in this area as people quickly jump on the shows once they are released (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Orange is the New Black, Sense8). Series like Orphan Black and The 100 grab you, assault your senses, and as The Binge Scale shows, make it hard to pull away. The classic elements of horror and thrillers go straight for the gut, pushing the placement of series like The Walking Dead, American Horror Story and The Fall towards the devour end of the scale. Likewise, comedies with a dramatic bent, like Nurse Jackie and Grace and Frankie, seem to tickle our fancy and make it easy to say ‘just one more.’
On the “Savor” side, it is not surprising that the films and tv shows closest to this end of the scale are dramas. This end of the spectrum does consist of a higher percentage of television shows, where you can have upward of 20-24 episodes in just one season. Watching 42-44+ minute episodes can certainly take time so it’s understandable that these are ones to take your time, soak it all in, and enjoy. It’s also no surprise that complex narratives, like that of House of Cards and Bloodline, are indulged at an unhurried pace. Nor that viewers take care to appreciate the details of dramas set in bygone eras, like Peaky Blinders and Mad Men. Maybe less obvious are irreverent comedies like BoJack Horseman, Love and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. But the societal commentary that powers their densely layered comedy paired with characters that are as flawed as they are entertaining allow them to be savored.
THE NETFLIX BINGE SCALE
** (Based on global viewing data)
- Irreverent Comedies
- Arrested Development, BoJack Horseman, Club de Cuervos, F is for Family, Love, Summer Heights High, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Wet Hot American Summer
- Political Dramas
- Homeland, House of Cards, Occupied, The Good Wife, The West Wing
- Historical Dramas
- Mad Men, Narcos, Peaky Blinders, The Americans
- Superhero Drama
- Gotham, Marvel’s Daredevil, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, The Flash
- Crime Dramas
- Better Call Saul, Bloodline, Fargo, The Blacklist, The Bridge, Twin Peaks
- Dramatic Comedies
- Flaked, Grace & Frankie, Nurse Jackie, Orange is the New Black, Parenthood, Rescue Me, Weeds
- Action & Adventure
- 24, Arrow, La Reina del Sur, Marco Polo, Outlander, Prison Break, The Last Kingdom, Turn, Vikings
- Ascension, Between, Heroes, Orphan Black, Sense8, The 100, The 4400, Under the Dome
- American Horror Story, Hemlock Grove, Penny Dreadful, Scream, The Walking Dead, Z Nation
- Bates Motel, Breaking Bad, Dexter, Sons of Anarchy, The Fall, The Following, The Killing
Netflix analyzed more than 100 serialized TV series across more than 190 countries between October 2015 and May 2016. The research examined member completion of the first season for all series. Data was only included for accounts that fully completed the season. Completion rates were organized into days and hours. The global median days to complete the first season of these series was five days. The median hours per session for completers overall was two hours and ten minutes. Series viewed less than two hours per day were identified as ‘savored.’ Series viewed more than two hours per day were identified as ‘devoured.’ Series were not restricted by launch dates, runtime or number of episodes. Where a series falls on The Netflix Binge Scale has no relation to viewership.
*** info/data courtesy of Netflix
Few things conjure up childhood nostalgia better than the tone and aesthetic of 80’s Amblin Entertainment features like The Goonies, *batteries not included, and especially Steven Spielberg’s seminal E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. That’s why it’s no surprise that Netflix would tap into that to create an original series about a group of kids trying to figure out what happened to their vanished friend while mysterious things continue to happen around them, including the inevitable appearance of shadowy men in hazmat suits. The trailer for Stranger Things dropped today and, boy, does it look good! Check it out below!
“Kung Fury,” the Kickstarter-backed, 80s throwback, action/comedy, which became a hit sensation, is ready for Round 2. The half hour short film, a creation made in the basement of director David Sandberg, incorporated several green screen shots (along with some mad editing skills) to create an exciting and enjoyable flick destined to be a cult classic. Sandberg took to social media in announcing the film’s one year anniversary of its release on his ‘Laser Unicorns‘ Instagram page.
In his post, the short film’s writer not only celebrates the movie’s anniversary, but takes the opportunity to reveal that a sequel is in the works. The accompanying picture shows the finished script of the as-of-yet untitled follow-up to the throwback action-comedy romp tightly wrapped with the hero of the film’s recognizable red bandana. (more…)