Tag Archives: Netflix

Community vs. 30 Rock

AKIE BERMISS: I was an early adopter of Community. It debuted when I still had cable and I still watched television live. But it was one of the last shows I did that with. Increasingly, as a man pushing thirty, I’ve found new television shows have very little to offer me. I don’t get excited by reality shows — the pseudo-drama just doesn’t do it for me — and, being a professional singer and vocal teacher, I can’t stand shows like American Idol or The Voice. So I was finding myself marginalized more and more by primetime television. Call me old fashioned but I miss the days of primetime half-hour sitcoms followed by hour-long dramas at 10pm. To me, those were the days. I guess I was young and things seemed simpler then. But also, I rather think if I am going to sit down and waste an hour, I’d rather it be scripted material performed by professionals and shot by experienced techies.

CHRIS PUMMER: I think Akie’s comparison of 30 Rock to the dynastic Bulls of Michael Jordan is apt. Because while Community is brilliant, 30 Rock has been at least that brilliant for much longer now. Continue reading

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The Future of Netflix: Secure?

AKIE BERMISS: Netflix getting knocked off the throne of online streaming? I don’t think so. Take it from a guy who knows! I haven’t had a television for over a year. Any kind of home-viewing of movies or television shows is done from my computers. As such, I have Netflix *and* Amazon Prime. I rent movies from iTunes at least once a week. And recently, I’ve even begun thinking about getting a HULU+ membership. From all that, I can tell you one thing for certain: when it comes to streaming Netflix does it best, makes it the most available, and has the best potential for growth.

HOWARD MEGDAL But Blockbuster is precisely the comparison here. Netflix was first; that won’t give it a permanent stranglehold on the market. The question, at a certain point, will become: who do you trust to do it in a more customer-friendly way? The company that gave us the Quikster debacle? Or the company that has already laid waste to traditional publishing? Continue reading

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The Quikster Reversal

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Hats off to you, Reed Hastings, for allowing me a glimpse into a future world where CEOs make bizarre decisions without really thinking ahead—including blasting poorly thought-out “I’m Sowwy” email to a million subscribers at once.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Unlike Molly, I applaud Netflix’s CEO for adding himself to a long line of those famous for drawing a line in the sand, and quickly erasing that line. Continue reading

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Netflix for Books?

AKIE BERMISS: Various times in the short history of this publication we’ve puzzled over the future of books and of reading and of literacy.  We’ve discussed the demise of Borders and the rise of eBooks and the changing lay of…

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Netflix’s Price Increase

DAVE TOMAR: What’s this? I can’t watch Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol through streaming media? Oh my god. I can’t watch Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow through streaming media either. Holy crap, I can’t watch any of the Police Academy movies through streaming media. Goddammit. Now I have to download all 7 of them for free. Breaking the law to watch Police Academy. How ironic…or possibly just stupid.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Hey Netflix, don’t stream on my shoes and tell me it’s raining. Your new, higher, “a la carte” pricing for previously combined, low-cost services is just bad business. Continue reading

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In Briefs: The Half-Life of TV Shows

CHRIS PUMMER: I very much try to judge a show before watching it. Because I don’t have time to waste on something that seems likely to be a pile of crap.

In this, the golden age of TV watching with…

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Smartphones: Yea or Nay?

DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: A few weeks back, LiveJournal’s “Writer’s Block” question of the day asked, “Do you do your banking on your smartphone? If not, why not?” Well, Eljay, it’s quite simple: I do not do my banking on my smartphone because I do not have a smartphone.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I’m on the same page as Dani, although for different reasons. Sure, there are times when it would be helpful if I had a smartphone. When, for example, I am not at home or at work and need the phone number for a restaurant, or to look up the weather forecast, or movie times. My phone is not very helpful in those situations.

JESSICA BADER: I’ve had a smartphone for about two and a half years now, and the thought of having to get through the day without it ties my stomach up in knots. But that might say more about me than it does about the merits of the iPhone. Continue reading

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Blockbuster’s Demise

HOWARD MEGDAL: What a pleasure it is to see Blockbuster Video facing financial difficulties after the damage the company tried to do to the American public.

AKIE BERMISS: I say good riddance to Blockbuster Video. I used to love them when I was young, but like many things that the young love — it turned out Blockbuster actually sucked a whole hell of a lot. When I was in my early teens my younger sister and I would blow our entire weekly allowances at Blockbuster video on Saturday afternoons (after the chores were done). We really thought it was the best place to put our hard-earned cash. Oh what fools we were then!

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Growing up, I remember a time when my family used to fork over $4 to Blockbuster to rent a single movie—and if it was a new release, we only got to keep it overnight. I don’t know if this was the going rate everywhere, or regional pricing (we were, after all, in Manhattan, where you are charged an average of nine times what you would pay anywhere else for anything). But in any event, that’s what we paid to rent movies, year after year—not to mention the late fees. Do you know how it feels to return an overdue copy of Baby Boom and be told that you owe $28?
Continue reading

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Netflix/Amazon/iTunes Suggests…

STEVE MURPHY: Websites have been trying to recommend things to me for years based on my prior activity, but they’ve never really been any good at it. Finally, Netflix and iTunes are stepping up their game. Finally, some recommendation engines that actually help me find things I’m going to enjoy… and warn me off those I won’t.

AKIE BERMISS: Read your science fiction, people. If there’s nothing else we’ve learned from various sci-fi doomsday scenarios, we should certainly know that you should never trust the machines. Machines are out to get you. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But someday — those machines are going to take you down, man! And so, while I love gadgets and devices and artificial intelligences, I have a healthy cynicism for computer-to-humanity relations. And so I don’t trust any computer or program or algorithm to tell me what I like or may like or won’t like. I have good friends that’ve known me for years and still couldn’t really guess what I like or don’t like. Continue reading

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DVD Extra Features: To Charge OR Not to Charge?

STEPHON JOHNSON:Apparently, Americans have forgotten that we must pay to be entertained.

JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: In terms of DVDs, “extras” should not actually cost extra. Continue reading

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