Maybe it’s the instant gratification that our generation has grown accustomed to. Maybe it’s the range of emotions that come with growing attached to fictional characters. Whatever the case, streaming shows have increasingly large audiences. Yes, I’m talking Netflix original series.
From the infamous Orange is the New Black, based off of Piper Kerman’s life and times in a women’s prison, to Lilyhammer (a dramady about an ex-mobster based in Norway) Netflix originals are eclectic and, admittedly, genius. In fact, Netflix’s original shows, especially the political drama House of Cards (read: the best show in the history of ever), are so successful that they are torrented and illegally streamed worldwide.
Unlike network shows, Netflix has very little censorship when it comes to risqué or controversial scenes. This doesn’t seem to deter viewers, though, because more than one billion hours of film and television are streamed monthly on Netflix. Additionally, experts have speculated that Netflix has spent close to $70 million on production for House of Cards- a pricetag not unlike those for rival HBO shows.
The downside? Running out of television. A nightmare no one considered, yet real all the same. Say you watch all of Orange is the New Black in a frenzy amidst the Emmy buzz (12 nominations is nothing to scoff at). It was great while it lasted, I know. But then you face the longest wait of all. Network TV didn’t prepare you for this. Why did you watch every episode within a week?! You took each line of dialogue for granted! For now, you face the year long production hiatus. It happens to the best of us- we get sucked in and too engrossed to return to the real world until there is no more Kevin Spacey to admire. And at that point, you can just re-watch every episode…
The upside? Marathon sessions with your family, laughing and crying at the same time, conversation starters, and a sweet escape from reality.
So, naturally, as soon as the third season of House of Cards goes live you won’t see me for at least two days.
By uploading all thirteen episodes of a season at once, Netflix revolutionized TV. Middlemen have no place here, commercials be gone! The success of their methods has garnered justifiable envy; Amazon has announced its newest endeavor: original programming. It may be their only chance to combat the streaming behemoth. As Forbes contributor Greg Satell ventures, a “digital battlefield” has arrived, and boy is it entertaining.