Category Archives: Netflix

Have You Tried Turning “The IT Crowd” On?

The IT Crowd, like many other Britcoms, seemed to have ended before its time. The show had four series, which is longer than most fan favorite British television shows. It ended not because it was cancelled, but because the writers decided to end the show. This is nearly unheard of, especially in America.

The IT Crowd was the brainchild of Graham Linehan who also created other popular britcoms Black Books and Father Ted. It centers around the three members of the IT department of Reynholm Industries: Roy Trenneman played by Chris O’Dowd, Maurice Moss played by Richard Ayoade. and the relationship manager Jen Barber is played by Katherine Parkinson. They have to deal with outrageous situations such as their crazy boss’ antics, thwarting a German cannibal, and accidentally getting involved in a bank heist all while helping people with their computer problems.

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Streaming is the New Cable: Why TV Networks Should Be Afraid of Netflix

Nine nominations is not a fluke, it’s something to brag about. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences honored House of Cards with nine nominations including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Kevin Spacey) and Outstanding Drama Series. Not too bad for a series that a majority of television viewers have never heard of.

How could this be? How could a show with such amazing talent, near perfect writing, and incredible pacing be overlooked? Surely this show is on a major network during a competing time slot; going against programs like Breaking Bad. The truth is, this show has no competition and doesn’t need a time slot. All one needs is a Netflix account and a device to stream it through. This allows them to have access to every episode of the first season of House of Cards and another fantastic show called Orange is the New Black.

The dangerous part of having access to full seasons of a program is a new addiction that comes with owning an account to Netflix or Hulu, most commonly known as “binge-watching”. Binge-watching occurs when you have total access to a program and you sit around all day and night until suddenly you realize hours have passed and you’ve watched 13 episodes of a show. Here in lies a problem that major networks like Fox and NBC are facing. There is no doubt the instant streaming has infiltrated every house hold and has changed they way people catch up on programming. There is no doubt that networks are using DVR and on-demand to their advantage, but what programs are left to record?

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Get ‘Spaced’

Before Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright made Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, they created the cult TV show Spaced. The show revolves around Tim and Daisy, played by Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes, who have to pretend to be a couple in order to live in a cheap flat. The two must keep up their faux relationship, while dealing with an alcoholic landlady and a bizarre artist neighbor, or else they will be kicked out of their apartment. In reality, the show is how to bridge that awkward period between being a teenager and an adult. It’s difficult to be an adult when you’re living in a pop-culture fantasy world with your friends, Twist and Mike.

What gave Spaced its cult status was its pop culture references. Some are obscure, like the homage to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that involves a fear of Mice Spiders. Some are more in your face, like The Shining, which includes creepy twins speaking in unison.  There are so many references that you will feel like you are included in their inside jokes. Don’t let this deter you though because the show is still hilarious if you don’t get any of the references. It’s one of those shows that you can watch over and over again and still find a reference that escaped you the first time.

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A-scare-ica: The Rise of Horror in American Television

I have a theory that nightmares are our brain’s way of saying “hey, your life could be worse,” which is why the horror genre is increasingly becoming popular in television. So what if you have crippling debt because of student loans.  At least, you don’t have to kill your zombified friends and family. According to this CBC article, that’s why zombies are so popular.

There is no doubting that times are tough. When you find yourself in times of trouble, mother television comes on to make things all better. Since the dawn of primetime, TV has always been an escape from our daily lives. It’s why we never saw our favorite nuclear TV families broken apart by war. Instead of living vicariously through our favorite TV characters like we used to, we’re saying, “hey, my life could be worse”.

True Blood (HBO)

True Blood came out in the height of that whole Twilight fad that some of us don’t like mentioning being part of. I remember girls complaining that True Blood was a blatant rip off of the saga. Aside from having vampires, the protagonist happens to have telepathic abilities, just like a certain sparkly vampire. Except The Southern Vampire Mysteries that inspired the TV show came out before Stephanie Meyer dreamed up Twilight.

The difference between True Blood and any other vampire movie or TV show is that it dealt with current issues. Gay rights to be specific. This is made obvious by the “God hates Fangs” sign in the intro, which is a lovely jab at The Westboro Baptist Church. The show has continued to use vampires as an allegory for the LGBT community. You know, vampires are people too!

Despite airing in the summer, which is usually a death sentence, this show became insanely popular. So popular that HBO has been pushing out more and more TV shows ever since its 2008 debut. Since so many people took time out of their busy summer schedules of doing nothing, it showed that horror is something channels should strive toward.

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Weekly TV Update: July 1, 2013

Every week I try to bring you stories from around the Internet that you might have missed.

Time reports that Fred Armison left Saturday Night Live at the end of last season.

Roseanne Barr may get a new sitcom.

Shark Week is back. Discovery Channel’s annual shark-themed marathon starts on August 4 at 8pm.

On July 11 at 3:01 am EST (12:01 am PST), Orange Is the New Black will debut on Netflix.

Mark Burnett will produce a follow up to his miniseries The Bible. The new series is tentatively called A.D.: Beyond the Bible.

Amazon Wants You To Remember: Netflix Doesn’t Carry These Shows

Amazon Prime has been busy eating away at Netflix’s content library. The biggest problem for Netflix, so far, is it recently lost a ton of Viacom content. So what shows are Netflix customers now missing?

Here is a lengthy, yet non-exhaustive list of Amazon Prime exclusive shows.

Viacom

Nickelodeon

Dora the Explorer
Spongebob Squarepants
Yo Gabba Gabba
Blue’s Clues
The Backyardigans
Go, Diego, Go!
Osward
Ni Hao Kai-Lan
Wonder Pets
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Little Bear
iCarly
The Fresh Beat Band
Bubble Guppies
Little Bill
Danny Phantom
Gullah Gullah Island
The Wild Thornberrys
Team Umizoomi
Back at the Barnyard
CatDog
Invader Zim
Olivia
VICTORiOUS
The Ren & Stimpy Show
Hey Dude
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
House of Anubis
Big Time Rush
Doug
Fan Boy and Chum Chum
Fred: The Show
Rocket Power
The Amanda Show
Rocko’s Modern Life
All That
The Naked Brothers Band
Jimmy Neutron
Fairly Oddparents
Drake & Josh
Rugrats
Clarissa Explains It All
Hey Arnold
Kenan & Kel
Supah Ninjas
The Angry Beavers Read the rest of this entry

Is Netflix Good For TV?

Since 1997, Netflix has been a go-to for easy access to movies through the web. Expanding its content, Netflix has quickly become an easy way to watch television. The percentage of users who prefer to stream television went from 19 percent to 27 percent in the last year and it is likely to increase. This trend is not only changing the way people watch their shows, but could be good for TV in many ways.

Television is an ever evolving medium that continues to change every day. In fact, the more television that becomes available, the less necessary it is to actually watch it on a television screen. The vast number of show options makes following the intended schedule a nearly impossible task. In this respect, Netflix allows television viewers the ability to watch shows they never have they never time to see or even know about. A marathon of episodes is presented to a Netflix user in a way television does not offer.

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