The Netflix Effect is Ruining “Regular” Movies For Me (How About You?)

ladyBirdWent to the movie theater and liked, but didn’t love Lady Bird … and for this I blame Netflix. I call it: The Netflix Effect.


So, Lady Bird is really good. Should have loved it. It got a 99 percent from Rotten Tomatoes and The New York Times raved, saying the director (Greta Gerwig) managed to “infuse one of the most convention-bound, rose-colored genres in American cinema with freshness and surprise.”

I enjoy freshness and surprise. And can sort of, kinda relate to a high school-girl’s-coming-of-age film.

Nevertheless, left the theater a little disappointed and wanting more, which gets me to Netflix. Or Hulu, Showtime and/or HBO.

Take your pick.

For the past 15 or so years, since the success of The Wire, The Sopranos, Orange Is the New Black and, well, you get the point … we’ve binged on TV shows that are more like multi-part movies. The writers, directors and actors delve deep into each and every character: their back stories, motivations, foibles and insecurities. It’s like we totally know Tony Soprano, McNutty and Bunk, and Piper, Crazy Eyes and Sophia.sopranos

Not so much in Lady Bird.

Why was Laurie Metcalf’s character the way she was and so darn tough on Lady Bird? What happened to Lady Bird’s sort-of boyfriend who was secretly gay? Did he ever come out? Why couldn’t he? Why was Lady Bird’s dad so beaten down? What did he used to be like? Did Laurie Metcalf’s character do it to him?

So many unanswered questions.

And so, instead of enjoying Lady Bird for all its freshness and surprise, I left the theater annoyed I didn’t get the answers to all my questions. And now, I’m worried I’ll never, ever be able to fully enjoy a movie again.

wonderfulTried to watch It’s A Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve and all I could think was: What’s Mr. Potter’s back story? Why is he such a miserable S.O.B.? Was it his parents? Did some woman break his heart? Or steal his money?

So, thanks a lot Netflix. And Hulu, Showtime and HBO. David Chase, David Simon and Jenji Kohan. And you too Vince Gilligan. Breaking Bad was so damn good, how am I ever supposed to enjoy a measly two-hour movie?

BTW: Just read an article that Hollywood movies just had their worst attendance year in more than a decade. Coincidence? I don’t think so. It’s the Netflix Effect.

One thought on “The Netflix Effect is Ruining “Regular” Movies For Me (How About You?)

  1. The beauty of film is that very often the answers are for the viewer to figure out and decide what they are . I still love walking away from a film with many questions – the foundation for many good discussions.


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