It was a slow process.
I watched Season 3 of Orange Is The New Black as a force of habit, really. I wanted to keep up with what everyone was talking about and figure out how the gifsets I saw on Tumblr fit into the story line. Then I got into Bojack Horseman, watching it after work towards the end of a sad summer, feeling smug that I got in just before my friend’s at school started talking about. And then…
The Internet in my room at school was terrible. Our apartment had two other PCs so I couldn’t blame it on my dad’s long standing avoidance of Macs. My two roommates had no trouble in their rooms or the kitchen, but my busted laptop was hooked up to a monitor and it seemed like a deadzone surrounded my desk. Tumblr would load unbearably slowly, I would click play on a Youtube video and then brush my teeth while I waited for it to buffer, Googledocs was even worse. Netflix disagreed with the Wifi situation most of all, refusing to show a single frame of video no matter how long I waited.
This was the beginning of the end for Netflix and me.
I loved Netflix. I spent a week of my junior year of high school watching all that was available of The Office and I earnestly credit it with saving my life. I remember fanatically updating the queue when everything was still DVDs in the mail, making sure that the next season of my sitcom arrived before my dad’s hastily selected action movie. Netflix got me through the empty afternoons of my freshman year of college and I would listen to episodes of 30 Rock and Parks and Rec while putting in my hours for a data-entry job. We were tight, Netflix and I. I was never a person who let days fly by as the auto-play sucked me, and I never got into House of Cards or the thousands of bad movies. But Netflix was there for me when I needed it.
My Internet situation has thankfully stabilized and we have an old Wii hooked up to a television so we can watch Netflix on the big screen. Except I don’t, really. There were the few days here and there where I needed the soothing sounds of House Hunters after a too-tense episode of Elementary. Detectorists gave me panic attacks, the shows my dad watches at night are too violent, and watching Love was ruined by my dad’s cries of “this is so awkward!”. I would rather watch Youtube during the day (shorter videos! more variety! creators I have built a relationship with over years!) and then when primetime rolls around I’m on the couch with the network shows right when they air.
Now when my dad turns the Wii on (I know, we’re very 2007) I get up and leave. The process of selecting a new show or movie is too much, especially in a group. My dad likes to fall asleep watching shows on an iPad, but the bluelight keeps me awake. Binge-watching tests my attention span and I can rarely even commit to a 44 minute show. So I’ve stopped.
Maybe I’ll go back to watch a super-popular show that ~everyone’s talking about~. Or return to an old favorite during a time of crisis. But for now, no. Thanks for the good times, Netflix. I’m sorry to have left in this time of tremendous original programming, but we’ve simply drifted apart.