There is little doubt that the media-streaming provider, Netflix, has become so popular that it has become more than just an entertainment option. It has assumed the role of shaping American culture itself. Having original content and a massive collection of movies and television shows, Netflix has an audience of over 118 million people worldwide, with 55 million of those subscribers residing in the US. With so many people turning to Netflix for their entertainment, it is time to ask the tough question: Is this a good thing?
Given the fact that there are no longer local video stores, like Blockbuster, the concern is that new and young audiences may find it difficult to find, watch and enjoy amazing classical films. Netflix should continue to produce new programming, but should also include more classics from genres including classic movies, horror movies and classic television shows.
According to the American Film Institute, of the top 20 movies of all time, there are surprisingly very few that are available on Netflix. Of the top 20 movies of the last hundred years, only “The Godfather” and “Schindler’s List” are currently available to stream on Netflix. Classic movies that are widely regarded as the best ever made including: “Citizen Kane,” “Casablanca,” “Gone with the Wind” and “Lawrence of Arabia” are all absent from the Netflix streaming library.
To give credit where credit is due, Netflix has produced some amazing television shows including “Black Mirror,” “Stranger Things,” “Big Mouth” and “The Haunting of the Hill House”.
Now that the Halloween season has long passed, it is notable that Netflix’s horror genre leaves much to be desired. Although Netflix’s horror genre may be overflowing with movies, those available to viewers are generally of low quality and are substandard compared to classic horror movies of older times.
Of the top 10 scariest ranked movies according to Esquire Magazine, only one movie, “The Shining,” is available to stream on Netflix. Other classic movies that have inspired reboots, remakes and sequels, such as the original “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Halloween” and “The Night of the Living Dead” are all unavailable on Netflix.
This year, the film industry recently released a new installment of the “Halloween” franchise featuring Jaime Lee Curtis’ character, Laurie Strode, who was in the original movie. “The Walking Dead” is in its ninth season, and recently said goodbye to main character Rick Grimes. In order to properly appreciate both of these horror titles, a viewer really needs to see the originals. However, Netflix seems to be overly focused on lower quality and B-movie horror fare.
While Netflix should be celebrated for providing an expansive library covering a multitude of genres and for producing its own quality content, it’s sadly leaving behind some classic movies, horror films and television shows.
Turning to television shows, while Netflix has produced some interesting television programs, some historically good shows are likewise omitted from the Netflix streaming library. To give credit where credit is due, Netflix has produced some amazing television shows including “Black Mirror,” “Stranger Things,” “Big Mouth” and “The Haunting of the Hill House”.
However, there are a lot of television shows that are conspicuously absent from the Netflix streaming library. Classic television shows that one might expect to see on Netflix, but are unavailable include: “The Sopranos,” “The Wire,” “Seinfeld,” “The Simpsons,” “Freaks and Geeks” and “All in the Family.” It would be a shame for generations who mainly get their television shows from Netflix to miss out on these classic programs.
Netflix is a powerful media source that has a broad base of subscribers. Cultural influence carries with it a great deal of responsibility. While Netflix should be celebrated for providing an expansive library covering a multitude of genres and for producing its own quality content, it’s sadly leaving behind some classic movies, horror films and television shows. These productions make up the foundation of today’s movies and television, and should not become casualties of the digital age.
Photo courtesy of Study Breaks