Netflix and I are parting company. We’ve been together for a year or two, enjoying an infrequent, on/off relationship, but it’s finally come to an end. The decision is entirely mine.
I just wasn’t finding enough time to make use of the service, and the £5.99 a month was a regular reminder of this fact. I signed up using their free-for-three-months deal, plus I got £20 via a cashback site, so I in effect got seven months’ worth for free. During our time together I watched the whole of the last season of Breaking Bad, which pretty much justified having Netflix altogether. I may have watched a handful of films and comedy stand-up shows, but in general I wasn’t consuming enough of it to make it good value. Having a toddler in the house makes these kind of things harder to commit to, as well.
Earlier this year I discovered that I could access the US Netflix library by amending the DNS in the Netflix settings on my Xbox 360, which although not strictly legitimate meant that I had a far wider range of shows and films to watch. Seeing as I was a paying customer of Netflix I don’t really see anything wrong with this. Once I had it set up, I watched a bunch of films and TV shows I could never have watched on the UK version. This deal ended once Netflix amended their DNS codes, and although I could have sought out another one that worked via the plethora of forums and Youtube videos available, I couldn’t really be bothered, especially since I was hardly using it any more, anyway. So I cancelled the service.
Respect to Netflix by the way, for their no bullshit cancel option on their website. You log in, go to My Account and there’s a big ‘cancel’ button. You hit that, confirm it, and you’re done. No navigation to the depths of the website, no filling in forms to justify yourself, and best of all no ‘call us to cancel’ bullshit, where you’d have to negotiate menu options and then discuss the whole thing with a sales person intent on retaining your custom. You can also resume your service at any point.
Because I cancelled mid-billing period, I have until 6th July to use what I’d paid for, so I’ve been trawling the site to find things to watch in my snatched spare time in the evenings. Bearing in mind I am now back to the UK-only library, there are fewer items to choose from. I find myself watching films and documentaries on Netflix via my iPad, usually whilst multitasking with household chores, like ironing, washing up, or making/eating breakfast. Given the less than full concentration I’ve been affording my recent Netflix viewing, I’ve been looking for decent documentaries to watch/listen to, rather than films with a plot I could miss out on. But I’ve watched a mix of both recently. Here’s a list of my recent consumption;
- Only God Forgives – I didn’t realise this was a Nicolas Winding Refn film until afterwards, but it has all the hallmarks of his films – slow-moving, sullen, and violent. Refn also directed Drive, which I loved, but Only God Forgives is not as good in my opinion.
- Craigslist Joe – This is an independent documentary made by a guy who documents his travels across the US only using Craigslist to find accommodation and places to eat etc. It’s interesting, but I found the music soundtrack a bit annoying, which started to grate on me after a while.
- Route Irish – An independent British film about a military contractor struggling to cope with the death of his best mate. Enjoyed this, but I found some of the acting a bit strained, I suspect this is due to the script being semi-improvised in places to make it more naturalist. Plus, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that some of the cast weren’t actors, but people who had lived and worked in those circles.
- Narc – About an undercover cop in Detroit. I haven’t finished this one, but it looks OK so far.
If I manage to cram in any more films/shows before my subscription ends I’ll make another post. I’d like to check out more documentaries on Netflix, but nothing has really caught my attention from what I’ve seen. I loved Indie Game: The Movie, and I’m looking for more stuff like this. The more witty, intelligent, and unusual the better. Gimme ideas… (but they probably won’t be on UK Netflix anyway)