in defense of Netflix

I have a subscription to Netflix. I realize this is not frugal. I realize I shouldn’t be watching TV. I do, however, have five points I can make in defense of Netflix.

  1. We don’t have any premium channels other than some Russian language channels. Bubelah really enjoys being able to watch TV in her native language, and I don’t really have a problem with it since otherwise she would hardly ever hear it other than from her family. We canceled all of our other premium channels after we got Netflix.
  2. It controls the quality of our movie viewing. I really liked Rush Hour II. I usually was pretty happy to see it come on TBS, or The Matrix. I thought watching it for the second or third time was no problem. However, when I saw Rush Hour II for the eighth time and watched Sweet Home Alabama for the second time – yes, you heard that right, I am not proud of it – I realized I was really wasting my time. Watching a movie twice is OK. A great movie like The Fountain, Snatch, or The Irony of Fate may be worth watching once a year. But no-one needs to see Blue Streak more than once. With Netflix, I generally ensure that I only watch movies once, although I may use it to see a classic that I haven’t seen in a long time. Right now on my queue I only have two such movies – Wall Street and Dr. Zhivago.
  3. We watch and return movies rapidly. With rare exceptions, we watch a single movie over two nights. After Little Buddy is asleep, the house is cleaned and we’re ready to relax, we’ll usually watch an hour of a movie before turning it off an hour before going to sleep. So we keep one movie two days, return it the next day, receive a new movie the next day. So if I receive a movie Monday, we generally have the next one in our hands Thursday night. Since we have two subscriptions, that means approximately 2-3 movies per week, or approximately 4-7 hours over a seven day period.
  4. I no longer watch any TV other than Netflix. I decided over a month ago to stop watching all TV. I don’t turn our satellite on, ever. Bubelah may watch a program in the evening, and I may watch it too, but for the most part I don’t watch anything except Netflix. If I didn’t have the new movies coming in for entertainment, I might break down and watch The Matrix for the 13th time, and yes, it’s that good.
  5. Netflix broadens your horizons. I have already seen a dozen movies on Netflix that never would have been shown on any channel on American TV. We’ve rented Israeli, Swedish, Russian, Italian and even obscure American films that we never would have seen otherwise. Many of them are good, and some have been uplifting. Some have been horrible, but that’s to be expected. Some have been deeply moving, and I am glad that I saw them.

I know Netflix is not a frugal choice or maybe the best use of time, but I like it and intend to keep it for the time being.