Netflix is Trying to Kill Me

unbreakable-kimmy-schmidt-ban3I’m pretty sure that Netflix is trying to kill me. They’ve released four full seasons of TV shows that appeal to me in less than two months. They’re making my TV watching schedule next to impossible. I already barely have time for all of the broadcast and cable shows I want to watch. How am I supposed to squeeze in another 6 to 13 hours in a weekend?

The answer is, I haven’t been able to. Gone are the days of the first seasons of House of Cards and Orange is the New Black where I could start them on a Friday after work and finish them by Sunday afternoon. I require more sleep than I used to even a couple of years ago and I’m trying to be more convincing as a responsible adult. I’m still finishing the shows in less than a week after their initial release dates so that responsibility is very much a work in progress.

Since I’m on a slightly delayed viewing schedule, I’ve only had a chance to see House of Cards season 3, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season 1, and Bloodline season 1. The internet tells me that last weekend’s Daredevil was very good, though, so I look forward to starting it soon. Probably tonight, if I’m being honest with myself. Of the three that I’ve seen, I’ve really only truly loved Kimmy Schmidt.

House of Cards seems to think it’s a better show than it really is and has the feeling of quality without delivering the substance. It either needs to be more realistic or crazier. Either way, it needs to be more consistent with who its characters are, especially Robin Wright’s Claire Underwood. They seemed to completely change who she was and how people perceived her halfway through the season in order to suit their plot. Bloodline was well-acted and came to an impressive end but it took way too long to get there. It’s like the writers just decided that people were likely to binge watch the show so there was no need to create intriguing individual episode arcs. That would have been fine in a shorter season but when you have 13 episodes, the viewers need some signals to break the story up into digestible bits. Fortunately, Kyle Chandler, Linda Cardellini, and Ben Mendelsohn were good enough to hold my interest but I hope they change up how they structure individual episodes and the season as a whole if they get a second season. Sometimes the restrictions of more traditional television help guide writers and producers to find creative solutions.

Unlike its dramatic counterparts, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was a pure joy to watch. It’s probably not fair to compare a joke-driven half-hour sitcom to an hour-long drama but it is notable that the season I enjoyed the most was the one made for network television. Kimmy Schmidt was created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock (30 Rock) for NBC but rather than air an actually funny sitcom, the network decided to sell the show. Netflix bought the already-produced first season and a second season right away. I’m so happy this show is in my life. Its network roots showed in that they obviously made the episodes more or less in order and were finding out which characters worked better than others as some seemed to disappear somewhat abruptly throughout the season. Even though they were obviously figuring things out as they went along, I still enjoyed every episode and that’s largely down to Ellie Kemper. Without her relentless sunshine while able to convincingly give hints of darkness, it just wouldn’t have worked. Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane, and Jane Krakowski rounded out the main ensemble and just getting to hear the theme song every episode was joyous. I still catch myself singing it.

Besides looking forward to watching Daredevil soon, I’m also excited to see Orange is the New Black season 3 and Wet Hot American Summer season 1 this summer. The trailer for OITNB season 3 was released last week and it’s so good. I was already excited to get at least one season without Larry but now I’m excited for what will actually be in the season, too.

Netflix has obviously figured out that if they average at least one new season of one of their original shows per month then they can keep their subscriber numbers up. I just wish they’d take my general health and welfare into consideration when developing their business model.

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