Content War Era: How Spectators Became Casualties

Raise your hand if you’ve had enough of this content war nonsense, or at least read this to confirm I’m not alone.

First, let’s start with this “original” entitlement from all of the streaming platforms and services, which are merely acquiring any garbage that comes their way. Yes, garbage. I have watched an extensive amount of content and the only significance it brought to my mind was: the lost time I will never recover: a mind-“dumbing” regression; and ultimately, an insult to the intellect of any functioning brain out there.

I think my main problem pertains to Netflix. I hang onto it because I’ve been with it since its DVD days. When I used to get those Mad Men DVD’s in my mailbox, a couple at a time, the feeling was nothing but satisfying. Same as was the experience of going to Blockbuster and buying Haagen Daz ice cream, Sour Patch kids, and microwave popcorn with a soda. Very satisfying. And, the transition to online streaming with full access to almost all shows, that were previously available from all networks and distribution companies, was extremely satisfying. When Netflix began it’s glory days it was fun watching a new format of TV Shows, which I could stream all at once the day it premiered. Let alone the fact that they had huge names in the credits – as big as movie stars going from the big screen to the small screen, and not the usual way around. I was ecstatic.

For the past two or three years, I hit the unluckiest downward slope of wrong decisions in choosing what to watch on Netflix. This insane billion dollar spending to own original content to compete with everyone else, while being followed by example by other newcomers and streaming services, is disrupting the quality of the general content. And, therefore, ripping the value off of true, passionate filmmaking. For instance, have you seen Open House (2017)? How about Mute (2018)? Or Triple Frontier (2019)? The saddest part is the fact that all these movies have big budgets with incredible cast and crew.  It would be the equivalent of a filmmaker’s dream, in which every dreamer gets to make a movie. But wait, what about development? What about reading the script before starting production? It seems like everything is being greenlit with whoever holds the credentials, in a very quick turnaround period, making it almost impossible to develop the story into something magnificent. The most brilliant films took years for the writer-directors to conceive and craft as a masterpiece.

Now that the race is tightening with Disney+ coming in on hovercraft destruction mode, Netflix launched the never-before interactive episode of Black Mirror in an attempt to “innovate” on user experience. Idea – good. Idealism – high. Ideal – no. Let’s put it this way: if it’s hard enough as it is to create one episode or one movie, how could there possibly be five different storylines that perfectly intertwine with each other in order to change their direction into a new storyline. It is obvious that it would be more of a fun and subtle way to make you click buttons and assign certain commands, which give rise to feelings of satisfaction, similar to that of playing videogames. And in reality, you are just being guided through one storyline that diverts into tangents, only to take you back and make you repeat everything like Groundhog Day. I’ll give it A for effort, but D for the content. This, however, didn’t insult me as much as the new interactive show they released called Wild vs You.

In the first episode of Wild vs You, Bear Grylls is taking you on this cool adventure in the jungle and we need to help him save a woman in danger. It’s just like a theme park ride, just put on your 3D Glasses and embark on this family-fun adventure. You can help him by picking which insect he should eat, or if he should grab a rope or a slingshot, and guide him from crossing on a log to swinging from a vine. I felt a triple decade regression in my mind when all I could play on a black screen were green lines that I controlled by pressing up-down, left-right, and enter.

Dear Netflix,

Here is the solution to your interactive initiative: instead of spending millions in producing interactive content that insults our intelligence, try a partnership with the gaming industry and create a fusion of entertainment all-in-one platform. Hey kids, how about playing and watching Minecraft on Netflix? Fans of Zelda, wouldn’t it be awesome if you could watch an original Netflix movie and play the game of Zelda??

You’re welcome,

– Apfo Spaces

Let’s stop the content war. The spectators are the casualties.

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