Opinion: Floating Upstream: Netflix and friends’ TV dominance

Mike Richards is a senior English major and a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]

Mike Richards

As we speak, even before we spoke, while you’re thinking about speaking, thinking about thinking, breathing probably, Netflix owns your soul. And that’s OK, bow to your digital streaming service overlords because they are the frontrunners for the next generation of television. Knock twice on the table to show your dominance.

Back in November, Netflix purchased “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” from NBC, which I believe to be one of NBC’s biggest mistakes lately, and damn there are many of those to go around. NBC’s stake in quality is in a slow turbine digging deeper and deeper into its own grave. Nabbing the next piece of Tina Fey’s genius writing ability is what it needed with the loss of “30 Rock,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Community” and the enumerable amount of cancellations. NBC can get about as much done as Congress, and no, I am I not going to indulge on that.

“Community” going to Yahoo isn’t much to brag about, but it shows that confidence lies within the digital streaming services. “House of Cards” is a powerhouse of a television series that leaves everyone fighting to catch a glimpse of Frank and Claire Underwood for about three days a year, figuring they conveniently release them when you can binge-watch them and then cry for the next 362 days until more is released.

Netflix’s new show “Bloodline,” which I enjoy a great deal and highly recommend watching, is a stake into the dying heart of cable television. What this and other recent series have shown is that cable doesn’t give you total freedom. I find myself yearning for the “Law and Order” chime on regular occasions, but not within every show on every channel that isn’t showing a Kardashian, a Daniel Tosh not making me laugh, a display of bad journalism, or a spin-off of what was already a failing series.

New show: CSI: Cable Networking.

Creativity has been lost, and they are fighting to make waves again. But with major names coming to Netflix and other streaming services, it’s very hard for cable to keep fighting. These networks are even beginning to form their own streaming services, thus adding coal to the train of cable’s trip toward irrelevancy. You swim through an endless pool of mediocrity, looking for the shows that weren’t given a good chance or were given a chance out of desperation.

With everything in life, there comes change and transition, and these cable networks are fighting for air as Netflix and friends keep them underwater until they come up with a better idea. Why bother with watching something live when you can wait a day and watch it on Hulu? Why bother in trying to get attached to a show that airs once a week when you can go back and watch every episode of “X-Files” or “Friends” at your own convenience?

Embrace this change because television is not dead — it’s getting a Renaissance.

I’ll be throwing a party on the day that Time Warner Cable announces its demise. 

Contact Mike Richards at [email protected].