Stranger Things Have Happened

binge watching

Cable, satellite dishes, and even TV sets are slowly vanishing from American homes. They’re being replaced by tablets, desktop computers, game consoles, Rokus, and even cell phones. Almost everything can be streamed on any kind of screen. At our house, we use the Amazon Fire TV stick.

Thanks to smart televisions and internet access, we have access to several different streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. It’s amazing how these streaming companies have changed the way we consume entertainment. Little kids no longer know what a commercial break is. And, phrases like “Netflix and chill” or “binge-watching” are now a part of our lexicon.

Streaming services have also proven themselves to be big players, even at the Emmys. Hulu became the first streaming service to win an Emmy for best drama in 2017 for The Handmaid’s Tale. This year, HBO and Netflix dominated the Emmy nominations. HBO had 137 nominations; Netflix had 117. By comparison, NBC was nominated for 58 Emmys.

My niece recently came to visit and she got me hooked on Stranger Things. I watched the first season and got half way through the second season in less than a week!

binge watchingIn another decade, Stranger Things probably would have been made as a movie. That’s even how the creators of the series, the Duffer brothers, envisioned it. But Matt Duffer said: “Nobody wanted to hear movie ideas; they wanted to hear television ideas.” So, he and his brother, Ross, turned their story, which plays homage to eighties pop culture, into an eight-part series for the small screen. And I’m not exaggerating when I say ‘small screen’. Darren Aronofsky, director of the Oscar-nominated film Black Swan, says he now designs his films to look good on an iPhone!

Although I still prefer streaming on our big screen TV in the living room over watching a show on my phone, no matter how you slice it, I’m addicted to Netflix. I think the “Skip Intro” button may be one of the greatest inventions of this decade. And, as for the “Continue watching?” message, I confess that I’ve seen it more than a few times. It’s like Netflix is mocking me: “Are you still watching? You’ve been here for three hours and you’re covered in potato chip crumbs. Get a grip on yourself, girl!”

Now that I’m nearing the end of Stranger Things, I need a new binge-worthy show. Any suggestions?

Happy Monday,