TV in a State of Netflux: The Impact of Netflix Originals


As you may know Netflix’s first original series that matters (did anyone even watch Lilyhammer?) has come out and it’s kind of a big deal. But for whatever reason no one I’ve talked to in person is treating it as such. Even my professors who are paid to teach about the media industry have barely brought it up, and consequently the students don’t seem to really think about why this matters. Yes, it has been briefly mentioned that Netflix is doing original content, but that isn’t what matters here. What does is the fact that they’ve released the entire season in one big drop. This model makes sense theoretically since Netflix is popular for binge watching, but as the show’s first-run this is something both revolutionary and completely problematic. It’s a move that could change the industry as we know it.

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Are The ’90s Really “All That”?

Nostalgia is word that’s thrown around frequently today, yet its a concept that appears to be dying.  Earlier this month I came across a blog post by author A. Lee Martinez titled “A Post-Nostalgia Society”, which triggered thoughts about the effects of living in a world where nostalgia has become a meaningless word.  At its core the word means the desire to return to a former time, but living in the year 2011 its near impossible for the youths and young adults of today’s world to experience this.  As Martinez points out everything someone under the age of 40 grew up with is still easily accessible, and not just in its original form but in countless remakes and reimaginings.  In the article Martinez states:

“Traditionally, nostalgia comes from a longing for something you used to have.  It’s that warm fuzzy feeling we get when we’re reminded of something we haven’t thought about in years.  It’s remembering something, usually through the positive spectrum of faulty memory, in a fond way.  It’s a movie you haven’t seen in over a decade.  Or a toy you threw away when you were twelve.  Or a TV show that you can’t quite remember the title of but you’re pretty sure at some point somebody fought a dragon with a laser gun and that it was the greatest thing you’d ever seen up to that point… Nostalgia also used to mean you were allowed to outgrow something.”

And now Viacom plans to profit off this unwillingness to outgrow our past with the launch of a new programming block on the channel TeenNick centered around the nostalgia of young adults from the Millennials generation.  Titled “The ’90s Are All That”, the block is made up of classic Nickelodeon shows that aired during the 1990s.  The first series to air on it are All That, Kenan and Kel, Doug, and Clarissa Explains It All, but the network says they’ll add more to the lineup as time goes on. Continue reading