Monday, December 12, 2005

In Praise of Netflix

I recently received a free two-week trial for Netflix. And, yes, I know that these "free trials" are nothing more than marketing ploy to compel me, along with millions of other Americans, to join the bandwagon of consumerism.

I have happily joined the masses.

I love watching movies. I'm certainly no great connoisseur (for wise words on that matter, check out Explorations), but I enjoy them. During my first year of teaching, there were times when I simply couldn't bear to look at any more words; even my reading for pleasure fell by the wayside at that time. So movies became my sanity. And I still love to watch them, even though, thankfully, I no longer feel as though I'm constantly drowning in words. And while nothing beats a quiet theater on Friday afternoon after a week of school (where only once have I run into my students, but that's another story), Netflix runs a close second for me.

I used to think that I would be content to stay with my little local videostore with its selection of current movies as well as a good number of British and foreign movies. But at nearly $4.50 a movie, I can run up quite a bill in a month. And even they don't carry everything. Netflix is the perfect solution for someone like me. I have the $14.99/month plan, which allows me to have two movies out at a time, with unlimited rentals in a month. I pick the movies I want and line them up in a queue in the order I prefer. They're shipped to my mailbox, I watch them, and then send them back in a postage-paid envelope that comes with the DVD. In the last two weeks, I've been catching up on season one of "House," one of my favorite TV shows.

And though I have the occasional twinge of guilt that I'm neglecting an independent store (and all the idealistic values that get attached to that concept) in favor of a "big, bad superstore," the deal just outweighs any sense of obligation I might have to the local store.
And, besides, the only reason I feel guilty is that, as the quote under my blog title testifies, I'm a big fan of "You've Got Mail," and, in some way, I feel that joining Netflix is the equivalent of abandoning Meg Ryan and her children's bookshop in favor of Tom Hanks and Fox Books. :-)

So, all that to say, that if you enjoy movies, and find yourself renting an average of three or more a month, you might want to give Netflix a try. I highly recommend it.


Anonymous Christa said...

Your allusions to You've Got Mail have made me want to watch it again for the millionth time. I think it will one of the first movies I watch next week when Christmas break begins. Maybe I can watch it while hanging "more twinkle lights."

Hope your week is going well!

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

Well, you've got me sold!
Alison and I did Blockbuster Online for almost a year. We're taking a break right now, because we've both got a lot going on (grad applications, work issues, etc).
Does that mean we're taking a break from the movies? Not on your life! We're just going to our local library instead. You wouldn't believe how awesome their film collection has gotten. We're still contemplating putting a petition together requiring them to let a person borrow more than two DVDs at a time. That's just not right, seeing that you can borrow ten videos at a time.
Alison and I have separate library cards and yes, I can remember times when we each left the library with 10 videos and 2 DVDs. Even though we put our Blockbuster Online account on hold, we've already set our record this year (most films seen in a year).
But you are so right. The person who invented those through-the-mail systems was a genius. I just like to remember these points when I get that You've Got Mail twinge:
1. Joe Fox was actually a nice guy, most of the time. Even when he was bad, it was fun (taking all the caviar). When Kathleen was bad, it was no fun at all!
2. Have you seen your local video store employees? I've seen a lot of Georges and Christinas, but no Kathleen Kellys. If I ever saw anyone like that, I think I'd cancel my online account right away! :-)

9:23 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

High on the list of what I miss most about Greenville is the wonderful movie selection at the library. Compared to that, my library's video selection is completely pathetic. So I'm quite jealous.

And you're right about Joe Fox -- he's a great guy. :-)

What are you doing? That caviar is a garnish!

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

I too am a Netflix addict. Actually the praise goes to Andrea for sending me the "friend invitation" to "try" Netflix...I too am hooked and now enjoy the ease of having movies delivered to me at any time and having a wide selection to choose from. I am also able to see Andrea's review on movies and have been able to select some great movies for viewing. So, I applaud yet another fantastic, well written review. Ps. I love the mention of "You've got mail" and feel compelled to have a Meg Ryan / Tom Hanks movie marathon!

1:48 PM  

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