Wednesday 12 December 2018

So much to see, but do I really want to watch it?

The Crown
The Crown newsdesk

Like most people I feel this sense of peace that I am a subscriber to Netflix. It reassures me that I am connected to the modern world, that I am not missing anything.

Yet it can also give me this strange sensation that I am connected to a more ancient world, a world almost beyond time itself - a world in which there used to be things called "video rental stores", with names like Xtra-vision outside them.

Let me explain: sometimes I'd be scrolling through the fare on offer at Netflix and I'd be thinking what a grand selection of stuff they've got here - that series The Crown, which I watched, and the classic movies, most of which I've seen already, and Get Me Roger Stone. That was good.

Then there's the latest releases. Yeah, I must get to them some time.

And yet I would find that even with this grand selection, I might end up watching nothing.

Which is what brings me back to the olden days, when I would find myself wandering through one of those Xtra-vision stores, marvelling at the variety of entertainment on display, grateful to be living in a time in which such riches were mine to rent for the evening, cherishing that little red membership card as a kind of an essential possession - a bit like the Netflix subscription really.

But there was also this uneasy feeling I used to get in Xtra-vision as I was perusing the fare - that I might well end up watching nothing, that it was something of a miracle indeed that Man in his ingenuity had created this industry which could go to such trouble to make so many things that I didn't really want to see.

And I had forgotten that feeling, until Netflix came along, to bring it all back.

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