Tag Archives: Netflix

Netflix’s Asian Erasure and Racism

We all know about Netflix. In fact, it often seems synonymous with college nowadays. Everyone has it, and everyone uses it. There are hundreds of shows to watch online, some recent and some old. Some of them are even Netflix originals. Many are based off previous characters and/or are revamps of old shows. There are several Marvel superhero TV shows, for example. But one of Netflix’s newest TV shows is based off an anime that many may have heard of. Netflix is doing a live action remake of Deathnote, and they completely messed up.

anime
“Worse, they’ve completely erased the Japanese people from the show. Asian people get so little representation in the media as it is.” Photo from: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/af03a0ff80f68be7963f4bf0ac3907b8a21eb6f3d742b5c1b645de387a6c6cff.jpg

This is a TV show about a Japanese person in Japan dealing with, among many other things, the Japanese legal system. Yet, they place the show in America and make the main character (and presumably the rest of the cast) white. The show isn’t even out yet, and they’ve already ruined a large part of the entire premise of the show. Worse, they’ve completely erased the Japanese people from the show. Asian people get so little representation in the media as it is. Taking a show like this and completely erasing them is both salt in the wound and a blatant insult to Asian people, and more specifically, Japanese people.

This type of action shows blatant discrimination towards Japanese people. Here was a perfect opportunity to hire Japanese actors, portray some aspects of Japanese culture, and give Japanese people heroes and villains that they could identify with and relate to, so they wouldn’t have to feel like they are on the outside looking in. This is white washing to such an extreme that it seems like a very deliberate insult directed at Japanese people. Everything about this show came from a uniquely Japanese perspective. Now it is just about a white boy becoming a serial killer, and if we wanted to watch that we could just turn on the news.

5 things that happen when you do something creative instead of watching Netflix

Twenty episodes into a new season of that show you’re addicted to, you start to feel a guilty sensation every time you press that “Next episode” button. So turn off the TV and put down the remote and do something creative like writing a story (or maybe a script for your own irresistible show) or reading a book or drawing a picture. Here are seven things that happen when you decide to hit “Power off” instead of “Ok”.

1) You have more energy

While watching Netflix is highly entertaining, it doesn’t make your brain work like being creative and using your imagination does. Netflix will lull you into a lazy mood, but doing something creative is like a work out for your brain. You know those amazing endorphins you feel straight after a great workout? Your brain gets those too. Being creative will make you more alert and feel far more productive.

Put creativity above your Netflix habits. Graphic by Katie Gibson
Put creativity above your Netflix habits. Graphic by Katie Gibson

2) It will defeat mental blocks

Netflix is an easy way to avoid writing when you have writer’s block or reading when you can’t focus. However, those are mental blocks that you need to work through, not put off. I tried to put them off one time and ended up going two years without writing a word or reading outside of school. Don’t let your brain get lazy.

3) You’ll be happier

I know, I know, nothing will make you happier than *insert favorite show here*. But think of all those days you spent staring at your TV without moving, forcing poor Netflix to make sure you were okay fifteen times. After days like that, you’re bound to feel pretty crappy. That’s just human nature. People want to feel like they’re getting stuff done. Do something with your brain will give you that sense of productivity and keep you from feeling miserable after a day of binge watching TV.

4) You’ll become more creative

If you run a mile every day, you’ll likely to be able to start increasing your distance and times. The same goes for your brain. That mental workout mentioned early, will help you generate creative ideas faster which will help you in all aspects of your life.

5) You’ll be a more interesting person

Next time you go out into the real world, keep track of how many people are talking about Netflix and TV shows. That’s completely cool, but it will make you seem far more interesting when people find out you can write a novel or draw a killer picture or compose an amazing piece of music. Personally, I feel like I’ve lost my “sparkle” in college mostly due to being overworked and stressed constantly. But I get a little bit of that “sparkle” back when I can talk about a book that I’m reading or a novel I’m trying to write rather than just discussing how subpar season two of “Orange Is The New Black” was in comparison to season one.

Once again, absolutely NOTHING is wrong with watching television. However, you will be a happier, more well rounded human being if you break that bubble every once and a while and shake things up.

Narcos is the new Breaking Bad

Netflix Originals are the new HBO shows. Netflix really takes drama to a whole new level with shows like “Orange is the New Black:. As much I love OITNB, Netflix has completely outdone themselves with their new series, “Narcos”.

I kept seeing references to “Narcos” but didn’t give it much thought. Honestly, it didn’t look like something I’d be interested in. I’ve never claimed to be an action movie or show fanatic. Out of sheer boredom, I clicked on “Narcos” on Netflix and my life will never be the same.

Narcos is badass. For one, it’s based on real events in the life of Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar. The show often references actual pictures and videos of his real-life story. For example, Escobar’s famous mugshot where he’s grinning from ear to ear.

Is Narcos as intriguing as Breaking Bad? Graphic from IMDb
Is Narcos as intriguing as Breaking Bad? Graphic from IMDb

The next reason you should make time to figure out what the hype is about is the acting. The actors aren’t anyone immediately recognizable. However, that doesn’t hold the show back at all. Detective Murphy (Boyd Holbrook) had my heart the first time we see him in the intro of the season.

The best part of the show though is its attempt at getting into the heads of it’s characters. Wagner Moura, who plays Escobar, portrays the human emotions so vividly and perfectly. The show will also pull your emotions in so many different directions. At one point you’ll hate Escobar, yet during the next episode you’re quietly cheering for him.

These actors do such an amazing job of making you realize even the most sociopathic people are still humans with real emotions and families of their own.

If you liked “Breaking Bad”, you’ll love “Narcos”. “Breaking Bad” was very raw in a violent sense. I’m the kind of person who cringes when I see someone get hurt on TV, but if you’re the kind of person who likes action and gore, you’ll be on the edge of your seat watching how things go down.

Another more obvious reason you need to see “Narcos” is the sheer rawness of its details. It’s obviously very gory as Pablo and his men take the lives of thousands, I mean THOUSANDS, of people.

As horrifying as that is, it’s all based on real events. They even show crime scene photos at some points. The producers have done an amazing job in fact-checking while still making the show more desirable.

I will warn you, however, that there are a lot of sex scenes. If you think OITNB pushed the limits with their sex scenes, you’re going to be very embarrassed if you ever watch this show with your parents in the room.

Escobar is very committed to his wife, but also has a mistress so you can expect there to be a lot of sex scenes. There are also some references to the horrific sex trafficking that went on at this time in Colombia.

Overall, “Narcos” is just a very addicting show. If you’re looking for a new show to binge-watch, “Narcos” should be your first choice. I’m really looking forward to see what happens in Season 2 and how the producers push the envelope even further.

Is fall television still a big deal?

For decades, television programming has been centered on a big viewing tradition, Fall television.  America’s biggest, oldest, and most watched broadcasting networks such as NBC, ABC, CBS, & FOX pretentiously advertise the upcoming viewing season with endless TV commercials, and ads that appear in other news outlets such as magazines, newspapers, and social media. But this is a tradition that should be done away with in 2015.

Fall TV used to be a big deal. Graphic by Katie Gibson
Fall TV used to be a big deal. Graphic by Katie Gibson

For starters, TV executives often tend to cater to one specific group of viewers. The 18-25 year old demographic. Since the invention of TV, this demographic was who watched the most Television programs; however, times have changed, and the average young American leans more toward online streaming services.

These streaming sites which have caught most people’s attention, such as Netflix, Hulu plus, or Amazon prime, have come in and changed how and when young adults watch television.

Not only boosting cheap monthly prices, but also giving viewers the ability to view at their demand. TV execs should take notice of this drastic change and cater more specifically to an audience of a certain age. Since viewing patterns have changed so should they.

Also, many 18-25 year olds myself included, don’t seem to watch television the way our parents did. So, having a fall primetime schedule is useless.

Of course, there are popular shows from Fall TV that have premiered recently and raked in some of the best ratings cable television has seen in the past few years. For example, shows like Fox’s Empire or ABC’S How to Get Away with Murder, have gained a huge following becoming trending topics on social media site twitter every week once a new episode premieres, even having their own special emoticon each week that relates to the show. But that’s the only good that has come out of TV in recent years. Big networks like those aforementioned should, have their hottest new shows sent directly to online streaming services.

Maybe then they will gain a bigger following and re-captures those sky-high ratings of past decades. Do you agree or disagree with my sentiments? Feel free to leave your opinion in the comments section.

Five of the funniest TV series on Netflix Instant

 

All of the Arrested Development seasons are on Netflix. Graphic from Industrial Color
All of the Arrested Development seasons are on Netflix. Graphic from Industrial Color

There are two things in this world that are absolutely amazing: binging on Netflix and choking on tears of laughter. Thankfully, with Netflix’s abundant array of hilarious shows, you can do both the time. Now we’ve all seen the classics such as “How I Met Your Mother”, but here are a few shows that surprisingly few people have seen, but are laugh-out-loud hilarious.

1) “The League”

“The League” is about a group of friends who are in a fantasy football league together. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but the show revolves more around the characters’ hilarious antics than football. Word to the wise, this show is not one to watch with the parents.

2) “Arrested Development”

When the wealthy Bluth family finds themselves facing legal actions due to bad business practices, their estranged son, Michael, and his son, George Michael, return home to help their family. The show is crazy and delightfully awkward and will leave you in stitches. Starring big name stars such as Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Michael Cera it’s no wonder that this show has become a cult classic.

3) “Blue Mountain State”

College football? Insane parties? Boatloads of booze? What more could you want in this extremely raunchy comedy? “Blue Mountain State”, known to fans as simply “BMS” follows the lives of college football players and their booze ridden, drug filled misadventures. While the show is very funny and must see for all college students, this is another example of a show NOT to watch with your parents.

4) “Psych”

With the abundance of crime shows nowadays, it baffles me how many people have yet to watch “Psych”. The laugh-out-loud comedy follows Shawn Spencer, a man with super observation skills, who fakes being psychic in order to help the local police solve cases in the area. The show has crime, mystery, hilarious jokes, and romance. It’s the ultimate package.

5) “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

This Netflix original is extremely quirky, but also very funny. It revolves around a woman who was kidnapped as a teenager and kept in a bunker with three other women by a crazy pastor for over a decade. After being rescued, she moves to New York City to start her life over, but due to being held captive for so long, she is stuck in her teenage mentality and completely disconnected from the real world. Created by the remarkable Tina Fey, this show will not disappoint.

Be prepared to laugh, be prepared to binge-watch.

 

Recent changes on Netflix

Whenever fall or any cold, rainy day hits, I binge-watch Netflix. I barely watch TV anymore. Our generation is obsessed with Netflix. The month of September has passed, and with the upcoming month of October, Netflix is making a lot of changes. Here’s where to find out what’s coming and going in Netflix this month.

Maybe you should actually watch Netflix and Chill before your favorite shows leave. Graphic from Know Your Meme
Maybe you should actually watch Netflix and Chill before your favorite shows leave. Graphic from Know Your Meme

Whenever Netflix adds some more movies or TV shows, they always decide to take something out, leaving us with bittersweet feelings. We want the new shows, but we don’t want to lose the old ones. I believe that it’s important for the Netflix industry to do this every so often because they don’t want the audience to get bored of the same content and we always want new movies or TV shows to watch.

Some highlights from this article that the CW network fans should be excited for are additions of many favorites like “iZombie” Season 1, “The Vampire Diaries” Season 6, “Jane the Virgin”, “Arrow” Season 3, as well as the new series, “The Flash” Season 1.

Netflix is definitely better in the fall are because of all the horror movies that are added to its library. Many horror and/or thrilling movies are being added this month including: “Boogie nights”, “Curse of Chucky”, “The Devil at 4 O’clock”, “The Nightmare and even a favorite TV show”, “The American Horror Story: Freak Show”. Unfortunately some movies like “The Nightmare on Elm Street”, “The Devil’s Reject”, and “The Exorcist” are being removed, so viewers might want to watch them before they’re gone.

Along with new content that Netflix brings, unfortunately many are leaving this month. Some others that we are saying goodbye to include: “Ella Enchanted”, “The Braxton Family Values”, “Saturday Night Live” and many more.

But not to worry, because more is coming until October 31st, so we will survive this fall, binge-watching our favorite site, Netflix.

Pick Up A Book Instead Of The Remote

book or remote
Photo By: Danielle Johnson. Student: Tia Strickland

Most people in college don’t just pick up a book for fun anymore. Between textbooks and study guides no one wants to read a book after all of their schoolwork. Most people relax by watching Netflix or TV but a good alternative is reading.

It may sound crazy to some but if you find a book you actually enjoy and are interested in then reading can be a great escape from a hectic life. Books serve as an outlet from the real world and let you live in someone else’s life for a while.

Books, if you pick the right one for you, can be just like watching a television show or series except you get to imagine it yourself. At first, it might be hard to actually pick up a book instead of binge watching your favorite series on Netflix. Once you get into your book you will soon realize you would rather read it than watch anything.

Reading also gives you some peace and quiet while telling you a story. Another reason to read a book every now and then would be to compare it to the movie made after it. Normally, the book is way better so you would be getting the better interpretation of the story by choosing to read. Some people say they know they would not like reading for fun but how would they know if they’ve never tried?

If someone gets the right book they will most likely enjoy it and want to keep reading it to see what happens or how it turns out. It’s just like picking out a series to watch on TV; everyone looks for a plot he or she’ll be interested in.

In conclusion, when you have free time, choose to pick up a book instead of the remote and you will soon grow to love reading. Escape your crazy world for a few hundred pages and free your imagination.

Movies and shows to feed your Netflix addiction

netflix logoLet’s all face it, although Netflix is one of the best things to ever grace our laptop screens, it can be a real headache to scroll through the hundreds of options to decide what to watch every night. Well pop some popcorn and get comfy because I’ve narrowed down your options to make choosing the right movie much easier.

To help you out even more, for each movie I’ll be rating it’s “Gore Factor” (so you don’t pick the wrong movie to watch while eating dinner), it’s “Laugh Factor”, and it’s level of sexual content. Each of these are on an easy scale of 1-10, 1 being minimal gore, laughs, or sex and 10 being absolutely disgusting, absolutely hilarious, or “absolutely don’t watch this with your mom!”

1) Hercules (2014):
-Gore Factor: 6
-Laugh Factor: 3
-Sexual Content: 1

Although the Disney classic is amazing and you should totally be watching it about once a year, this version features the beloved legend of Hercules, but with a ton of twists and turns. It has the whole package- action, some genuinely funny moments, and Greek mythology. What more could you want?

2) The Wolf of Wall Street
-Gore Factor: 1
-Laugh Factor: 7
-Sexual Content: 10

I realize that this is a fairly universally loved movie, but I’m hoping to reach those of you who, like me, have avoided watching this movie believing it to be some boring business drama. Last year, I finally got bored enough that I decided to give “The Wolf of Wall Street” a chance and I realized that I have never been so wrong to judge a movie by it’s trailer. “The Wolf of Wall Street” is more of a smart comedy in my opinion than anything. It will honestly make you mad that Leonard Dicaprio has yet to win an Oscar because it’s that good. Seriously, this movie will make you laugh, cry, and hate the 1% even more than you already did.

3) The Skeleton Twins
-Gore Factor: 1
-Laugh Factor: 3
-Sexual Content: 5

“The Skeleton Twins” is an independent movie starring the amazing and multi-talented Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, who play estranged twins brought together by a suicide attempt. While technically a “dark” comedy, this movie discusses very serious issues such as mental illness, suicide, infidelity and sexuality. Warning: don’t watch this thinking that it’s going to be hilarious just because it stars two terrific comedians. This movie is extremely dark and will make you think more than laugh. It’s truly a masterpiece, but not the kind of movie that you want to watch if you’re having a bad day and need cheering up.

4) Heathers

-Gore Factor: 2
-Laugh Factor: 6
-Sexual Content: 4

On the subject of dark comedies, if you haven’t seen “Heathers,” the 1988 cult classic starring Winona Rider and Christian Slater, then you need to cancel whatever plans you made for the night. For such a famous movie, too many people in our generation have yet to see it. For those of you who don’t know, “Heathers” is about a high school student named Veronica who somehow finds herself best friends with the three most popular (and mean) girls in school, all named Heather. When she meets the new boy in town, J.D., he offers a suggestion for solving her problems with her horrible friends- kill them. In addition to being twisted and funny, “Heathers” provides fantastically sarcastic social commentary on the minds of high-schoolers.

5) Narcos
-Gore Factor: 4
-Laugh Factor: 1
-Sexual Content: 9

This is a Netflix original series instead of a movie, but it still deserves a mention on this list. Taking place in the 80’s, “Narcos” follows the life and work of Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar. The series features ample amounts of sex, drugs, and crime drama. Warning: about 90% of the show is spoken in Spanish with English subtitles so if you’re unable to handle subtitles, this is not the show for you, but you’d really be missing out. Also, please use caution when watching this show as it has a tendency to make you binge-watch and lose an entire day.

Happy Netflixing!

 

 

King Netflix the great expands to Asia

Move over all you cute, fluffy puppies. Man has found a new best friend, and its name is Netflix. Netflix is taking over America’s living room and has no plan of moving out. The video-streaming provider began streaming in 2007 and has only gained popularity since. It has monopolized everyone’s free time and even some not-so-free time. You have homework? Who cares! Watch Netflix. You have to leave in ten minutes to get to class and you haven’t even showered yet? That’s okay! Go ahead and finish that episode of “Friends.” Netflix gives instant gratification and allows the viewer to binge-watch every episode of every season with the click of a button.

Not only does Netflix stream movies and TV shows that date back to the 1940s, but they also stream shows that have just aired. They even create their own television shows. “Orange is the New Black” is now one of the most popular and successful shows in the entertainment industry and that was all thanks to the brilliant creators at Netflix. They allow more provocative and mature content to stream from their company, which opens up the door for more creativity and controversial topics to be discussed in the media. You would never be able to see any of the members of the LGBTQ community having sex, transgender people actually being represented appropriately and respectfully, or hear the f-bomb being dropped. Netflix produces content that represents real-life people and that’s why it’s so popular and refreshing to the American viewer.ruby rose

However, North America isn’t the only continent who wants quality content. Netflix is now expanding into Asia! The streaming service launched in Japan last week and has plans to expand throughout the entire region, including India and China, in 2016. Although, because of the strict censorship by the government, Netflix will have to edit their content to be approved by other countries, specifically China, in Asia. It will be difficult for Netflix to expand into more conservative countries, but with the overwhelming demand for new content I think Netflix will conquer Asia and then eventually the rest of the world.

Netflix is taking over the world. Not only is it great for Netflix, it is also great for the world. By introducing new ideas and a new creative medium to the rest of the world, it enables the ability to connect and communicate with people across the world through entertainment. No other media, as of right now, is able to do that and that’s why Netflix is so original, popular, and more than simply just a way to watch your favorite TV shows.

Netflix is opening doors to new ideas, new concepts, and successfully represents all races and sexualities. It’s refreshing and allows other people to open their minds to different walks of life and maybe even acceptance in the process. Netflix definitely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

 

 

Highlanders Anonymous: Diets, Netflix, and so much more

How do I even diet?

To start a diet, you need a good reason  and a clear goal. Once you have those, you can plot out the course to success. The closer  track you keep of your progress, the more motivated you will be. There are a variety of  free online resources to help you diet in a safe and healthy way.

food weight
“Diet in a safe way that’s healthy.”

 

How much Netflix is too much?

Once you’ve started flaking out on commitments or become buried alive in an avalanche of dirty laundry. At that point, you may be escaping from reality a bit too much.

What’s the best way to keep from falling behind in my classes? I’m just trying to make it to spring break.

First of all, it’s good that you have something to look forward to. Hang in there, okay? The best way to keep from falling behind is to keep track of when everything is due. Also, keep in close contact with your professors to avoid confusion. Turn in assignments early if possible. Then you can cruise by until you finally get to relax over break.

I’m so over being stuck inside the house during snow days. How do I keep myself from going crazy?

Enjoy the snow to its fullest–go outside and be active. You can always study and spend some quality time with your roommates. There are many conventional types of entertainment to enjoy, too.

Dust off the old board games from the closet or switch the PS2 back on. Better yet, do some actual dusting. That will help you burn off all that excess energy that you’ve built up from being stuck around the house. Get your spring cleaning done way early. It’s helpful to get things done in a more zen environment. There isn’t much of a downside to cleaning your house or going the extra mile to clean things you usually ignore. After all, you have all the time in the world.

I feel like I’m stuck in my major. Am I just wasting my money going on this way?

If you feel like you’re stuck in your major, maybe you should be exploring other options. If that’s a big or expensive leap for you, talk to people in your field that already have the job you want. Speaking to those professionals will help you get some perspective and direction on what you need to achieve your goals.

Treat yo’self

Many of us have already failed to make our New Year’s resolutions come true, especially about diets or exercising. Diets and exercise are particularly hard when it’s well below freezing outside and all you want to do is enjoy your electric blanket. Even if you have been snacking on Doritos while binge-watching “Bates Motel” on Netflix, it’s important to remember that it’s still the beginning of the year,.You have quite a while to make yourself proud this year.

Personally, I think New Year’s resolutions are just destined to fail. It seems like every time I try to set goals for the new year, I’m so hard on myself that I just get discouraged and give up. It’s important that we all remember that we need to be patient with ourselves and to not punish ourselves with painful diets or going too hard at the gym.

My mantra when I’m trying to eat healthier is, “one good meal won’t make you lose weight, and one bad meal won’t make you fat.” It’s important to find a good balance. The last thing you want to do when trying to diet is to take away all of the foods that you most enjoy.

I have never–and will never–consider salad a meal unless there’s a chicken breast involved in it. It makes me cringe when I see girls Many of us have already failed to make our New Year’s resolutions come true, especially about diets or exercising. Diets and exercise are particularly hard when it’s well below freezing outside and all you want to do is enjoy your electric blanket. Even if you have been snacking on Doritos while binge-watching “Bates Motel” on Netflix, it’s important to remember that it’s still the beginning of the year,.You have quite a while to make yourself proud this year.

picking at salads they clearly don’t like as they sigh about their diet. Dieting shouldn’t feel like a prison sentence. You should still eat foods that you like and treat yourself every now and then.

I’m no nutritionist, but I believe the best way to make yourself feel good and to treat your body right is to limit your alcohol intake. I’ve never woken up hungover and thought, “wow, I’m really glad I did that.” Drinking not only causes a lot of shame and confusion, it’s incredibly bad for your body. I like to get tipsy from time to-time and have fun, but that shouldn’t be a weekly thing. It’s easy in college to lose track of just how much you’re drinking in a week. Last semester I limited myself to one night of heavy drinking every two weeks. Not surprisingly, I lost a bit of weight. On top of that, I felt better and more positive.

Finally, the most important thing to keep in mind when pursuing your health-related New Year’s resolutions, is a goal . It’s easy to set marks such as, “I want to lose ten pounds by spring break.” However, a more graceful solution is to not focus on the numbers on the scale, but to focus on the way you feel. If you feel weak or displeased with yourself, find ways to create positive feelings. I’ve found that doing yoga and eating something that tastes good and is good for me always makes me feel more at ease.

If going to the gym or eating a nutritious meal will make you feel better, do that. If you’ve had a bad day and all you want to do is eat a big bowl of ice cream, do it. One bad meal and one bad day won’t completely ruin your goals, so long as those goals are centered around your happiness.

 

 

What is Sling TV?

There’s a new option for consumers who have trouble choosing between cable TV and reasonable bills: Sling TV. This new choice is about halfway between current streaming services like Hulu and cable TV packages with live channels.

Sling TV, which launched at the end of January 2015, gives subscribers access to a small portion of live, traditional cable TV content for a measly $20 a month. In addition to to the TV channels (which include ABC Family, Cartoon Network, CNN, Disney Channel, ESPN and ESPN 2, the Food Network, HGTV, TBS, TNT, The Travel Channel and Adult Swim) the service includes apps for mobile phones, tablets, and streaming devices that hook into a subscriber’s TV.

Is Sling TV a better alternative to cable? Graphic from The Next Web
Is Sling TV a better alternative to cable? Graphic from The Next Web

The best part? Unlike traditional cable TV bundles, Sling TV has no contracts and no upfront installation costs. Consumers can cancel at any time and, much like Netflix, Sling offers a one-week free trial before you make that monthly commitment.

The key selling point of the live channels is ESPN, which hasn’t previously been available through streaming, except for the WatchESPN app. And if the current channel options aren’t enough to interest you, just wait — Sling will be rolling out bonus packs of channels for $5 a month.

Even Disney is sniffing at Sling TV, which seems like the natural solution for consumers who have been straying further and further from traditional live TV for their choice of streaming.

Disney CEO Bob Iger has stated that there’s “definitely an opportunity” to expand the goliath company into involvement with Sling TV. He further suggested that dedicated channels for fans of Marvel and Star Wars could be on the horizon through the subscription service. These kind of niche markets probably wouldn’t be a safe investment without this rising popularity of tailor-made packages, so let’s all give a big thanks to the evolution of the video market (and perhaps mourn the impending loss of traditional cable).

Of course, Sling TV is still picking up the pace and is by invitation only until testing is complete. In order to let them know their service is in demand and sign up for an invitation, go to their website, give them your email, and become part of the death of traditional TV.

FCC redefines broadband

Recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to redefine broadband after proposing the change last year. The newly defined broadband will be “internet which is actually fast enough to use.” According to the FCC, that means it isn’t considered broadband internet unless the consumer is guaranteed download speeds of 25 megabits per second (Mbps) or faster and upload speeds of 3 Mbps or faster.

The proposal was supported by companies such as Netflix and Google, who will undoubtedly reap the benefits in consumer satisfaction. Why? To get any kind of buffer-free service, it’s recommended to access at least 1.5Mbps connection, with 5Mbps recommended for HD, and 25 for 4K content.

fcc comissioners
“The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to redefine broadband.” Graphic from Extreme Tech

According to the former FCC policy from 2010, “broadband” was considered 4Mbps down/1Mbps up. The new policy seems to go above and beyond, then, for considering the Mbps needed for broadband consumers. However, a single internet connection is usually shared between several individuals. Let’s say you happen to be trying to stream a video at the same time as a couple of your roommates — you’d need a minimum of 15Mbps in order for everything to work seamlessly.

While the FCC isn’t actually forcing internet service providers to speed up connections, you can bet companies are going to try to speed up their internet now that they can’t claim many of the current packages on the market are broadband. This new definition will simply make it easier for the consumer to compare truly acceptable speed packages to their poor counterparts.

As an additional plus for many consumers, this new policy might also affect the pending Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger. With two of the largest internet service providers combining forces, the US is looking very seriously at a monopoly over two-thirds of the country. They won’t only influence bills;with their power they could influence government regulations to model their company policies. Smaller provider companies simply wouldn’t have the means to compete.

On the other hand, now that broadband has been narrowed down to a much smaller percentage of packages currently on the market, the Department of Justice might decide that a Mega-Comcast would be against government policy on monopolies.

Netflix expects us to binge-watch, BoJack Horseman

America sure loves to binge. It’s not as if we like our alcohol more than the rest of the world, we just have a binge drinking problem.

It’s not that we like food more than the rest of the world, (we’re actually one of the most wasteful) we just have a binge eating problem.

It’s not that America has a problem with food, alcohol, or anything else; we just have a binging problem. Looking to capitalize on a social construct, Netflix has created “Netflix Original” series’ that enable the viewers to binge watch shows that have been created around the concept of binging.

BoJack in the opening theme. Graphic from Youtube
BoJack in the opening theme. Graphic from Youtube

BoJack Horseman is an animated comedy and is also a “Netflix Original” series. With an arching plotline that picks up right where it left off in each new episode, it’s clear the show was made with binge-watching in mind.

The main character, BoJack, is a narcissistic, washed up sitcom actor from the 90’s. Imagine a self-consumed Bob Saget. The comedic value of his personality derives from BoJack being a horse. Of course, a horse would think he’s the best thing since sliced bread.

BoJack’s agent is a cat and is appropriately named, Princess Carolyn. Princess has a mild temper and keeps a scratching post on her desk. It’s important to note that she is BoJack’s ex-girlfriend. But of course the writers named the cat Princess.

The animated comedy is built around archetypes more than anything else.

When BoJack decides to write a memoir, he contacts Penguins Publishing Company, which is run by penguins, of course.

When BoJack decides he needs a ghost writer, who does he get? A hipster, human named Diane Nguyen of course!

When BoJack falls in love with Diane, he discovers that she’s dating rival actor, Mr. Peanutbutter. But of course, what could Mr. Peanutbutter be other than an all-lovable Golden Retriever?

I think you get the idea, just match archetypes with animals. Unsurprisingly, this idea wears off pretty quickly.


Netflix, I’m not accusing you of being lazy because I did thoroughly enjoy this show. I just wish you hadn’t been so obvious. Do you think of your audience as sheep? Maybe you do, considering you target the collegiate demographic. Netflix, you give college students a break from their sometimes (often) stressful lives, they expect more from you than this.

For whatever reason, BoJack Horseman feels like a cheap attempt to get me to binge-watch a mediocre show.

5 perks of being socially awkward

Being socially awkward is one of my many specialties, although I’ve grown into, not quite a social butterfly, but perhaps a caterpillar that’s turned into a butterfly but I’m just peeking my head out of the cocoon. I’ve been pretty awkward since I can remember. When I moved to Florida in the 3rd grade, my way of making friends was asking their favorite color or how they felt about sea horses.

Although I’ve learned more appropriate ways to interact with strangers, I still find myself wracking my brain for a good way to keep a conversation going as I sit in awkward silence. There are often nights when I’m out and about and all I’m thinking about is how much I want to go home, put my hair up and watch Netflix.

It's hard to act normal. Graphic by Janie Maitland
It’s hard to act normal. Graphic by Janie Maitland

Many may view being socially awkward as a curse, but I think there are a lot of perks to being socially awkward.

1. You never feel guilty about staying in.

If you ever find yourself having a night where going out sounds unbearable, you won’t feel the least bit guilty about making an excuse to stay in. Your friends may drunk call you and tell you what an amazing night they’re having and you’ll be happy for them, but not as happy as you are binge-watching Gossip Girl.

2. You don’t have to fight for beer

We’ve all been there. Girls, you’re usually up against the bar staring whoever is working the keg in the eye wondering, “am I not pretty enough for your Natty Light?” Guys, you’re going to be standing in the back being pushed out of the way by drunk girls. If you’re lucky enough to make it to the bar, you’re probably not getting a beer until all of the ladies have a cup in their hand.

This is a scenario us socially awkward people don’t typically have to deal with. There isn’t a crowd I have to push through to get to my fridge.

3. Food

They don’t serve food at parties, at least most of the time. Us awkward turtles have a short adventure to get whatever snacks we find ourselves feigning for. If we go out, however, that walk to Benny’s or Jimmy John’s can seem like an adventure through Middle Earth, which is sometimes fun. Let’s be honest, though. Sitting at home and watching your favorite show on Netflix while munching always beats staring at drunk girls dig through their purse as they hold up the line.

4. Not having to dress up

My favorite part of going out is usually getting ready. Nowadays, though, I’m usually exhausted by the time I look party-worthy. Putting on leggings and a big t-shirt takes no time at all and I still have energy to do important things like make chicken nuggets and spoon with my dog.

5. Not having to awkward your way out of a conversation with a drunk person

Staying in and avoiding people means not having to awkwardly explain to that drunk guy -who’s talking a little too close- that you’re not interested. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten trapped in lengthy, slow conversations with a drunk male party-goer who couldn’t read my signals that I was in no way interested in him. Body language doesn’t phase the intoxicated and being as awkward as I am, I don’t have the social skills to talk my way out of it. Typically I wind up flagging down one of my friends and “going to the bathroom,” when we really just sneak to the other side of the room and give the guy about 30 seconds to forget his interest in me.

Being socially awkward isn’t as bad as many make it out to be. Although it’s difficult when I actually want to be social, I’m usually thankful that my awkwardness renders me incapable of going out and making bad decisions.

 

 

The power of video streaming

Times used to be much simpler. That came with the good and bad, the ups and downs. However, the time of either catching your favorite show or missing it and becoming the laughing stock of the town is over. Using various methods, anyone can access their shows and movies by using the Internet. Well, unless you’re my grandma.

The battle between Netflix and HuluPlus.  Graphic from Geek
The battle between Netflix and HuluPlus.
Graphic from Geek

Some of the most known and popular video-viewing websites are Hulu and Netflix. They both are a little different and provide different videos to stream, however they both have the same purpose. These give their customers great power and freedom, but we all know one simple thing: With great power comes great viewing responsibility. These powers can be used for good or great evil. The outcome is up to you.

Hulu is an ad-supported website that lets users view different shows, movies, and clips with limited access. Upgrading to Hulu Plus allows customers special privileges and more content. Essentially, you can stream a show the day after it airs if you’ve upgraded. If you don’t pay for the Hulu Plus subscription, you’re limited to seeing the show one week after it airs. Personally, the suspense was killing me, so I forked over the fee.

Netflix is can is a paid-for Internet service that allows you to stream movies and television shows on multiple devices and/or order DVDs for rental. The great thing about it is that there are no commercials. That means, there’s no break in between episodes for you to realize that your paper is due in two hours.

Although both these websites can be good tools for professors and students alike, it can inspire a lot of procrastination. To some, the background noise may work as a concentration tool too. At this point, they’ve been around long enough for them to become part of our every day routines.

These are some of the good and bad associated with using them long-term:

HULU:

GOOD:

Use Hulu so that you can watch television without watching it in real time and missing a deadline.

BAD:

-Catch up on your show, using your cell phone during your Art History class.

NETFLIX:

GOOD:

-Have an episode of The Office playing while you work on a homework assignment.

BAD:

Marathon an entire season of The Walking Dead in one day the night before an exam because you want to figure out who dies before tumblr can spoil it for you.

 

Netflix got Sandler

Netflix kicked off October by announcing that Adam Sandler has signed on with them to produce and star in four consecutive comedy films to exclusively be released on their streaming service. With their success in both House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, it makes sense that the site would want to continue their exclusive content and move towards even bigger Blockbuster trends. The choice of star is a no-brainer according to Netflix’s head of content, Ted Sarandos, Sandler’s films have consistently been top of the most-watched list for global users.

Adam Sandler will have four new movies released exclusively from Netlfix. Graphic from NewsWire
Adam Sandler will have four new movies released exclusively from Netlfix. Graphic from NewsWire

But what’s in it for Sandler?

Although the globally renowned comedian claims he was immediately in agreement due to the rhyming quality of “Netflix” with “Wet Chicks,” the actor will be paid his standard fee by the streaming giant, just as he would with a theater release. Additionally, the movies will be released simultaneously to any Netflix subscriber around the world, as well as becoming part of a popular trend in media. Therefore, where Sandler is concerned, it’s a win-win. He gets his standard fee plus the ability to win-over fans around the world with instant gratification.

And while movie theaters are still crowded on Friday nights and box offices still sell out with new releases, there has been a larger and larger trend for viewers to pay a small monthly fee for a streaming service. College students should certainly understand that budget restraints that might motivate you to wait until a movie comes out on DVD or Netflix to partake, particularly with comedies that come out the same week as Marvel hits like The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. Therefore, this seems like a good move for customer satisfaction on the part of both the streaming service and Box Office star.

However, several movie giants, particularly Sony, have been outraged by the deal as they regularly sign with Sandler at a great profit.

Will this deal turn into a trend to replace the traditional theater releases in popularity of major silver screen stars? It’s hard to imagine a world where we aren’t seeing people line up for midnight releases of action movies, but, at least for smaller scale releases, we could be witnessing the future.

Internet Slowdown Day (Or: Why do they keep doing these things?)

On Sept. 10, the Internet and its users were once again affected by online supporters of net neutrality. This time, the protest was named “Internet Slowdown Day” and, as the name suggests, some participating content hosting sites put a “loading” symbol atop their pages. Other participants hosted banners, glitchy videos, and other ads promoting the cause in related ways.

Participating sites this time around included Netflix, Tumblr, Etsy, Kickstarter, and Urban Dictionary. Even Google decided to take an active role in Internet Slowdown Day, which it hadn’t in previous freedom of the Internet protests. All sites involved, of course, asked their users to contact the FCC and local political representatives in order to prevent the end of net neutrality.

"Internet Slowdown Day" is a protest for Net Neutrality. Graphic from Daily Dot
“Internet Slowdown Day” is a protest for Net Neutrality. Graphic from Daily Dot

And what exactly is net neutrality, one might be wondering?

Basically, net neutrality is about a lot of complicated and business related things that some of us normal people just don’t get. It looks like, at the end of the day, we’re talking about keeping the Internet a neutral ground for all users, regardless if they’re browsing or trying to make their own Facebook/Reddit/Netflix.

For starters, the Internet is a pretty equal ground for anyone trying to get a business going, a book published, or any other endeavor for a minimal price. However, if net neutrality (the idea that all content hosters are entitled to the same speed) is taken away, this may change.

If this is taken away, it will be because the FCC and lawmakers have given permission to service providers (like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T) to charge for speed. It’s basically like putting in SmartPass lanes for the sites who can afford it (like Netflix) and allowing everyone else to be left in the dust. Because, honestly, how many of us will want to use sites that take ten times longer to load, no matter how much better their content might be? Would we all be using Facebook if during the initial years it had loaded at the pace of an AOL connection? Yeah, didn’t think so.