Netflix, the new HBO

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Almost 2 years ago, I started an open relationship with Netflix. In that time, I’ve had side chicks, namely Amazon Prime, but it didn’t feel right.  I thought I would have got bored, but I am more madly in love with the service today than I was when we first started. I love Netflix, I don’t care who knows it.

The history of Netflix is fascinating and it is clear that they have changed the way a lot of us think about television. But the genius and foresight of Netflix is not what I want to talk about, I want to give them props for their content creation.

It might sound OTT but we may be looking at the heir to HBO’s content crown. For the past 2 decades, Home Box Office has produced television show after television show which has elevated the medium to a new level. I believe Netflix is doing the same.

It is the quirky, lesser loved shows like Lilyhammer, BoJack Horseman and Marco Polo that I look to when I think of Netflix pending domination. These shows clearly demonstrate that the company with the red envelope logo is not scared to take risks and is as ambitious, if not more so, than HBO. And contrary to what other critics think, these lesser shows are not that bad. If Marco Polo is the ground floor of Netflix quality, then they’re not in a bad place creatively.

And then there is House of Cards and Orange is the New Black – two outstanding shows.

I personally think that Orange is the New Black is so severely underrated, it should be considered one of the best shows of this decade – and I believe it will be remembered that way… eventually. As a sexist chauvinist, I cannot remember the last time I willingly watched a television series or film where the majority of the cast were female. And forget the sex element for a second, it is thematically intelligent and, like the company that distributes it, it is very brave.

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House of Cards is one of the best cartoons I have ever seen. I don’t say that as a diss, but it is considerably over the top. The thing is, it wears its bombast on its sleeve – it is proud to be loud and I love it. Every single episode of House of Cards I’ve seen is incredibly fun, and I don’t believe there are any fillers.

What Netflix now needs is it’s versions of The Wire or The Sopranoes – two shows so brilliant they are undeniable. Two shows that have changed the way we all think about television series. As fantastic as House of Cards or OITNB are, they are built on foundations laid by HBO. That is a big ask for any content provider, let alone one as talented as Netflix.

I’m now a card carrying fan of Netflix and I believe they will continue to surprise me in the future.

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