Freeman

Nearly 10 years ago, I left my family, friends, career and everything I knew so I could become a teacher in Korea. All of this was tough, but the toughest thing to leave behind in America wasn’t the food, people I cared about or the life I knew. What did I miss the most? Netflix.

Not this new thing that plugs into your computer and you spend half your movie-watching time searching and figuring out which mindless show you’re going to stream. Back in my day, Netflix sent you actual DVDs in the mail. Then you watched it, put it in the mail and received something new.

You needed to adjust a list of things you wanted to watch because there was only a certain amount of physical copies of the DVDs. You could choose a plan of one movie at a time up to nine or so.

This is how pathetic my life was (and still is): The highlight of my day was adjusting my Netflix queue. This one thing kept me happy and very humble. Multiple times a day, while on the bus, bored at work or while watching my movie of the day, I arranged and rearranged my queue. I was like a 4-year-old methhead playing with Legos. “Well, Friday I’ll probably want to watch a comedy, so I’ll get ‘Caddyshack.’ Saturday, I’ll get some old throwback cartoons. Wait! On Sunday, the mail doesn’t come and I’ll definitely be hungover, so I’ll probably want something depressing or that I don’t need to pay attention to. Monday, I’ll probably need to smoke a bowl after work, so I’ll get a cult movie like ‘Repo Man’ or ‘They Live.’ But hold on, Friday I’m going on a date. I might need to have a romantic or sexy-time movie in case she comes over, so I’ll get ‘March of the Penguins.’ Then I’ll need something else for Saturday. …”

Netflix helped me watch so many movies and shows that I probably never would have seen if I only had the streaming version or Blockbuster Video. Netflix’s suggestion matrix recommended decent new stuff to watch. The incredible selection fed me documentaries to smart dramas to my old favorites to classics.

Now, DVD.com is the DVD version of Netflix. DVD.com sucks. It’s slow. Maybe that’s the fault of the postal service, but I used to send out movies and get something back in a day or two. Now, I might get something in a week. I may as well try downloading something on the slow internet at my parents’ house.

The maximum plan they have is a three-at-a-time program. With the slowness of their shipping, that might mean I’ll only watch three discs a week. That’s barely a season of “Game of Thrones” or a few stand-up comedy specials. With my worthless life, sometimes I need to watch that in a day.

Why do I still do it? I still like organizing my queue, and it’s cheap. But hey! DVD.com! Clean up your act or I’m just going to start driving to the video shop!


Read more Freeman: coloradodaily.com/columns. Stalk him: comfyconfines.wordpress.com

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