The Killing, the show that started AMC original programming’s downward trend, is being brought back from cancellation…again. Ryan Reynolds sums up my feelings about this perfectly. Netflix has decided to bring back the now twice cancelled show for six episodes in the hopes that it can finally connect with some sort of audience. It’s a low risk-high reward pick up for Netflix, who used the same resurrection technique to successfully bring back Arrested Development earlier this year. But, do I even have to point out the difference in quality between those two shows? I guess I just did.
Now I’m not going to say that The Killing has no chance to succeed. It was originally marketed as a modern Twin Peaks and never came close to being that type of phenomenon. However, Netflix could be the perfect platform for a show like this, a serialized long form drama that could be both easier to digest and more enjoyable through binge watching instead of as a weekly installment. Think: A homeless man’s The Wire (Like reaaaaaaally homeless). Once again it comes back to quality, is The Killing good enough for anyone to care about six more episodes?
Family Guy got cancelled twice by FOX but now anchors the network’s Sunday night lineup. Somewhere in that same span Seth MacFarlane went from writing episodes of Johnny Bravo to hosting the Oscars and dating Khaleesi. Futurama had a short lived second life on Comedy Central, but never recaptured its original success. As I mentioned earlier Netflix revived Arrested Development earlier this year with some mixed reviews, however, the shows popularity and talks of a movie and/or another season are as alive as ever. These shows all have two things in common: they’re comedies with legitimate cult followings.
Unfortunately for Netflix, The Killing is not funny (on purpose at least) and has little to no following. The six episodes will reportedly finish the series and include the original stars. However, there’s no indication that this will work out…at all. I don’t need to see the future to predict that The Killing will soon become another random choice lost in the seemingly infinite (read: too many) list of mediocre Netflix titles.
Talk about a first world problem. Netfilx has been a powerhouse in the Video On Demand world for some time, as they have forever changed the way we watch movies and television. I mean think about it, in the near future (if it hasn’t happened already) kids will not even know what “Blockbuster Video” is. Instead, thanks to Netflix there is an endless amount of entertainment at our fingertips for just $7.99 a month. However, Netflix growth has also come with a major issue: there are simply too many options on it.
Let me give you a scenario I constantly fall into with Netflix nowadays:
You’re hanging out with some of your friends; you decide to watch something on Netflix, and the dialogue goes something like this.
Okay, awesome we have so much to pick from. Why don’t we watch something from the Instant Queue? Nah, we can watch those anytime, lets check the New Releases! I don’t know if I want to commit to a full movie, lets watch a TV show. How about a documentary? This one looks good, how about this? I don’t know doesn’t really interest me, let’s watch something funny.
Suddenly you realize it’s been twenty minutes and you’re no closer to finding something to watch then you were when you sat down. It is maddening. This can happen when you’re alone too, particularly when going to bed. You are probably going to pass out as soon as you put something on anyway, but still there is the urge to pick something that you really want to watch. There are all of these options, but there’s very few that really jump out and say “watch me!” It’s a problem of excess; too many choices are being thrown in our faces at once and quality options are sometimes overlooked in the abyss of Netflix titles.
The Netflix collection grows bigger everyday, as this issue is not going anywhere. Competitor HBOGo might not have the depth in movies that Netflix has, but their concise selection is generally higher quality with titles being added and subtracted a few times a month. Netflix changed the way society watches movies, but might need some changes of its own, if it wants to continue to be top dog in the expansive Video On Demand environment.