Column: Netflix loses its ‘chill’ with abundance of original films


The Netflix logo drifts away from its original center in this abstract graphic by Mark Chrissan, designed to illustrate columnist Emma Hutchinson’s ideas. In the attached column, she reflects on the streaming platform’s recent changes and competitors. “In recent years, it seems that Netflix has drifted away from being the center of classic entertainment and has sailed into creating more original works,” Hutchinson said. “which can be a solid hit or miss with creativity.”

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Even with the variety of streaming services available, Netflix seems to be the most recognized and heavily relied on during quarantine. But, it’s always a struggle to scroll through endless genres and categories to find something to cure the boredom of staying at home all day, especially with Netflix removing and adding movies each month.

In recent years, it seems that Netflix has drifted away from being the center of classic entertainment, and has sailed into creating more original works, which can be a solid hit-or-miss when it comes to creativity. 

My family has been a regular Netflix user since I was in elementary school, back when Netflix was one of the only on-demand streaming services on the market. I remember coming home from school and going to the media room to watch endless episodes of “Spongebob Squarepants” and “Hannah Montana” all at my fingertips. I soon realized what all the hype was about: any movie or TV show you could think of was there waiting for you in the Netflix library. Yet, recently, I’ve found myself looking to Hulu or Disney+ for my TV cravings. 

Once Netflix dipped their toes into the giant pool of producing original content, I felt that its purpose was soon fading. I’ll admit that I was intrigued by some of Netflix’s originals when they were first released, such as To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Stranger Things, Everything Sucks!, The Society, and I Am Not Okay with This. I’m a huge rom-com and sci-fi geek, so it’s no surprise that these titles caught my attention. Netflix covers all genres with their originals and even includes movies and shows in different languages, which is amazing for attempting to reach multiple audiences. They definitely attempt to diversify their range, but always fall into a cookie-cutter layout with their films; reusing actors, similar plots and cliche endings. But the writers at Netflix must be doing something right since Netflix originals are consistently sliding into the Top 10 most-watched list every month. 

Nowadays, it’s almost rare that I come across a movie or TV show that I’m actually looking for, and instead, I’m bombarded with new releases with the tiny Netflix symbol at the top.”

— Emma Hutchinson

This success has seemingly brought an overflow of original productions to the platform. 

Nowadays, it’s almost rare that on Netflix I come across a movie or TV show that I’m actually looking for, and instead, I’m bombarded with new releases with the tiny Netflix symbol at the top. I’m all for the original content, especially with the competition of Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and AppleTV, but the whole reason my family bought a Netflix subscription was to have our favorite movies and TV shows on-demand that couldn’t be found anywhere else. There have been countless times where I’ve searched for a title on Netflix because I saw it in their library just to find out that it’s been taken off. Yet, when I look in the “New Releases” section, there’s plenty of new, unheard of titles from yours truly: Netflix. 

As a recent Hulu and Disney+ subscriber, I think they do a great job of advertising their original content while also keeping a variety of classic movies and TV shows available. I’ve been surprised with the selection of movies on both Hulu and Disney+. So many great options are there that I don’t know which one to choose. At least 75% of the time, I find the title that I actually searched for, or I find something else that’s just as good. With Netflix, it’s usually less than half of the time that I find something worth watching. 

I know that might just be my picky taste talking, but as a teenager that’s constantly interacting with social media, Netflix should be appealing to our generation the most for publicity. If they come out with a good movie, the media will know about it, and if they come out with a bad movie, the media will know about it. And I know that companies aren’t always going to appeal to everyone, and that’s a hard thing to do, but you also have to fulfill what you advertise, which is having a large selection of commonly-liked entertainment.      

There’s one simple solution: give the people what they want. Netflix’s original purpose was to provide a selection of on-demand movies for everyone, but it seems that they’ve adapted to match the competition. If they were to lighten up on the heavy selection of originals and added more movies and TV shows that weren’t available on every streaming service, Netflix could make a comeback just in time for binge-watching season.