I posted a while back on how I pretty much have written off Netflix Originals. While I will grant that Narcos was pretty solid, every, and I mean EVERY other one I have tried has sucked.
I wouldn’t care so much, except that Netflix over-hypes their originals, pushing it to the top of my browsing, and often burying my “List” or “Continue Watching” down 20 or so layers, just to put their preferences on the top.
The latest tease is the new series called Disjointed, staring (cough cough) Kathy Bates, in a sitcom about a medical marijuana dispensary. Actually, not a terrible premise, but it is awful. Horrible writing, an annoying laugh track, and really just terrible characters. My wife wanted to watch it, because one of her film school friends had a small part. I watched 1 episode, and it was truly forgettable. I guess Kathy Bates had a bathroom to remodel.
I should note that it is produced by Chuck Lorre, the producer of that abysmal show “Big Bang Theory”, another show that uses mediocre dialog, pithy humor, awful stereotypes, and an over-reliance on the “laugh track”. Yawn.
Another show that was highly recommended by a friend was River. A British police show where the main character, who is Finnish or Swedish, lost a partner (shot by a bad guy) but still sees her, oh and his teenaged daughter committed suicide. Sadly, he sees both of these departed people and carries on conversations. Amazingly enough, he isn’t removed from active duty due to his obvious psychosis or PTSD.
In fact, in the first episode, he thinks he sees the killer of his partner, and chases the petty drug dealer, ultimately causing him to fall to his death. This triggered psychological evaluation that he brushes off, and yet he still reports to work.
Seriously, I made it through 3 episodes to give it a try, and meh.
One more, that was recommended by multiple people was “Stranger Things”. It has one big name, Winona Ryder, who plays a psycho, unable to cope mother (a classic dysfunctional family theme), and a bunch of others who can’t act their way out of a wet paper bag. Again, I stuck it out for three episodes to see if it became compelling. It didn’t. It never made me want to watch the next episode, so it was easy to just walk away.
Supposedly, the charm is the remembrances of growing up in the 80’s, and recognizing the period references. While I technically grew up in the 70’s, I should be close enough to the target demographic, but it still fell flat to me. All the Spielbergian references can’t make up for a blah-tastic story line.
So far, in my experience, the label “Netflix Original” is a seal of garbage. They are supposedly going to spend up to $8B on producing shows, clearly, a waste of money.
They really want to make the next “The Sopranos”, and “Narcos” was a good step in that direction, but on balance, they produce a lot of schlock that is crowding out their catalog, and their pushy marketing of their “originals” makes it more difficult for me to enjoy my subscription.
I am sure that I will get a lot of “But did you consider …” comments when this hits Facebook. And I don’t care.