Remember in grade 10 English when you had to learn about how to write a “hook”? A flashy bit in the introduction that would hook the reader and make them want to read on? Well, that lesson must have really stuck with me, because if a show doesn’t do it for me almost immediately, I just move on to one of umpteen other readily-available pieces of media I can consume in our Internet age. Here are three Netflix original series I started with the best of intentions, and just couldn’t get into. I’m open to attempts to convince me to try again in the comments.
This series was so well-reviewed! And even by people who don’t care at all about superhero franchises. A friend of mine said he stayed up and mainlined the whole thing in one sitting, even. I started it up with the purest of intentions and a lot of excitement.
Then this asshole showed up:
Seriously, did they go out of their way to find a terrible child actor? And to make that actor the focus of the first ten minutes of the whole series? It’s not hard to find a kid who can act. That’s pretty much what being a kid is. And yet, they got this guy, who can’t deliver a line properly at all, and who totally took me out of the moment. If this was supposed to be the hook, I thought, this isn’t for me. I later asked a friend of mine about it. “Yeah, he’s terrible, but he’s not in it very long. You gotta push past it.” Do I? Is it really my responsibility as a viewer to endure something horrendous in order to get to what will hopefully be better than mediocre?
What I’d rather re-watch instead of watching this: Spartacus. It’s action, and it’s got its own set of problems, but at least it has Lucy Lawless.
Well, speaking of bad acting…
Full disclosure: when I pressed play, I thought that this was the show The Borgias starring Jeremy Irons. I didn’t realize that Netflix has distributed their own series on the same topic. Nevertheless, I went in with high hopes, because the subject matter interests me greatly, and I love Irons. Well, even though it was the wrong show, I didn’t make it past the first ten minutes because of the truly abysmal performances (and I couldn’t believe Irons would be involved in something so awful. Turns out he wasn’t! Hooray.). What is it about sticking the worst actors into the opening scenes?? Actually, upon researching this show a bit more, it seems to be a truth universally accepted that the acting in Borgia is awful. I’m thinking I should find the show I was looking for originally and try that, instead.
What I’d rather re-watch instead of watching this: For period-drama dramaz, Downton Abbey — but only the first couple of seasons.
F is for Family
The first 10 minutes of this show seem to be trying really hard to be Family Guy while telling you vehemently that it’s edgier than Family Guy. I don’t know who Bill Burr is so I’m not a fan, but I’m pretty goddamn sick of “white guy with an attractive wife and children is occasionally mildly inconvenienced, and responds by being an asshole” as being the model on which we build so much entertainment. Stop giving these guys shows, okay? Okay.
What I’d rather re-watch instead of watching this: Bojack Horseman, a story about a man who has it all but isn’t grateful for it, but in a smart way that engages themes of depression and sophisticated relationship problems. Does F is for Family get there, eventually, too? …I doubt it?
Which shows on Netflix have you abandoned? Am I being unfair about these three?