Talk Therapy: How To Quit Netflix
Last year I watched 227 movies. That’s a movie every one-and-a-half days. That’s roughly 27,240 minutes (calculated if the average movie is two hours…which, I mean, I can’t guarantee because I was watching French New Wave flicks, independent animated films, bloated 21st century blockbusters, and Martin Scorsese’ vanity projects in near equal measure).
Do I have a problem? Define ‘problem’. If a ‘problem’ is spending nearly 19 entire days sitting on my ass, staring at a screen as flashing images flicker, FLICKER, FLICKER (!!!) in front of me, then sure, yea, fine, I have a problem.
How does one remedy a problem that takes up 227 moments, 27,240 minutes, and 19 full days of their life? You take a cue from the smartest, mid-90’s Scottish movie icon you know, Mark Renton, and kick the thing cold-turkey. Whoa, hey, calm down. Yea, my inspiration is a character in a movie. Yea. So? YEA! SO!? Maybe that’s like kicking a coffee addiction by taking up Red Bull, but I gotta do what I gotta do.
Here’s the thing, though: I’m not blaming movies. Movies are just the symptom. They are not the cause. It’s like, caffeine isn’t my problem – it’s the Starbucks on every street corner of my damn city that is the problem. Fewer Starbucks, fewer coffees, less caffeine. You see where I’m going with this?
My movie problem has one perpetrator greater than any other;: Netflix. Yes, the streaming giant. The streaming giant that takes me in its over-sized fingers every night and squeezes me until I can’t breath. When I roll home from work, the sweats start in and the only antidote is that ‘duh-bow’. Then I get my fix. Hours later, I’ve watched something more like Maid In Manhattan than Made and I hate myself.
If you are like me and wish to remedy this problem, if you wish to be reacquainted with the realm of the living and feel the touch of the sun on your pasty, cold skin, I'm here for you.
What follows is a 'How To' playbook for quitting Netflix. One must take the necessary steps:
- A library card to ensure you have access to all the movies and TV you could find on Netflix, without the immediate satisfaction. Putting a movie on hold and waiting is a sign of discipline and patience - two things someone loses with Netflix after two minutes of scrolling!
- At least three good books, maybe four. Luckily, Netflix is not self-aware and does not realize that finally getting around to reading A Song Of Ice and Fire does not count as binging Game of Thrones (thankfully, Netflix also can't get jealous because GoT is not a title they distribute. Losers).
- Tennis rackets. For tennis. Obviously.
- Noise-cancelling headphones. Listen (Ha! Irony), without Netflix, I will need other things to fill my time. One of those things is going for walks. Going for walks can be so very, very boring. That is unless you have a nice podcast or two queued up. And podcasts are way better when you can't hear anything but the voice of Ira Glass - things such as the ring of a bike messenger passing on your left as you decided to cross the road without looking...
- The Walking Dead: The Game, Life Is Strange, or any other narrative-based game. Because if you can't watch a television show or film, the next based thing is to be the television show or film. Let Kenny die, don't let Kenny die. You decide....(die, Kenny, die!)
If you can arrange for all that, you're almost home. Almost, because there is one last thing you have to do to prepre for a Netflix-free life. Like my pal Renton, you gotta get in one big, final hit. I’m not going to follow his example to a ‘T’, cause it’s impossible to make Netflix a suppository and shove it up…there...but it Netflix is like a suppository for the eyeballs.
Make a list of the five movies you need to watch before going off. Then hammer them out in one weekend. I chose A Bigger Splash, Miami Vice, Green Room, The Witch, and To Kill A Mockingbird. Wish me luck!
*Rhys returns to this article the day following his binge*
Oh, god, that was good. That was so, so good. Ohhhhhhhhhhh...I can't do it. I can't. I can't do it. A Bigger Splash recommended I watch Bon Cop, Bad Cop! How could I refuse? I listed that sumbitch! I'm watching it tonight.
This summer is gonna be the best summer ever.
Rhys Dowbiggin @Rdowb
Rhys has worked six years in the public relations industry rubbing shoulders with movie stars (who ignored him) to athletes (who tolerated him). He likes tiki-taka football, jelly beans, and arguing with Bruce about everything.