Saturday, December 24, 2011

Weekly Whine: Netflix Killed the Video Store

In high school and college, my dates often consisted of the following:

1) Go out to dinner

2) Browse video store for like 30 minutes, trying to decide on a movie to see

3) Watch movie at whoever's house contained no parents

I have fond memories of browsing the video store. Going through each wall of videos, hoping something would spark our mutual interest. Making fun of that Britney Spears movie where she's inexplicably valedictorian of her high school. Then finally, selecting a movie and rushing home eagerly to watch it.

Netflix killed that experience. Now you have to decide on a movie days in advance. That instant gratification is lost, especially since their instant movie selection pretty much sucks.

I don't know what kids do on dates these days. Don't tell me. They probably don't have dates anymore. They probably just farm together on Facebook.


  1. See what *I* remember about the video store is arguing with my friends over what movie to get, all the movies we wanted to see being out, and then settling for something that ended up sucking because I just succumbed to whatever they wanted to see.

    What I like about Netflix is that it completely solved that problem. No more going to the video store and wasting an hour trying to find something. I'd have three preselected movies in my mailbox, all of which I had a decent chance of liking. And it suggests to me other movies that I might like. It's been pretty good at figuring out my tastes too.

    I do agree that it can be kind of hard to find something good out of their streaming selection (the streaming selection brings back all the problems o trying to agree on a movie for me). Not sure what you like, but I'm happy to provide suggestions if you're struggling to find stuff.

  2. OMDG: The problem is that we are so tired and busy all the time now that we can't work up the motivation to watch a *whole movie*, so we'd just let the dvd's sit on our shelf for months before watching or returning them. So when Netflix split their services, we only kept the streaming. So I'm frustrated by the (lack of) streaming supply and the fact that we end up never watching the dvds. Mostly we just watch old sitcoms streaming.

  3. Video streaming has fixed this problem! Instead of going to the video store to browse videos, you do it by pressing a few buttons on your remote. You don't even need to drive to the video store. That leaves more time for the kids to spend in the parents-less house, in the dark living room, ignoring the movie.

  4. If you want to watch a new release immediately just go to a red box or blockbuster box or something. They usually have over a hundred movies and it only costs $1 per day. Try getting a movie that cheap at an old style movie store.

  5. Do you remember, when you wanted to find movie showtimes, you'd go to a 7-11 to look at the newspaper? Then fold it back neatly and leave? Then MoviePhone was like amazing just look it up online (on your phone). Ack, we're old.

    Merry Xmas (if you celebrate that).

  6. I can completely relate to the no time so we just watch sitcoms problem. (Though did you see? They just got How I met your mother on streaming. All 134 episodes. My hope is that it will take me at least a week of breastfeeding to get through it. Haha) And I agree it's hard to find movies to stream. Let's see.... lately we've been watching How the Earth was made. Documentaries have also been good (usually they're under 60 minutes which helps with the time problem). We saw one called "Wild China" a few weeks back. There was a great one about the cave paintings that were discovered in France too... Cave of Forgotten Dreams I think it was called?

    We kept the dvds so we could still see movies we can't find streaming, but even for us they often sit unwatched for months. Oh well. Luca feels like we're throwing away $20 a month, but I decided the flexibility was worth it for me. Maybe sign up for the one dvd program? Hopefully one day there will be a better solution.

  7. OMDG: I am in heaven with the recent addition of HIMYM. Love that show and NPH and Jason Segal! And I was only up to like Season 3 when I got behind and gave up on watching it, so they're all new to me! The only annoying thing is that my husband doesn't "get" that show... can't get past the frame with Bob Saget, so we can't watch it together. So we went through all of The Office and are now doing Parks and Rec.

  8. The streaming stuff will be better within the next few years I'm sure. I hope.

  9. I have a perfect alternative for you, and one that incorporates mail, on-demand AND video store. Maybe you should check out the Blockbuster Movie Pass. I understand Netflix caused many of its own problems by splitting services, where Blockbuster (recently bought by DISH) did the exact opposite. I have both fond, and awful memories of Video Store experiences, referenced by the "instant gratification" and "out of stock" posts above. With DISH and Blockbuster Movie Pass, you have access to more than 100,000 titles. Movies, TV Shows and games are all included, and you have the ability to get titles either by-mail, in-store or streaming live!! You can check out the lists online, set up a queue to have titles automatically mailed to you, and there are never late fees. I would have gotten thins package for my DISH Account even if I didn't work there, and DISH even throws in an additional 20 HD Movie Channels to sweeten the actual lineup. You HAVE to find something you like with all the different ways DISH and Blockbuster bring the movies to you!!