Two years later, and here we are. More restrictions are in place, pubs are closing early, off-licence alcohol prices just went up, and yesterday thousands more people were reported with COVID. It’s enough to make you hide in bed and watch TV all day.
Netflix won an emmy in 2012, not for an amazing film or series production, but for profoundly changing the way we watch television. Well deserved, considering Netflix’s long road to success makes things like renting a dvd from blockbuster a distant memory. Unlike spotify who have barely turned a profit while perpetually de-valuing music as a product, Netflix’s revenue has seen astronomical year on year growth. Hence, Disney and Amazon are jumping on the bandwagon creating their own video streaming services. Here’s a comparison of the annual revenue of popular streaming services:
Netflix $24.9 billion
YouTube $19.7 billion
Disney+ $4.5 billion
Amazon Prime $25.21 billion (note this subscription service revenue likely includes a portion of users who subscribe for other non-video streaming related benefits).
It’s also worth taking another swipe at Spotify for being an abhorrent leech of a company. The uptake, and growth in video streaming services has driven the likes of Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime to invest heavily in their own original content productions. That’s film production jobs, money, and well paid actors – as opposed to bands eating out of trash cans to survive.
This brings me to a feature on Netflix that is the more useful basis of this post. Login to your Netflix account on a desktop computer, navigate to your account, choose your profile in the ‘Profile & parental controls’ section > then select ‘viewing activity’ to see everything you’ve ever watched on your Netflix. So, let’s delve into it and pick the peaches from the plums, starting with Science Fiction
Science Fiction TV Series. It’s like pizza, even bad science fiction is pretty good.
The Expanse – Amazon – This series first saw the light of day courtesy of the syfy channel, but I believe it was dropped so the channel could focus on George R. R. Martin’s ‘nightflyers’ saga. Not only is ‘nightflyers’ not the next ‘game of thrones’, it’s generally not very good, and highlights that Georgie-boy is an overrated writer. Amazon picked up The Expanse after the actors, production team and fanbase rallied for support. Let’s be honest the first season of the expanse isn’t the best acting or production you’ll ever see, but since moving to Amazon, and especially seasons 4 and 5 see The Expanse stand strongly on it’s own two feet. The development of the story, and characters such as ‘Amos’ ‘Alex’ and co. is thoroughly enjoyable.
The Silent Sea – Netflix – This Korean sci fi thriller is very impressive. Aside from some awkward moon-walk moments, the production quality, and special effects are fantastic. The translated dialogue, script and story are top notch. The series plays homage to Aliens and other 80’s science fiction classics, but is a uniquely entertaining story in its own right. Watch for the edge of your seat unpredictable spook ride.
Lost In Space – Netflix – Danger Will Robinson, this isn’t entirely boring! The original series from the 60’s aged embarrassingly badly like allot of US space race era sci fi productions. But the remake, and adaption offers slick special effects and eye candy for the modern science fiction lover. In typical American fashion, the family drama, and decision making of individual characters often feels forced just to create problems in the most unrealistic, dumb fashion. And let’s not talk about the on-the-spot faux science problem solving. At the end of the day, the viewer will be rewarded with an interesting array of planetary worlds each with their own set of a challenges for the Robinson family.
Worth The Time!
The War Of The Worlds – Amazon – Gabriel Byrne leads a new take on the classic H.G. Wells story of alien invasion. While the series borrows heavily, almost painfully from the walking dead’s done to death formula, viewers will be rewarded with a plot that actually does eventually go somewhere. The manner in which relationships entwine and are developed while the story unfolds is convincing enough to make the viewer care, and get invested. The production is bolstered by a better standard of acting and dialogue than what War Of The Worlds will likely forever be compared too.
Worth The Time!
Another Life – Netflix – What the f*** is this. Why do people try to make science fiction sexy, gender fluid, gender neutral, asexual, bisexual or whatever this convoluted mess of a science fiction drama is trying to be. Watch if you want to be distracted from an empty story by a MMF threesome in space. Otherwise skip it…
Agree? Disagree? Tell us what YOU think 🙂