So here’s a somewhat strange true story about me that I really didn’t think about until I began writing this article: at the time of this writing, I have yet to watch a single movie distributed and/or created by Netflix. I’ve probably watched dozens of their original TV series, and multiple hundreds of their licensed films, in the decade I’ve been a subscriber — but not a one of their “original” exclusive releases.
And it’s not for lack of quality either — there’s A LOT of Netflix original movies that I want to and totally intended on watching but, for some reason, just never did. Okja, I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore, Gerald’s Game, Beasts of No Nation, The Meyerwitz Stories, The Discovery — all stuff that I added to my Netflix list shortly after they came out, but still have yet to actually watch. Yet I’ll totally sit down and stream Mindhunters, or the new season of Bojack Horseman, or a number of other Netflix originals. But their films? I can’t explain why, but I just never can muster the enthusiasm to give them a watch.
And, honestly, I imagine I’m not the only ones either. Netflix original movies just seem to come and go, and even the ones I’ve heard are pretty good (pretty much all the ones I listed) tend to never make a mark on the public radar, at least not to the same level as a Stranger Things or Orange is the New Black. It’s of course impossible to know exactly how much views any Netflix thing gets (curse their pesky secrecy), but I can’t help but feel like Netflix Originals have failed to make much of a impact in the wider film world.
But, IF the company ended up making more, maybe that could change? Apparently the quantity argument is the big one right now at the streaming giant, as Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos revealed this week that over 80 Netflix Originals will be hitting the service in 2018. As Deadline notes, that’s over one movie every four days, which is quite the ambitious undertaking, even for Netflix.
Of course, the big question is just what these movies will actually be. Well we know some of them (Will Smith’s blockbuster Bright, Scorsese’s gangster picture The Irishman, etc.), it certainly doesn’t add up to 80. There’s assumingly more to be announced in the coming months, and I’m sure Netflix plans to make A LOT of acquisitions at Sundance and the like. Furthermore, is the streaming platform counting stand-up specials as “Netflix Original Movies?” Because they released like 200 of those this year, which will certainly help beef up the count in 2018.
Still though, the more movies Netflix makes, the harder it seems it gets for me to watch them. Netflix is definitely in the process of trying to fill their service with as much original content as you humanely possible…but the more they do so, the more the films get lost in the shuffle. It doesn’t help that Netflix barely advertisers there original movies, and strangely seems intent to focus more on TV than film (despite the whole “Flix” part of their name.)
But will at least one of these 80 future films put the original film division finally on the map? Will it get blockbuster attention or awards acclaim in ways that none of the other originals have thus far? I don’t know, but I do know one thing — My List is about to get a whole lot more inflated in the coming new year.
Also published on Medium.