Friday, May 26, 2017

The Netflix Topic

I'm one of those people in Germany....signed with Netflix.  My son (German and 26) is a Netflix-devotee as well.


My typical logic is that there are various US-produced shows and movies....which simply fit to what I want to watch.  At 10 Euro a month, it simply makes sense.  I'm not that thrilled or overwhelmed over what German public TV offers....that kinda fits into this logic as well.

My son will say it comes down to three basic issues.  First, German public TV has a formula that is roughly fifty years old and designed mostly for people over the age of forty.  Second, this documentary and news format amuses him to a fair degree....being biased or designed to bring you to some anticipated conclusions. Third, sports-wise, it's such a wide placement that you just kind of shake your head over 90-percent of what is offered (he has no interest in boxing, Olympics, bike races, track and field, women's soccer, or ski events).

I kinda agree with the fundamental issue of German public TV and the movie creation crowd.  They basically go out and find the top sixty romance/murder/comedy books sold over the last year or two, and buy the movie rights.    Then they assign a couple of German actors to the project, tape up a 90-minute movie, and out of a hundred average find roughly fifteen to twenty who might be curious enough to watch.  The bulk of German society....has zero interest.

What Netflix did is a challenge to the German public TV crowd.  They went to writers and producers, and asked....what's the gravy-project that you'd really like to make into a movie?  So they have shows like Fargo and Orange is the New Black....which German public TV managers can look at and just shake their heads over.  Netflix is like a decade ahead of the power curve.  For that matter....shows like Arrow, Flash, and Big Bang Theory.....are all way beyond the imagination capability of the German public TV crowd.  They can't produce what the 15-to-25 year old Germans want.

It's an odd thing.  German teens now....ask for birthday gifts of a year's subscription to Netflix or Amazon.  They want choice.  They want imagination.

I sat today....amazed over a EU regulation which got dreamed up and apparently passed this week.  They want to force Amazon and Netflix to carry 30-percent of it's EU-produced shows.  Fines would be tossed into the mix, if they don't cooperate.

Can Netflix fit into this?  If you go and look....around 15-percent (my humble guess) of the offerings are European  movies or German comedians. There are various projects in the books at present to make some German TV shows in the future.  Thirty-percent?  It might difficult to meet that requirement....unless Netflix just goes out and buys viewing rights to some 1980s Polish soap operas, or 1990s Italian 'Baywatch-like' series.  Netflix viewers won't watch the crap but the EU regulation doesn't care.

Why did the EU go and do this?  They seem to think that American influence will occur via the television shows offered.  To some degree, I think they also worry that US production companies will benefit more than European companies....unless you regulate this.

A new Marvel series based on some German super-hero, produced by Netflix?  One might laugh about that.  It's practically impossible to get German public TV to make a science fiction series....hasn't been done since the 1960s.  Space Patrol episodes....1966.  That's it.  You can go and ask the public TV mafia about this and they just can't imagine making anything like that....ever again.

It's two entirely different cultures at work.  Netflix has creativity and dreamers.....German public TV has a 50-year formula and no desire to change.  One has virtually everyone under 25, and the other everyone over forty.

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