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For many years my husband and I have subscribed to the Netflix service of DVDs through the mail, which we liked very much. Last year we got high-speed internet and one of the first things we did with it was to expand our Netflix subscription to include the streaming service. We like that very much too. While we don’t do it often, I can see why so many people get into binge watching shows for hours at a time on streaming services like this. Being able to watch as much of a new season of a new show as we want in one sitting or in the same week is pretty nice.

Netflix is putting a lot of money into original programing, in many genres, and there is a lot to choose from. One of the first shows we watched on streaming was Grace & Frankie, starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Two seasons were available right away by the time we came on board, and we had them watched in a few weeks. I hope they do another season at some point. Last week we finished watching the first, and so far only, season of a new original show, Santa Clarita Diet. It was a little gross in places, but we liked it. We would not have been able to watch it without this streaming service, at least not before Netflix got around to putting it on disc.

Netflix also took over production of a few network shows that got canceled, and put out new seasons for fans. One of these shows, Longmire, was one I watched when it was on TV, and missed when it was abruptly canceled. I am almost through the last season now, and I appreciate seeing these characters continue for the two new seasons so far that Netflix gave me and other fans.

They also have a wide selection of older shows and movies. Darren and I are watching The West Wing, which we both watched when it was originally broadcast on network TV 15 years ago. It is bringing back a lot of memories of the Bill Clinton presidency, from which the show got a lot of material. Two weeks ago we watched the movie Lost in Space from 1998. We saw it listed, decided to watch it, clicked it, and then we were watching it. That fast and easy. Amazingly cool. Currently I am watching the first two seasons of a show that is still running on network TV, Jane the Virgin, which I didn’t get around to watching when it first came on the air. Now I am catching up on Netflix, finding that I like it, and will continue to watch each new season.

There is something to look out for though, especially when watching older shows and movies. They can go away, sometimes without warning, and we can’t finish the series. I remember reading somewhere that it is because of how Netflix has to license the rights for streaming. Half way through me working my way, over the period of some months, through the run of shows featuring the character Inspector Morse, it was discontinued from streaming. And last week I went on to look up a certain episode of Murder, She Wrote, and found that the whole series was gone, too. Poof, vanished. I can get them on discs, but they went off the streaming part.

We still get the DVD discs in the mail, though we did drop it from two discs at a time to one. Netflix has a much better selection and library in discs than in streaming, and some of the stuff we want to watch is only available on discs. We enjoy the selection, but the one downside we have with this service is the time it takes; between having it mailed to us, then we watch it, and mail it back, we might have only one disc per week and a half. Still, this works for us for the most part.

We also have to balance all this TV watching with other activities of life. Right now I am writing this blog post while my husband is on reading. (Working from home is another advantage of high-speed internet – yay technology! Good luck on the additional writing time, Joe.) It is a strangely hot day out for February, and we should get outside to enjoy some of it later. The more we enjoy the wonders and bounty of Netflix, the more we also need to keep it in perspective. I love entertainment shows and make-believe, but real life can be compelling, too.

Until next week, as Joe would tell you, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

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