Less Is More: Netflix’s Commitment to Fewer but Better Shows
Sat, April 17, 2021

Less Is More: Netflix’s Commitment to Fewer but Better Shows

The debut of “The Witcher” has proven that there is no slowing down just yet for the world of adaptations. Left and right, Hollywood is investing in these shows / Photo by: Stefans02 via Flickr

 

The debut of “The Witcher” has proven that there is no slowing down just yet for the world of adaptations. Left and right, Hollywood is investing in these shows. Whether it be a live-action adaptation of an animated show or vice versa, the recent trend in movies has shown us that franchises win. 

But they shouldn’t take all the glory; after all, there are almost as many failed franchises as there are successful ones, and the already fickle crowds determine whether or not a franchise will see its end soon. So, Netflix won’t be relying on that, and neither will they be putting all their efforts into licensing now that the competition is tough. 

Their solution? Less is more. 

Down Fifty Percent 

How "less" are we talking about? Well, according to news and opinion website Vox Media, Reelgood recorded that from 2012, during which Netflix had 11,000 titles, the numbers dropped down to 5,158 in 2018, which is a 50% drop. Now, Netflix has a total of 5,838 titles, which is fewer but more effective. 

That number has remained mostly consistent since 2018, with 2020 only slightly spiking close to 6,000 titles. Netflix’s reasoning is that with more competition along the way, soon they won’t be able to come out on top through just licensing shows. 

Increasingly, and with apparent success, Netflix has continued releasing its own production to an eagerly-awaiting audience. Their original shows capture the eye of their audiences and to some extent, Netflix really does understand what their customers want. From licensed shows and movies to making movies of their own, Netflix knows that the future is original content. 

Increasingly, and with apparent success, Netflix has continued releasing its own production to an eagerly-awaiting audience. Their original shows capture the eye of their audiences and to some extent, Netflix really does understand what their customers want / Photo by: Coolcaesar via Wikimedia Commons

 

Already, their titles like “Stranger Things,” “Sex Education,” “BoJack Horseman,” “Orange is the New Black,” “Russian Dolll,” and original movies like “Bird Box” and “Murder Mystery” are being loved by their audiences for their uniqueness and boldness to try to explore new stories and discuss relevant topics. 

Inside Hook, a news and lifestyle website, adds that Netflix’s focus on original content is also a step into welcoming more talent on the platform and not relying on quantity to boost viewership. This time, Netflix wants to garner recognition for releasing quality shows and movies like “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story,” both titles that already getting nominations from the Academy. 

Before their push for original content, Netflix established themselves earlier on through licenses because the results were unprecedented. If you’ve seen a movie you loved as many times as you can imagine, you expect not to want it so much anymore. Except Netflix has cultivated a reputation for “breathing new life” to old titles, no matter how old they are, just because they have been made available to the platform. 

This so-called “Netflix Effect” has baffled producers of old TV shows like AMC’s “Mad Men,” which came out in 2007, and “Breaking Bad,” which came out in 2008. All of a sudden, these shows were being talked about and being binged, likely by fans of the show who would want to rewatch it because it’s their favorite. 

Hidden Gems 

Before Netflix pushes through with another wave of new content (what with the newly-closed Titmouse deal), if you want to surf the hidden gems that reside on the platform, here are some shows you might want to check out: 

“Love, Death, and Robots” (2019) 
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 78% 

If you loved “Black Mirror” and thrive on anthologies and have an appetite for dystopian stories, “Love, Death, and Robots” is just the right show for you. It’s future-shock and, for Henry Casey of tech website Tom’s Guide, it’s perfect for anyone who likes the variance associated with anthologies and the gloom and doom and quiet moments characteristics of dystopian stories. 

“Kiss me First” (2018) 
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 57%

Another show that operates in the same mood as “Black Mirror” is “Kiss Me First,” a story about alternate realities, virtual worlds, and murder mysteries. Though it’s only got 57% on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s a hidden world for anyone who’s just come off watching “Black Mirror” and would like something similar to quench that thirst. 

Be forewarned that it doesn’t start off easy and can definitely feel slow to start, but be assured that it is truly promising. 

“Kung Fu Hustle” (2004) 
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 90% 

Villains who can play the Guzheng? An uncharacteristic neighborhood hiding in plain sight and some gang war comedy? “Kung Fu Hustle” is truly a treat. This movie puts an entirely different spin on not knowing your neighbors enough. In this compound, every citizen has a special skill in fighting and the comedy of the whole movie is so well-done that there’s almost no dead air in between scenes. 

This movie also got the “Netflix Effect” treatment, and many of those who loved the movie rewatched it fondly on Netflix. 

“Neon Genesis Evangelion” (1995 - 1996)
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100% 

It’s not every day you see a movie that’s so beloved by Rotten Tomatoes to give it a hundred percent rating, but “Neon Genesis Evangelion” really is deserving of this rating. It only ran from ‘95 to ‘96 but that was already enough for it to become a cult classic for anyone worth their salt in the anime world. 

Casey writes that, while “Neon Genesis Evangelion” looks like just the anime any action-lover would like, it’s actually so much more than that: 

“While it might look like an action-packed mecha-anime, you'll quickly see that Evangelion is very much focused on the lives of the 14-year-olds forced to pilot these sky-scraper tall robots in war against aliens called Angels. And while that makes for a show that can be very confusing, it's both emotionally strong and rewarding for those who stick through to the very end.”

“Spring Breakers” (2012) 
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 66% 

If, however, life has become way too serious for you and you just want to watch something that’s stupid and fun, maybe you can have a ball watching “Spring Breakers,” a 2012 film featuring James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine. 

It’s not every day you see a movie that’s so beloved by Rotten Tomatoes to give it a hundred percent rating, but “Neon Genesis Evangelion” really is deserving of this rating / Photo by: Christian H. via Flickr