Friday, September 13, 2013

Dear Netflix {and Hollywood at large, for that matter}

Dear Netflix,

You’ve been on my mind lately; I have something I want to tell you, but I’ve been putting it off.  Then you sent me an email asking for feedback, and I was pleased for an opportunity to share.


Then you asked me, on a five-point scale how satisfied I was with Netflix.  And that’s it.  No room for real feedback at all.

So I thought I’d drop you a line.

Overall, I’m very satisfied with your service: I love that for just $8 a month I have access to all sorts of TV shows, movies, kids’ shows, and documentaries.  I love that they stream right to my TV or computer.  I love that I waste less of my life in front of commercials.  I even love that you’re producing your own content, like a poor man’s HBO.  However, there’s something you should consider before you continue in the content-creation vein, and that is

Not everybody’s into sex scenes.

I was with you on House of Cards—an edgier version of The West Wing, I figured.  I tried to stay awake because the storyline was fascinating, but—in all fairness to me—I had just kicked a baby out of my uterus and sleep won.  When Professor told me about the pretty graphic sex scenes ahead, I decided I really didn’t need to bother with the rest of it.

We suffered through the raunchy scenes in Orange is the New Black because the story line was that compelling—but not without much eye rolling and cuticle studying while we waited it out.

{Also, I was most proud of Professor; he did not pace or leave the room, as he often does when television is awkward.  My little brother will cover his ears and scream "LALALALALA" while running around the house when things get awkward onscreen.  Anybody out there have male relations like this, or is it something in the water here?}

Which brings me to my first point: sex scenes are rather awkward.  It’s one thing to sit through a sex scene with your spouse, but what about when watching a movie with a group?  Or your father?  Oh. my. goodness.  We were visiting a while back and watched a movie with my dad: lots of shoot ‘em up, witty banter, and BAM!  Rolling between the sheets.  Skin.  Noise.

While sitting between the man who changed my diapers and the one who fathered my children.  Cue much fidgeting and “uhh” and “well, how ‘bout them Twins?”

Which is my next point: how often do sex scenes actually advance the plot?  Aside from the ever-popular dominatrix-seduces-bad-guy-then-offs-him, is it a necessary part of the story?  So often it feels rushed, out-of-context, and obligatory.  No thanks.  I think subtle implication has the same affect and leaves more room for storytelling.

Which is my final point: people show up for stories, not sex scenes.  Think about it: unless the movie was Magic Mike or the looming 50 Shades of Grey, how many people leave the theater gushing about the sex scene?   Do your friends gush about Leading Actor and Starlette of the Week’s steamy rendezvous?  Do they?

Well, mine don’t, compadre.  When I talk movies with friends—heck, even acquaintances or even strangers—I hear topics like special effects, action sequences, scenery and even pesky little things like plot.

So, again, I’m all for you Netflix, truly, I am.  But I’d be even more for you if you could deliver a compelling story without a scene or ten that make me stare at my nails and sigh that manicures aren’t in my budget.

Yours ever so respectfully,
MK Jorgenson


  1. ahhh yes, my hubby also squirms and will frequently change the channel when things get awkward/uncomfortable in scenes - even when it's funny awkwardness, so then I miss hilarious scenes. Unfortunately, many times this happens during Big Bang Theory, and I miss many-a-hilarious Sheldon moments.

    1. Glad I'm not the only one with men who act this way! We can't watch season 1 of The Office because somebody just can't handle himself.


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