The unpredictable arrangement of entertainment custody

Like most people, I stopped buying music and movies. The abandoned ruins of my entertainment library – in all their faded VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, and CD glory – haven’t seen a new addition since 2013.

What happened in 2013?

I became a member of Netflix. And finally Spotify and Hulu and Peacock and FUNimation and Disney Plus and everything else that has my favorite shows in the clouds. I no longer have custody of my entertainment. Instead, I pay monthly entertainment assistance.

I mostly stream new content, but every once in a while I have an overwhelming desire to watch an old favorite. Sometimes it’s out of nostalgia. Sometimes it’s because I’m doing something monotonous, like filling out papers, folding clothes, or cooking dinner. It cuts down on the drudgery of having a beloved story with beloved characters providing beloved dialogue in the background.

Recently I was doing something monotonous and wanted such an expensive story. My favorite is the BBC show “Sherlock” which aired on PBS from 2010 to 2017 – great writing, great acting, great storytelling, love, love, love ‘love.

I paid to see the last episode of “Sherlock” at the movies with my kids, who also love, love, love the show. I have the theme song as ringtone for my cell phone. I can cite entire pieces of dialogue from the pilot episode to the season finale, which aren’t just lines to memorize. And, until very recently, I knew where to find this on-demand show – Netflix.

But it’s not there now.

This isn’t the first time Netflix or any of its streaming half-sisters have done this to me. A show will be there for years and then, poof, gone. No excuses. No warning.

Well I guess there was a warning. In a tantrum provoked by Google, I found an ad buried on the internet. Apparently I haven’t watched my favorite show since May, but the fact remains: this wasn’t where I paid for it to be.

That kind of hoe wasn’t a problem when I had an up-to-date entertainment library. Watching an old favorite was just a matter of flipping my video cabinet. Before 2013, “Sherlock” would have been in this cabinet because he would have been on my Christmas list. That’s another thing the streaming services have taken away – simple gift ideas.

No one puts movies or music on a gift list anymore. Why? Because that’s not what these streaming services got us into. They trained us to pay them a monthly fee to access our entertainment whenever we want.

Even if I had a copy of “Sherlock”, what would I do with it? My DVD, Blu-ray and VHS players are dusty, unplugged, unloved relics. My TV is smart, my laptop is almost portless, and my cell phone is completely portless. Data comes from clouds, like rain, unless the streaming gods turn the taps off.

I could rent my show from the same streaming services that I already pay a monthly subscription to watch … you know what? I can’t even finish this sentence. I am ready to quit all of these streaming services.

But I know I won’t.

They know I won’t, because their clouds are where I keep my things, even though, clearly, it’s none of my business.

On the positive side, I know what I want for Christmas now.

Nicole can be contacted at www.NicoleLVmullis.com.

This article originally appeared on Battle Creek Enquirer: Mullis: The Unpredictable Arrangement of Entertainment Guard


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