Netflix! Yes, that wonderful content streaming platform and production company that aired a series of popular shows like Stranger Things, 13 Reasons Why, House of Cards, Narcos, The Crown, Money Heist, and many more. It is not surprising that Netflix currently has over 200 million paid subscribers worldwide especially with the COVID-19 pandemic turning 2020 into a “Stay Home Year”. However, there are many more reasons for Netflix to remain the top choice among the general viewership; being able to watch on-the-go, its affordability, being commercial-free, the availability of multilingual content, and most importantly, the new young actors and actresses who often make their mainstream debut through different Netflix shows has constantly kept younger audiences in particular attracted to the platform. In this sense, Netflix has become the de-facto place to watch a beautiful movie on a weekend or binge-watch your favorite show without even the slightest interference of a random pop-up ad.
It is said that Netflix uses its Artificial Intelligence to track hidden top talents around the world for their productions. Hence their productions have been able to reach new heights breaking the cultural bounds and creating a global platform for young people pursuing their talents and dreams. And this is what has led to what we call the “Netflix Effect” today.
The “Netflix Effect” in definition is when an unknown actor or actress, a beautiful place, or a certain object rises to fame overnight as a result of a new Netflix TV series being released. Although Fandoms are not a new concept, the new entertainers that Netflix is introducing are not just becoming famous, they are becoming Netflix famous while simultaneously achieving flourishing careers.
Well, it is time to look into a few of Netflix’s amazing shows and their effects on the Movie Industry. We all remember the Heartthrob Noah Centineo, who brought the character “Peter Kavinsky” to life in the movie series “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”. While he had a breakout year in 2018 after being discovered by Netflix accidentally, he still happens to be one of the leading men in the industry, and with that popularity; it is no wonder that he is fondly called the ‘Internet’s Boyfriend’ or ‘America’s Boyfriend’. Noah Centineo however, is only one of many. There is also Jacob Elordi from “Kissing Booth”, Ursula who plays Tokyo in “Money Heist”, the kids from Stranger Things; Millie Bobby Brown and Finn Wolfhard as well as the teen cast from 13 Reasons Why; Katherine Langford, Dylan Minette and Ross Butler. They have been able to rise to immense popularity through these Netflix shows and as a result, further step into other avenues and work with even bigger production companies in the industry. Another reason behind their success, however, lies in Netflix’s clever tactics in promoting their works.
The “Netflix Effect” of some shows is just enigmatic. A very apt example would be “The Crown ” which is about life and times of the British Monarchy. Although the show was made solely for entertainment purposes, many viewers have claimed that it has changed their view of the Royals. Viewers also expressed that they have come to understand and appreciate the benefits as well as the challenges of being a part of the Royal family. Even more surprisingly, Netflix has revealed that a total of 73 million households worldwide have taken their time to watch this royal drama. Next, we have one of Netflix’s most controversial shows – “The Queen’s Gambit’ ‘ starring the rising star Anya Taylor-Joy. It is a wartime story about an orphaned girl, who is a chess prodigy, struggling to become the greatest chess player in the world. With an audience of 62 million households, it has been able to inspire a lot of newcomers to play chess; proving the above fact, the infamous online storefront eBay states that with the release of the drama, inquiries of chess sets on the platform have increased by 250%. However, one of the most fascinating facts about this TV show is that the original novel “The Queen’s Gambit” was able to become the New York Times Best Seller 37 years after its release. The period drama “Bridgerton” that aired towards the end of 2020 which is another example, also gained a huge amount of attention on social media platforms. Fans of the series have claimed that it has influenced how they want to dress, and behave. And also, as per eBay, the sudden boom in sales of embroidery hoops and corsets was a direct result of the TV show Bridgerton which exhibited a beautiful portrayal of the high-class lifestyle spent by the powerful Bridgerton family during the Regency era in England. Well, this is not all and I could go on all day. But I believe it is also important to realize that the so-called “Netflix Effect” does not always bring about positive influences.
We tend to justify the time spent binge-watching these shows as a form of stress relief but what about when we lose track of time and just sit hours and hours watching these shows? Now, I myself do this quite a lot whilst knowing it is not very healthy. We might slip in our grades, gain weight, close ourselves off from having a social life, or get unnecessarily manipulated through these addictive shows. For instance, the famous high school drama “13 Reasons Why” was based on a suicide of a high school girl who leaves behind 13 cassette tapes that point out 13 reasons as to why she decided to commit suicide. Although the drama had a lot of positive feedback, the viewers were also left wondering if the TV show actually glamorized teen suicide. According to many teens, the show had a chilling effect on them. However, the show later came to be associated with a 28.9% increase in suicide rates in the United States. Thus, proving that the “Netflix Effect” can generate negative consequences as well.
All things considered, it is impossible to not love the concept “Netflix and chill”, especially with all the good content they are throwing at us, but it is also important to understand that Netflix has its own pros and cons as well. While Netflix could be a great source of entertainment, it could also be a source of distraction from important things in your life. To sum it all up, it’s all good; it just needs to be done in moderation.
– Rtr Ama Dewanmini
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