So, I’ve written about TV before and the struggle to watch it as a parent but let’s just pretend that all the planets in the cosmos line up and your nocturnal kids are settled in bed and it’s just you and your partner and the immortal words are spoken....
Will we watch something on Netflix?
Now to the uninitiated this idea will sound like heaven; ‘a beautiful moment snuggled up as a couple ‘without kids’ on the couch’ but those of you with a partner with different taste in TV will know that this is the slippery slope into the 7th level of hell. No scratch that this is the descent into ‘argumentative purgatory’
Yes… I’m talking about the ‘Netflix: what'll we watch’ mmm ‘discussion’. It's the new “what do you want to eat”. Yes you are going to slowly move from ‘Oh that sounds like a good idea’ to re-enacting the following scene..
Let me just state that at any time I will have 5-6 shows lined up in my mind that I want to check out. Thrillers, crime dramas, stuff that I’ve heard discussed and avoided spoilers to in the hope that at some stage in the near future I’ll get this perfect opportunity to catch up on. Of those shows, how many do you think my wife will be interested in? ……Yup, a BIG FAT ZERO!!
So in the interest of moving things along and considering I know I’m going to ‘hit up for making tea anyway’ I hand the Bear (that’s my wife, for those not in the know) the remote and ask her to ‘find something’ and pop out to the kitchen in the hope that I’ll return with her tea and chocolate and find there on the screen before me the perfect TV show ready to start, like some divine miracle.
Miracle is the appropriate word in this case because I’m sure many of you reading this will have gone through the exact same scenario. In reality, you’ll return to find your partner staring gormlessly at a Netflix screen, flicking back and forth through the options like their decision is paramount to the survival of humanity. (If you’re lucky that is, they could be messing on their phone waiting for the tea to arrive without having spent a thought on what to watch)
If it’s the former you’ll find yourself cursing modern technology on your return and wondering in this modern day and age do we have ‘too much choice?’
I mean, growing up in Ireland most people had 3 channels, (Yes kids, you heard me right), one of these channels was in Irish, so that’s a generally a right off, so basically a choice of 2!! You can watch the News/Soaps or whatever else was on the other channel. Decision making was easy. You had to just watch the best option available even if you spent the next 2 hours sat saying, ‘This is what my TV licence pays for!!’
So this is how the conversation/descent into oblivion goes:
Daddy P: “Have you not found something yet?”
The Bear: “Give me a chance I’m trying”
Daddy P: “Do you want me to find something?”
The Bear: “No, I’m going to find something we’ll both like”
Translator: Something she’ll like and you’ll tolerate
Daddy P (internally): HAHAHAHA
Daddy P: “So what kind of program are you after?”
The Bear: "Something with a good story"
Translator: “She doesn’t know and is stalling for time”
Daddy P (internally, again): "She hasn’t even decided on a genre, FFS!!"
The Bear: “Don’t look at me like that”
Daddy P (internally): "maybe these thoughts aren’t as internal as I thought"
Daddy P (Pointing at a viable option): “How about that one?”
The Bear: "No, that’s too long"
Daddy P (pointing at another viable option): “Oh, there! I heard people talking about that being good”
The Bear: “Not tonight. It’s too heavy, I need something easy”
Daddy P (internally and very sarcastically):” Yeah let's wait till I've seen spoilers/missed all the internet pop culture references then we can give it a go”
The Bear: “Film or TV show?”
Daddy P (though gritted teeth): “I don’t mind”
Daddy P (internally): “Are you F’in serious? Just bloody pick something?”
The Bear: “Oh this looks good”
Daddy P: “We’ve seen it”
The Bear: “Are you sure”
Daddy P: “Yes” (proceeds to spout out a synopsis of the entire plot)
The Bear: “Oh yeah, that was only, alright wasn’t it?”
Daddy P (exasperated): “Can I choose something?”
Narrator: “Keep it internal Daddy P”
The Bear: “I’ve got this, let me choose”
Daddy P (internally): “You have been, it hasn’t gone well, your bloody tea is cold at this stage”
The Bear: “How about this one?”
At this stage, she’ll show you something on screen that you wouldn’t watch in a million years. Something that screams ‘I skipped the cinema and went straight to TV’
The Bear: “I like the look of this”
Daddy P: “Lets come back to it if we don’t find anything else” (This is the adult equivilant of the Parenting phrase "We'll see")
Translator: “Lets never speak of this moment again”
Narrator: "The Bear has narrowed it down to ‘a drama’ and a ‘a film’ at least that’s some kind of progress…. Isn’t it?"
Daddy P: “Can you just choose something, ......anything”
Daddy P (internally): "besides that, last thing"
Narrator: “This isn’t going to end well”
The Bear (beaming): “Right, I’ve found TWO choices”
Narrator: “Whoa, Whoa, Whoa…. Two choices?”
Daddy P: “OK, what are they?”
The Bear: “This…….or ……This”
Narrator: “So will it be torture by bad acting or death by Romcom?”
Daddy P (internally): “First one is a …No, and second one looks crap but I’d prefer watch anything than watch you scroll through Netflix menus for another hour”
Narrator: “Holy shit, It has been an hour hasn’t it!! It’s so annoying it’s like the modern day, ‘let me just choose a ringtone’ isn’t it?”
Daddy P (internally): “You and me should hang out more my narrator, you ‘get me’”
Daddy P: “The second one!! all day long”
The Bear: “Right we're going for this”
She clicks on the first one
Narrator: “You must have done something awful in a previous life Daddy P!”
Daddy P (internally): “Let’s just do this”
The Bear: “Oh, my tea is gone cold, make a new one will ya?”
Narrator: “Deep breaths Daddy P, we’ll hang out tomorrow and watch something good”
So the tea is re-made and we sit down to watch this ‘thing’.
We’re 5 mins in….
The Bear: “Lets watch the other one”
Narrator: “Don’t say ‘I told you so’ Daddy P”
30 minutes later… one of 2 things will happen….
The Bear: “I’m off to bed, I’m too tired and I’ve work in the morning”
Daddy P: “Zzzzzzz Zzzzzzz”
So, the next time you are asked “Will we watch something on Netflix?” show your partner this post (thus both; saving you time and boosting my stats). Quickly explain downside of the ‘discussion’ you are about to have and just click on the first thing that’s in anyway acceptable.