This is an exciting time, guys! Netflix, streaming service extraordinaire, was recognized Tuesday with 14 Emmy nominations for its original programming. I, for one, am pleased as punch about this, as I have devoured three of Netflix’s original series that they have produced and distributed in their unique media-dump method.
Netflix began this foray into producing and distributing original material and was met with some initial hesitation. However, I would argue that this model is the wave of the future. Not only do the creative people behind the scenes producing this media have more control over what they’re creating, but Netflix is also scoring big name directors and actors to star in these vehicles. House of Cards pulled in David Fincher to direct and produce, Joel Schumacher to direct, Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright to star (both earned nominations), as well as other up and coming actors (hello Corey Stoll and Kate Mara) to take part in the series, as well. Arrested Development was rescued from the abyss and given a 15-episode season 4 (that is creatively wonderful on its own and did not deserve some of the criticism aimed at it). Jason Bateman scored a nomination for his straight-man in a world of crazy, Michael Bluth. Hemlock Grove even scored some nominations for its special effects and main theme.
My favorite of the bunch of Netflix original programming has to be prison drama Orange is the New Black. Orange is the New Black is wonderfully original, engaging and heart-wrenching at times, and I devoured it in two days (and now have to wait a whole year for more)! It’s definitely not for everyone’s tastes; it is set in a women’s federal prison, after all (and is pretty graphic, to boot), but it is appealing on so many levels. Created by Jenji Kohan, who brought us Weeds, and produced by a few of the minds who brought us House, this series is superbly acted by faces new and old (Laura Prepon, Taylor Schilling, Kate Mulgrew and Natasha Lyonne, to name a few) and superbly written. Jodie Foster even directed an episode! It is being touted as the first outright bonafide hit for Netflix and I might have to agree – it was renewed for a second season before season one even dropped. I’m hoping it rakes in the nominations next year!
As an avid binge watcher, the Netflix model appeals to me on so many levels. I can watch at my leisure or absorb everything given to me as quickly as possible. It also allows the creative folks more leeway to produce what they want and how they want it, giving them more control than networks allow. They also do not have to allow for commercial breaks, or worry about ad revenue and how well ratings are doing on a particular night/time, because, well, Netflix doesn’t have commercials. As long as people keep paying their $7.99 a month to watch programming, Netflix does not seem to care how that programming is being viewed. I also am a big fan of Netflix getting out of the way and letting its creative minds actually create, and watching what they come up with on their own brilliance.
The message is a simple one, and it was proved on Tuesday. “Great television is great television, no matter how it gets to the screen,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos says. He adds, “These shows that were nominated today are not the result of pilots and testing and studio and network notes. This is really the result of great storytellers telling great stories, and we couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Not only can I not wait for more House of Cards, Orange Is The New Black and maybe (here’s hoping) Arrested Development, I am also excited to see what else Netflix brings us. If they don’t already have more original programming up their sleeve and ready to go, they sure will have some now! It’s really great that the industry has begun to recognize how the media landscape is changing.
Netflix has just proven that the future of television is here, and I could not be more excited to see what happens next.
If you’d like more on the interview with Ted Sarandos, check out Entertainment Weekly.
Featured image via Celebuzz