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Netflix Originals: Are you still watching?

Emmanuelle Copeland, Graphics Director

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Netflix has officially announced that they plan to release 1000 Netflix originals by the end of the year with 85 percent of its total content spending going to this endeavor. But in the end will it be worth it?

Kicking off the beginning this summer, we’ve all been promised another season of the successful, but heavily debated, “13 Reasons Why.” This drama stirred a lot of controversies as it carried themes of sexual assault, abuse, bullying and suicide in very impactful and graphic portrayals.

But here is how Netflix is solidifying its extremely unique position in the entertainment industry.

The only people Netflix is answering to is itself and the public, which it uses to its best advantage. While TV audiences come to certain networks due to a certain gimmick, political opinion or type of content shown, Netflix doesn’t need to stick to a brand and can expand to give all genres their time in the spotlight. Thus there is a show for almost any type of audience to get invested in.

Due to its global success, the number of international shows that are being funded has increased. Netflix does cover a wide range of countries and cultures. From the pressing issues of Flint, Michigan to the warm fuzzies of a basic K-drama, all of this is covered under the umbrella of originals by the digital entertainment powerhouse. The global market is changing the interconnectedness of our world, and that is a good thing if it has any potential to evoke any empathy for others. And entertainment is an easy means for that.

Given there are a whole lot of series that get dropped after one season by the company. But the amount of attention Netflix has gotten for all its attempts to increase the diversity in the business is well deserved. Like with “13 Reasons Why” many series have pushed the boundaries of what is acceptable for a show to have and depict. But Netflix is at the beck and call of the hypercritical internet. So unlike TV shows that can be slow to depict the changes of our dynamic population, the Internet has to. And that is worth something.

From Queer Eye to the Get Down, the amount of positive depictions of diverse communities given the funding and platform to succeed is a paradigm shift that is worth exploring.

So when the rest of the 1000 originals are launched, try not to get overwhelmed, because some of these shows are worth digging through the 100 Netflix-funded, mediocre comedy specials. Netflix is initiating a new era of entertainment that is deserving of an audience, and you should try to support that.

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Netflix Originals: Are you still watching?