Netflix and Producer Creativity

      The rise of new platforms such as Hulu and Netflix have given us an alternate model for distributing and exhibiting content. Shows on major networks have content that is usually controlled to a certain extent. Netflix and Hulu have started to produce their own original series, which has given mainstream television a new rival. Because platforms such as Netflix  are so independent of major networks and cable outlets, the producers have more creativity in terms of aesthetic value and content. 

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      In the Netflix original series Orange Is The New Black, there is rarely an episode that you can just drift in and out of. As I watched each episode there was always a reoccurring instance that made me jaw drop in one way or another. The style of content represented in this series was so unlike the smooth narrative one would find in conventional network programming. Certain aesthetic choices made my experience with this content far more participatory compared to my viewing habits with network television. For example, scenes of nudity and explicit material are blatantly present only a few minutes in the first episode. This meant that my attention was increasingly hard to wonder off course, simply because of the edgy material that made it impossible to ignore. In my opinion, the freedom that Kohan has with the unconventional aesthetics of this particular series gives her the ability to more effectively reveal the backstories and development of these various characters. The lack of network restraints on aesthetic creative choices help us better understand and identify with Piper’s life through her raw, intimate, and realistic experiences. This new platform has indirectly influenced television by providing unconventional aesthetic packaging of content. 

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3 thoughts on “Netflix and Producer Creativity

  1. Nice post Taylor! I agree with you that the emergence of Netflix has created a new set of media to rival “mainstream” television. The freedom Netflix presents allows the writers to explore unusual narrative lines (with the insane number of flashbacks) and character development. The show really did hold my attention because I was fascinated with where the story was going to go next and what the next surprising thing was going to be. Speaking to Ellie’s comment, do you think there is a negative review on the show due to nudity or do you think it is based more upon how characters are breaking the normal stereotype? To me the show has this sense of reality that perhaps makes viewers uncomfortable, but the show creates these edgy moments in order to portray things that could actually occur in a women prison and show the effects it has on Piper and the other characters. Theses aspects are not there just to be edgy or push the envelope, but instead they have a purpose to the narrative.

  2. I think the bad reviews of this show have much less significance as opposed to network TV shows. When you pick a show on Netflix you have agency over what you watch. When you choose to watch Orange Is The New Black on Netflix, you know what you are getting in to. Yes, I think the edgy content and nudity have upset a few people. However I think that unlike broadcast television, this content is not at all in anyones face. As Kellie pointed out, this edgy content should be seen as a creative and unconventional approach to deeper narrative development.

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