It’s not the same! I’ve seen the show enough times through to have memorized each minute action and reaction, and I don’t feel bad about it. I’ve watched it with my own friends, cooked eggs and potatoes with it on in the background, had it playing in the next room while I clean my apartment, turned off my macbook screen and put the volume just below the intelligible-word level–and even then I knew the lines!–and fallen asleep to it…
I know my Friends, and I know that pieces of that beloved show have been cut!
They’ve robbed characters of their right to react, what a travesty! How would Netflix feel if I was all like, “Hey remember when you abruptly changed your subscription service for no apparent reason and with no warning, started another website with yet another queue to manage and charged current customers more money for the same exact services, while also making it more difficult for them to use that service?” and Netflix didn’t get a chance to make an awkward video response? I’ll bet the answer is bad, albeit saved from making further asses of themselves.
And yeah, it’s only snippets of dialogue or annoyed exhaling, but still. What about the episode where Rachel’s dancing naked and Ross thinks it’s it seduce him. So he goes over and kicks off his shoes, but really it’s not for him and he’s all embarrassed, and Rachel says, “You actually thought I wanted to have sex with you?” and Ross says, “No, no, no, no…” while gathering his shoes and hurrying toward the door. Well, Netflix Friends would have you believe the scene ends there, but really, Rachel, teasing, says, “Ross, you kicked off your shoes!” right before he gets out the door.
Now, I know it doesn’t sound like much, but if you’ve seen that episode thirty times and it’s always had that line in it and all of a sudden it’s just not there, it upsets your brain. Your brain starts looking for it, instead of being lulled into relaxation your brain is watching the show in hyperdrive trying to find the place in the series it happened, it thinks, “Well maybe it was later in the episode.” But the episode ends and it still doesn’t happen, and as far as your brain can remember it’s no where else either, it was supposed to be there, and it wasn’t. And then the doubt creeps in, your brain becomes inundated with thoughts, like, “Maybe I made it all up.” and “Maybe it never happened at all.” and “Maybe I’m crazy.”
Truthfully, maybe I can own up to some measure of craziness in all this madness, but I won’t take it all, because that line is DEFINITELY in every other version of that episode I’ve ever seen in my whole life and I won’t rest until everybody knows it!
The good news, though, is that in the episode where Phoebe sings to the kids at the library about grandparents dying and farm animals being turned into dinner, there’s like ten seconds at the end where she’s teaching library guy a song and I had never seen that part before. So that’s pretty cool.
The morale of the story is: You can give us small gifts Netflix, but if you take even seconds away from us, we will have no choice but to remind you of your biggest, blackest blunder.
And yeah, you brought us Orange is the New Black [great book] and House of Cards; but I’ve never seen those shows, and I will always remember you as the place where tons of crap movies and crap TV live on to disappoint an even wider range of viewers. That’s right, I said it! You save money on content by buying tons of crap that’s cheap to license, and suddenly forcing your subscribers to pay more for the same thing!
I’d way rather stream than give you eight dollars a month, loser face.
photo credit goes to Friends, the greatest show ever.