Netflix streams the real world to the real world
There was a moment during the week when “The Decline of Liberal Democracy” was replaced as the main topic of conversation with “The Decline of Liberal TV Streaming.” It was, of course, a privileged moment to be able to reflect on why Netflix’s popularity might be on the rise, but it also felt like a cultural moment.
As we’ve been talking to death to escape the real world for the past two years, Netflix has almost become some people’s significant other.
But it also sometimes felt like a demanding partner who kept you up all night when you really wanted to go to bed, who kept finding new ways to get your attention, and who swore every time that you would done sucking you back into the dysfunctional relationship.
There was a sense of hope when we heard that Netflix might finally have started losing viewers. The people freed themselves. Maybe we could too. Maybe a day has come when we don’t feel like we need to have seen Tiger King or Squid Game to be able to keep up with the Joneses.
There was also a lot of soul searching. Was it the cost of living? The rise of other streaming services?
Was it the fact that Netflix hasn’t had a big hit show in two weeks? Because in the world of streaming, bread or octopus eaten is quickly forgotten.
Maybe I don’t need Netflix anymore. Because life has become even more Netflix than Netflix.
Take Netflix’s current top show in Ireland, Anatomy of a Scandal. Do we really need Netflix to watch the misdeeds of Tory posh boys at a rich kid college drinking club? What if Boris Johnson moves to India to escape the very different scandals plaguing him at home?
But at least Johnson still wears a suit, whether he’s hanging out in Kyiv or sweating it out in Gujarat.
The rest of the world’s politicians try to be more Netflix by wearing casual clothes. They acknowledge that TV star President Zelenskyy is the big ratings winner at the moment – and they queue up to be seen with him, bravely walking the streets of peaceful Kiev and trying to ape Zelenskyy’s easy-going style with varying degrees of success.
The jury is still out on Charles Michel’s vest for his visit last week.
Western politicians realize that in the world of real Netflix, Ukrainian politicians are the cool characters. Not only heroic but also weird like real people.
City mayors look like dedicated community leaders who cross paths with fitness trainers, one of whom is actually a boxing champion. The MPs we see are young idealistic hipsters.
Our middle management guys in their navy suits can’t keep up.
If Netflix disrupted and laid-back the world of broadcasting and culture, Ukraine brought the culture of politics to Netflix, with relatable leaders, social media geniuses, and images that deliver the performance of their lives while remaining resolutely authentic and real .
Our politicians recognize that while Netflix stutters, old media — and old politics — will never be the same again.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/netflix-streams-the-real-world-into-the-real-world-41581849.html Netflix streams the real world to the real world