Netfix has completed its television revolution

Zach Adler

Since its introduction of video streaming in the late 2000s, Netflix has become the premiere way to watch TV for people who don’t like TV. Since then, it has become an industry force, being available on TVs, computers, mobile phones, tablets and just about anything with an internet connection. But Netflix has not only changed where people watch TV, but how they watch it.

With the ever-growing popularity of Netflix has also come the rise of binge-watching, or watching several episodes or even several seasons of a show without breaks. Before, binge-watching could only be done years after a show’s finish after it had been released on DVD, which is still less convenient than Netflix’s sleek, instantly-start-the-next-episode system, which seems to capitalize and even depend upon binge watching.

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“Orange is the New Black” stars Taylor Schilling as a priviledged New Yorker serving time in federal prison for smuggling illegal drugs when she was younger. Photo from

What has helped Netflix cap off its television domination is its creation of original exclusive content, which has put Netflix on par with such cable giants as HBO and Showtime. This began in early 2013 with the political thriller “House of Cards,” which was also the first streaming show to receive major awards, both at the Emmys and the Golden Globes.

There are only a handful of shows that are Netflix exclusives right now, including the wonderful “Orange Is The New Black” and “Lillyhammer,” which have proven, along with “House Of Cards,” that Netflix is the new torchbearer of intriguing and boundary pushing content in this post-“Breaking Bad” and soon-to-be-post-“Mad Men” television landscape.

Perhaps Netflix achieved the perfect storm of everything that sets them above television in May 2013, when they premiered the long-anticipated fourth season of “Arrested Development.” “Arrested Development” had been off the air since 2006, and had only grown in stature since. Swarms of fans bought the first three seasons on DVD to binge watch again and again, only to soon discover that the first three seasons were available on Netflix. But when Season 4 was announced as a Netflix exclusive, it was a bombshell, and the definition of what Netflix wanted to show, something that only they had and was made for binge-watching. It was an instant hit, and another season is planned, again as a Netflix exclusive.

So will Netflix be the end of television as we know it? Probably not. Is it the most exciting new medium for television? Absolutely.