The Future of TV and Film

It’s funny how we used to joke that there were so many TV channels on cable, but nothing to watch.

With a few restrictions depending on your location or individual situation, you can watch basically every single thing from anywhere in the world at any time.

Except that there is still nothing to watch.

Not because of apathy or disinterest.

It’s because almost every streaming service app is garbage and makes it impossible to find anything good to watch!

Can’t I organize by movie and genre? Why do Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon keep recommending me shows that I’ve already watched multiple times? Why does every platform have the license for the same movie? (Looking at you, The Hustle… I’m still not interested right now. Pls go away.) How many platforms will I subscribe to and cancel because either their content or UI is garbage?

Why is my Netflix list always full? Why should it even have a limit if they keep releasing crappy new content that I might want to watch eventually? How do I un-cancel shows that are actually good and convince Netflix to cancel 8-hour long Coke ads instead? (Stranger Things…can u not?)

Why can I never make it past the letter “H” when searching an alphabetized list of content because of the UI bumping me back to “A” if I check a program’s details and click back to said list?

Why is so much content so white whenever it isn’t a designated celebratory month or movement? I don’t feel threatened by white leads in a 90% white-majority show/film, but holy cow do I feel underrepresented. Is it getting better? I don’t think so. Even in Canadian media, where I’ve noticed secondary and tertiary characters are ethnically diverse, the lead roles seem to be reserved for white actors.

Is there a lot of potentially great media that I purposely bypass for the time-being because the thumbnail is 2-7 white actors? Yeah. All the time. It’s even more confusing when all of the actors seem to work together often, or might be friends in real life. You don’t have any friends-of-color that you wanted to add to your production? When there are BIPOC in your content, do they play lead roles in the same capacity as the other white actors?

Likewise for LGBTQ+ and other marginalized persons. Are their media representations harmful or stereotypical? Is anyone fetishised if they are non-white-het-cis-male? When is a portrayal the actor’s choice, and when is that portrayal being directed by someone who is nothing like them? How can I tell just by browsing through endless white-washed thumbnails across dozens of categories and services?

Why can’t I categorize content by language? I will watch content in any language, but I don’t always have the time to focus on something foreign to me. Not every program has dubbed versions available.

I try to keep an open-mind when choosing something to watch because I want to be well-versed in media.

Lately, I’ve spent more time trying to find something to watch than actually becoming invested in good movies and shows because I keep seeing the same recommendations over and over and over and I know there is more content available, but it is a challenge to access it on any platform.

Back to reading books again, I guess!

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