Why Netflix is Worth $8 a month

Netflix is a video-streaming service that allows you to stream as many movies and tv shows as you want for $8 a month. They also still offer dvd by mail rental plans. This review is just for the streaming part of Netflix.
When you sign up for Netflix you get a My List which is a list of shows and movies for you to choose from that you want to watch. You add shows to your My List by clicking on Add to My List when checking out a title.

Netflix has so many choices available that you’d be hard-pressed not to find something to watch. Of course on the other hand with so many options to look through you might waste all the time you had to watch in the first place. Luckily they do show you recommendations on what to watch based on your interest in another title that’s similar.

The thing I like best about Netflix is the ability to binge watch tv shows. I always think I will get around to watching 3 to 4 episodes a night of a drama that’s around 42 minutes but I never do. 2 is usually my max for dramas and 4 for sitcoms. I guess I just like the idea that I can watch as many episodes in a row as I want.

I also like that Netflix is pretty quick at adding new episodes of a show within a year of their initial airing. Shows I currently have on My List that aired from Fall 2013 to Spring 2014 that were added to Netflix this fall are Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, The Originals Season 1, The Vampire Diaries Season 5 and The 100 Season 1. When new episodes of a show are added and you currently have the show in your list you receive an email saying new episodes have arrived for the show. Netflix even sends you emails for shows they think you would like to watch based on what you’ve watched in the past.

I know I mentioned Netflix also has movies to stream but I personally don’t watch movies as often as I do tv shows. The last movie I think I streamed was Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2. I couldn’t tell you how long it takes for new movies to show up on Netflix streaming. I do know that Netflix DVD rental releases new movies 28 days after they come out on DVD and on-demand. It’s completely your decision on what you watch.

Another great thing about Netflix is the variety of devices that have a Netflix app; tablets, phones, video game consoles, TVs, blu-ray players and media streaming set-top boxes. You can also stream on netflix.com on the computer. My set-up is PS3 for the living room, Roku streaming box for my bedroom and occasionally on my MacBook Air when the living room TV is in use.

An interesting development with Netflix is their involvement in creating original series; Orange is the New Black, Hemlock Grove and even cartoons like Turbo FAST which is based on the DreamWorks movie Turbo. Two new shows coming this month are Marco Polo (meant to rival HBO’s Game of Thrones) and All Hail King Julien (an animated show based upon King Julien in the DreamWorks’ Madagascar film series). I predict in the next few years Netflix will have a line-up of pretty successful original series.

I like the way Netflix has evolved since its creation and hope it continues to change the television landscape. Netflix is a great service for cord-cutters and is also a great supplement to cable. Hopefully the great price of $8 a month holds for a long time to come. It would be a shame for them to jack up the price if their original shows take off in the ratings.

Original shows premiering this month on Netflix:

Marco Polo December 12th

All Hail King Julien December 19th


My Top 5 Favorite Nicktoons: 2. The Penguins of Madagascar

2. Penguins of Madagascar

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The Penguins of Madagascar is a spin-off of the Madagascar films. The show is about the adventures of four penguins; Skipper, Rico, Kowalski and Private, who perform various military-like missions to protect their home in the Central Park Zoo. They often deal with problems caused or exacerbated by King Julien, a ring-tailed lemur; Maurice, an aye-aye and Mort, a mouse lemur.

The first element of the show that I enjoy is the interactions between the four penguins and how very different each of their personalities are. Having four very unique characters makes the show more interesting and leads to plots that are fun to watch and plans that could go haywire at any minute.

Skipper is the leader and devises tactics and gives orders. Due to Skipper being overly paranoid and having experience in covert ops it has caused him to view ordinary activities as military activities and to prepare for almost any situation that could happen.

Rico is the team’s weapons and explosives specialist. He communicates mainly through grunts and squeals but has been known to speak normally on occasion. Slighty unhinged and referred to as a psychopath in several episodes, he swallows useful tools, such as dynamite, and regurgitates them when needed.

Kowalski is a brilliant inventor but can’t read. He tends to over-analyze situations and creates amazing devices which have been known to put the team in danger.

Private is emotionally sensitive, the rookie of the team and younger and less experienced than the other penguins. He tends to offer simpler solutions in response to Skipper and Kowalski’s complex startegies. Private speaks in a British accent as opposed to Skipper and Kowalski’s American accents.

Another element of the show that I enjoy is the character of King Julien. He is a fun loving and narcissistic ring-tailed lemur. King Julien is conceited and has no concern for others, even his royal subjects; Maurice and Mort. He often misinterprets figures of speech and uses incorrect words in place of a word with a similar sound. Julien considers himself to be king over all animals but is oblivious to their dislike of him.

His personality is the biggest reason I like him and consider him an integral part of the show. The way he interacts with other characters and the problems he causes leads to many laughs and great plots.

The last element of the show that I enjoy is when all the zoo animals interact with each other. Other zoo characters include Marlene, a female otter; Mason and Phil, two intelligent chimpanzees; Bada and Bing, two gorillas who enjoy to fight and Joey, an anti-social kangaroo with a passion for boxing.

I like seeing other characters besides King Julien, Maurice and Mort involved in the penguins’ missions because we get to learn more about them. The other character involved with the penguins the most though is Marlene. She is often neutral and doesn’t take sides between the penguins and the lemurs. By being a levelheaded, feminine voice of reason, she is a counterpoint to Skipper’s masculine, covert-ops character.

Just like I said a few days ago about CatDog, The Penguins of Madagascar is also an ensemble show and every character adds to it in some way. But really isn’t that what we want in every show we watch, the characters and plots coming together to improve the quality of the show and making it enjoyable to watch.

Future of the Madagascar penguins:

Even though this show is no longer in production, Nickelodeon U.S.A. still has 2, 30 minute specials and 3, regular length episodes left to air. So that’s something to look forward to whether they air on Nickelodeon or Nicktoons. The other big news is that The Penguins of Madagascar movie is coming out in theaters March 27th, 2015. Although it won’t be directly related to the tv series the penguins’ will be like there Madagascar film counterparts I assume.

Places to watch it: Nickelodeon, Nicktoons and episodes can be purchased on Amazon Instant Video, iTunes and Google Play.