God bless you, Netflix

Today I finished “Parks and Recreation,” a modern classic sitcom that lasted seven seasons on NBC and lives on in syndication — and Netflix, where I found it.parks-and-rec

On this glorious streaming service, I’ve found and binge-watched many a show, and it all started with “The West Wing.”

I began watching the political drama about President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet and his senior staff back when I first started dating my wife, Megan. In fact, I began the series on her parents’ account.

Soon, I revived my own and continued watching. Though it took me a year and a half to complete, it was worth every minute of every hourlong episode in its seven-season span.

Even after all the TV I’ve watched, “The West Wing” remains one of my all-time favorite shows.The West Wing.gif

But since then, I’ve streamed my way through “The Office,” “Mad Men” and the aforementioned “Parks and Recreation.”

Each one I enjoyed immensely, even “Mad Men,” which requires some patience as the first season is a little slow. But I will eternally be a Jon Hamm fan after his masterful portrayal of Don Draper.

Of course, there are the Netflix originals I’ve also watched, including “House of Cards” and most of the “The Ranch,” save for the last two episodes of the second part of Season 1.

Plus, there are other originals I’ve yet to watch or complete, like “The Crown,” “Last Chance U,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Master of None” and “Narcos.” And then, from network TV, there’s “How I Met Your Mother,” “30 Rock,” “New Girl,” “Freaks and Geeks” and “Breaking Bad.”

But if I were to be nitpicky about Netflix, the problem I would point out is the frustration inherent in watching their productions.

house-of-cardsFor example, I got on the “House of Cards” bandwagon a bit late and blasted my way through each and every plot-twisting moment, but now, I have to wait until May 30 for Season 5 — and I’ve been waiting for a while.

I almost prefer the way Netflix handled the half-hour comedy “The Ranch” as it released the first part of Season 1 and then the second six months later.

Or, maybe, it could release an episode every week, like the TV networks, and get on that kind of production schedule so you’re not left waiting a year or more for a new season.

But I get Netflix is a wholly different platform, and they’re setting themselves apart as a binge-watching destination. Like me, you can pick up different shows while you wait, which, I’m guessing, is what they’re banking on.

And the fine folks at Netflix saw me coming a mile away.

Now that I’m done with “Parks and Recreation,” and almost done with “The Ranch,” I’ll probably move on to “The Crown” and “How I Met Your Mother.”

I’ve been looking forward to “The Crown” for a while, ever since  an article written early last year previewed Netflix’s newest original. Up to that point, it was the most expensive show the streaming service created, with a production price tag of $156 million.The Crown.gif

But since its release in November, it’s been quite popular and critically acclaimed, winning two Golden Globes earlier this year. One for best television drama over HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” fellow Netflix-er “Stranger Things,” NBC’s “This Is Us” and another HBO hit “Westworld.” The other was for best actress in a television drama with Claire Foy winning for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II.

I’m a sucker for period pieces, and I’m positive this will not disappoint.

himymI began watching “How I Met Your Mother” when it first debuted on CBS in 2005, but I lost track after the first few seasons and started again during its last in 2014.

Like most everyone, I was horribly disappointed in the conclusion, but I want to see what I missed in between because, minus the finale, I really enjoyed the show.

It’ll take me a while to get through the nine-season comedy, but I’m certain I’ll make it through “The Crown” in no time flat.

So what will replace the drama in my binge-watching efforts?

I don’t know. Maybe, it’ll be a show I’ve found recently, like “Frontier,” a Netflix original set during the American Revolution. Or perhaps “Travelers,” yet another Netflix production, which stars Eric McCormack of “Will & Grace” fame in a sci-fi role.

Who knows, I may finally watch “Narcos” or “Last Chance U.”

So many shows, so little time.

And that’s just Netflix. Nevermind the dizzying number of network TV shows taking up my time — and space on my DVR.

Oh well, like the fall, it’s going to be a busy winter and spring.


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