Netflix Canada Gets Original

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Netflix has never been the source for catching the latest episode of your favourite prime time show or the newest movie release but their foray into original content opens a whole other door of entertainment possibilities.

Last year Netflix released their first original series, Lilyhammer. Each week my husband and I looked forward to the next installment of this drama although now you can enjoy all the episodes at once. Then this year Netflix announced the release of House of Cards. Not the original BBC trilogy, which is fantastic, but an original US political take. Unlike Lilyhammer, Netflix’s version of House of Cards was released all at once, all 12 chapters, versus one new chapter each week. This gave viewers the chance to choose how to watch the program, all at once or a chapter at a time. Of course many of us viewers did the marathon viewing route.

I was curious to see how Netflix’s version would fair against its UK predecessor. I’m usually not a fan of UK programs remade for the US audience; they usually fall short of my expectations. However, Netflix’s take has left me quite impressed. The US political scene and system is very different from that in the UK giving the Netflix version some room to do their own thing while keeping true to the storyline. I enjoyed everything about the Netflix version of House of Cards except for the reporter’s role. I found her very weak and not at all believable for the role established in the UK drama. But that flaw aside, I’m looking forward to the continuation of the series on Netflix and in the meantime I’m able to watch the BBC version of House of Cards on Netflix.

The great news is what at first I thought was an experiment, dabbling in creating original content, seems to be part Netflix’s main programming now, with two new original series planned for later this year. Hemlock Grove, a 13-episode horror story, is planned to air on Netflix in April 2013.

Netflix understands kids are an important audience for them too. The introduction of the Just for Kids interface makes it easier for kids to find appropriate programming without needing assistance from mom and dad. I know my own kids love browsing the Just for Kids section on their iPads as well as through our media players. Parents can rest assured that their kids won’t stumble upon inappropriate content when they are watching Netflix.

When Netflix alters their interface to meet the needs of kids (and their parents) it’s not a surprise that their original content venture extends into the children’s programming. Nearing the end of 2013 Netflix and DreamWorks Animation will be releasing the first ever Netflix original series for kids., Turbo F.A.S.T. (Fast Action Stunt Team). The original series will be based on DreamWorks Animation’s summer film Turbo.

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“Netflix boasts one of the largest and fastest-growing audiences in kids television. They pioneered a new model for TV dramas withHouse of Cards, and now together, we’re doing the same thing with kids’ programming,” said DreamWorks Animation’s Chief Executive Officer, Jeffrey Katzenberg. “DreamWorks is thrilled to be part of the television revolution.”

Our family originally moved from cable to Netflix as a way to cut costs but still give us some form of television entertainment. Over the years we have loved discovering television series and movies we have never seen before. I’ve always been a fan of Netflix but the continued development of original content makes membership that much more rewarding.

Images provided by Netflix Canada.

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