Netflix and binge watching, but BBC still serves up the two best dramas

I came relatively late to the Netflix party. It took lockdown to get me into binge watching and discovering a whole new world of programmes.

Friday, 11th March 2022, 4:10 pm

The platform, and to a lesser extent Amazon Prime, have shaped the way I watch telly.

The thought of waiting a week for the next episode now feels as old as the test card and memories of watching How! on ITV as a bairn.

But the thought that TV of the future will be run by streaming, subscription platforms such as Netflix is not entirely joyful.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Killing Eve

What they do, they do very well, but they cannot replace - and have no interest in doing so - what we now call ‘heritage broadcasters’ such as the BBC and ITV.

Indeed, I hope they never do.

For all the BBC-bashing, the corporation’s output is astonishing and hugely important.

Read More

Read More
1998: The 18th birthday of Jackie O, Kirkcaldy’s legendary nightclub
Peaky Blinders

The licence fee moaners get back a heck of a lot more than they put it, and I view with some scepticism those who say they never ever watch or listen to the Beeb. Aye, right ...

Like every other broadcaster it isn’t perfect, and the political posturing it has to dance around is as cynical as it is tiresome.

I guess the BBC and ITV ain’t down with the cool kids any more.

The days of ‘watching with auntie’ mean nothing to youngsters who see everything through their smart phone.

But the more I delve into the schedules of subscription platforms,, the more I see the same old programmes re-packaged and flogged under many different banners.

They tailor the service suggesting shows you may like based on what you have just watched, but that just means more of the same, and the law of diminishing returns can kick in.

Orange Is The New Black was magnificent in a way most prison based dramas are absolutely not, and I can’t see anything to match Sex Education, Ratched, The Queen’s Gambit, or The Good Place.

There are a couple of series which have been abandoned halfway through, but they still sit in my listings as a reminder of the hours of my life I’ll never get back. Subscription services don’t really come with a ‘money back if you nodded off in episode four’ guarantee. You snooze, you lose.

Netflix will also cancel series at a stroke - is there anything worse than sitting through several series only to find that “some episodes are not available”?

I confess I tend to go for the pick ‘n’ mix approach - some “oh you must watch” recommendations from mates, while others are pot luck choices. It has worked more than it hasn’t.

As for Amazon Prime, it looks amazing - all those programmes stacked up like sweets on a shelves.

But, I’ve lost count of the time spent flicking through screeds of them with nothing of substance jumping out.

I did get hooked on This Is Us, but stopped three seasons in, and feels like too much effort to find out what happened next. Don’t tell me - I may jump back into it!

But, right now, my telly viewing is dominated by the brilliance of Peaky Blinders and Killing Eve.

Sometimes the best stuff is still on the BBC. We shouldn’t dismiss it so lightly.

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Fife Free Press.