Miramichi — Back in 1998, an American entertainment provider calling itself “Netflix” launched a DVD-by-mail service. The company’s fan-base grew with unforeseen vigour, and now Netflix streams movies and shows to more than 75 million subscribers worldwide.
Wednesday at around 9 p.m., a Miramichi mother of 4 overheard her 16-year-old daughter Angie discussing Netflix with her friend. The high school girls were attempting to sign into Angie’s boyfriend’s Netflix account in order to binge-watch the most recently added House of Cards episodes. They had forgotten his password, so were struggling to access the compellingly political Netflix original production.
“I’d never heard tell of such a thing,” stated Deborah MacIntosh, 53, of the company that’s been streaming shows online to millions of users since 2007, “but I guess it’s right popular these days. I thought the girls must have been talking about Blockbuster — I know how much kids like to rent those DVDs or VHS films or whatevertheheck, but I had no intention of driving them to the store or giving them the $3.99 on a Wednesday night. I told them to wait for the weekend and we’d talk about it.”
MacIntosh said she heard of Blockbuster “ages ago,” but never once herself entered the movie-rental chain that’s been defunct since 2013. “I’ve just always preferred to go to Jumbo Video when I visited my son Sam in Fredericton. We’d eat some free popcorn — ‘magine that, free! — and usually pick a funny movie with that nice young man in it, what’s his name… you know the one… Will Ferrell I think it is.
“It’s been ages since I went to Jumbo with Sam,” she reminisced. “He never did return the movie before the 7 days, and I’d have to pay some Jesus fee next time we visited. It got to be too much.”
Things have changed since the days of Jumbo Video and free popcorn, even in Miramichi where time is known for standing still. MacIntosh, though, says she has no plan to sign up for Netflix any time soon.
“Well jeez, I just got that Internet last spring! And before you know it, they’ll come out with the next thing and the kids will forget all about ‘Netflix’ or whatever you wanna call it. I’ll sit tight, thank you very much.”