Netflix India Has Failed Its Audience & I Want My Money Back
Disappointment, disappointment, aur disappointment.
This morning, I woke up to Netflix India advertising a certain 'Stream Fest' on their Instagram. What is a stream fest, you ask? So, Netflix India, for some reason, is offering two days - 5 and 6 December - of free Netflix streaming to everyone. It's an interesting marketing tactic. Sort of like a big sale, except you don't need to spend money on things you don't need and feel the crippling regret later.
Although there's only so much content you can binge watch in two days..
But I'll be honest - for those of us who actually pay for Netflix every month, it feels a lot like rubbing salt on a wound.
And I don't mean those of you who piggyback on Netflix subscriptions of other kind souls.
I mean people like myself who shell out quite a bit every month. In return for what? Garbage content? Yep, that's exactly what I feel like I'm paying for.
Guys, I pay INR 649 every month.. Which, just for some perspective, is almost double of what I would pay if I were to get an old-school DTH connection.
If I were to get a DTH connection, at least Romedy Now would keep me entertained with new rom-coms every once in a while. Which would still be better than Netflix India throwing high production but low quality content at me.
Lately, it feels like Netflix India has run out of original ideas.
Recently, they released the trailer of Bhaag Beanie Bhaag starring Swara Bhasker as a struggling female stand-up comic with a jerk of a husband. As much as I adore Swara, I'm not too excited about a show that feels so much like a desi version of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
They have another trashy reality show in the pipeline called Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives. Which also feels like its inspired from its (possibly) American counterpart The Real Housewives. I'm pretty sure Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives will do really well. Just like Indian Matchmaking, which had the Netflix India team working alongside the US team, did well.
But when it comes to Netflix India, it's hard to distinguish between content that's meant to be trashy and content that's not meant to be trashy but ends up being trashy anyway... You know what I mean?
Netflix India's list of disappointments is a (painfully) looooooooong one.
It’s like a toxic relationship, where you keep going back in hope of things changing for the better but nothing really does.
Recently, Anurag Basu's Ludo (starring Pankaj Tripathi, Abhishek Bachchan, Sanya Malhotra, Aditya Roy Kapur) was quite disappointing. So was the Manoj Bajpayee-starrer Mrs Serial Killer which released in May. Netflix India keeps attracting us with these big names, only to disappoint each time.
A while ago, Netflix India partnered with Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment, to give us three (what turned out to be) massive flops - Bard of Blood in 2019, and Betaal and Class of '83 more recently. All three of them tanked.
Even Karan Johar's What The Love!, another Netflix India production, (which had a very Queer Eye vibe) failed to make an impact.
It seems like Netflix India has all the right contacts but they're messing up somewhere in the kind of stories that they pick.
Just think about it. Imtiaz Ali's She, Kiara Advani-starrer Guilty which was KJo's official foray into the digital world with Dharmatic, Ginny Weds Sunny which stars Vikrant Massey and Yami Gautam.. these are all known Bollywood personalities. Some more than the other, but enough to pull a crowd that's stuck at home during a pandemic. And yet, how they disappoint.
Sure, once in a while Netflix India will throw in a few good ones into the mix. Even though Bad Boy Billionaires originally wasn't a Netflix India production, the Indian team did take over at some point. And I have to give them credit because I really enjoyed the docu-series. Masaba Masaba was a refreshing watch. Choked: Paisa Bolta Hai, Bulbbul, Raat Akeli Hai, Serious Men were also well-received. But none of these were good enough to make someone look forward to Netflix India originals the way we one does to Amazon Prime Video originals.
Personally, I keep my Netflix subscription alive because firstly, I can afford to and secondly, what if I suddenly want to binge-watch Gossip Girl?
Neither of those reasons have anything to do with the Netflix India's original content.
So Netflix India, up your game.
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