the mystery of netflix and late-night cable movies

Monday, April 13, 2009 |
There are a couple of strange inconsistencies in my life.  (who am I kidding?  the whole thing is one big contradiction!)  This one is my Netflix mystery.  As a basic plan subscriber, I get one movie at a time, and they don't send the next until I've returned the first, etc.  So it makes absolutely no sense that the film 'The Chorus' (Les Choristes, in the original French) has been sitting on my TV stand since March 19th.  Best value for my money means I watch it quickly and send it back...pretty simple procedure, right?  Instead, that poor, beautiful little film sat in its paper sleeve, unwatched and unwanted for almost an entire month.  That's $8.99 worth of under-utilized movie right there.  I sopped my conscience with the fact that I watched a couple of films 'instantly,' and thus the money wasn't completely wasted...

But the best part was the conversations I'd hold with myself every time I walked by the TV:
"Hmm...the dvd's been patient, been around at least a week.  But! (sigh) I have no time.  Lots of work.  Things to do."
"Well, maybe I could just watch it really quick, like in the next two hours, and then put it straight in the mail and have another movie, one I'd be more...into.  It'd arrive in two days, max.  Ugh.  Let's see what's on cable."
"I know this film got awards.  It's supposed to be sweet and inspiring.  I'll check the running time.  Over one hour? Let me just scan the cable listings...oh look!  There's half of a Fred Astaire movie!  Perfect!"
"Okay, I have a ton of work...just put something on in the background...wait, no.  I want to pay attention to that film when I watch it, so I'd better just switch on the Travel Channel."

Before you know it, it had been three weeks, and the same, sad dvd was still sitting there.  So I finally put it in the player, and watched, oh, about 2/3 before I stopped.  For four days.  Four days that film was sitting in limbo while I went through the whole routine again, trying to convince myself to finish it, but not succeeding.

And then this morning while the weather acted up outside, I finally finished it.  Turns out that 'The Chorus' is lyrical, sweet, and just the tiniest bit haunting.  Actual weirdness factor comes in because this is not the first time I haven't been able to convince myself to watch a movie.  No, it's only the most extreme case.  My family will tell you that for years I've either refused to watch films, or I'll get up halfway through and walk out.  I know on the personality glitch scale it's a small thing, but it's worrisome.  Because I want to see these films.  I really, really do.  It's just that the only tried and true method for getting me to sit through a movie is to take me to a theater.  

Or, put it on cable (preferably the AMC or TCM channels) at 12am.  Example: I saw a lovely, classic French film called 'Children of Paradise' (Les Enfants du Paradis) from 1945 the other night, and had to follow the thing to the bitter end.  I even missed out on sleep to do so.  If there were an immunization for common sense, I'd request a double dose.

This story ended happily, however...'The Chorus' went into the blue bin at 10am, and I have every hope of getting my next selection (and actually watching it in a timely manner) within the week.  That and finishing my taxes were the triumphs of the day.  Saving the world will have to wait for tomorrow, or for when I'm granted superhero powers.  Mmm...superhero powers.  Hold that thought.


Ginny Larsen said...


i know you soooooo well it's ridiculous.

and i really liked your story.

you = good writer.

*hugs* (i will post soon)

Nesral said...

Love you... just thought I would mention it.

(hugs and hugs and hugs and "you need to come home,")

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