Netflix Evolution

Evolution of Netflix Originals – Why we can’t get enough of it


For us streaming fanatics, it’s no secret that Netflix has dominated all other streaming services when it comes to viewers and profit, but what makes them so great? Is it the fact that there are no advertisements? Or maybe even the affordable price?

Photo By Kate Torline

No matter the answer, Netflix isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and we all know it. Streaming services and the rise of their popularity ultimately dropped television ratings and movie attendance, but how did Netflix make its way into the limelight in the first place? It wasn’t easy. Being the first of its kind, created in 1997, followed by Amazon Prime (2006) and Hulu (2008), Netflix has paved the way for a new generation. The company’s willingness to try to new things and adapt led to some unique phases and killer TV shows and movies. Lucky for us, we were all there to watch it evolve! Below are the phases of Netflix originals that any streaming fanatic can remember and embrace:


House of Cards

Photo By Kate Torline

Being one of the first Netflix originals, House of Cards was a series primarily geared toward an older demographic, but that doesn’t go to say that young adults didn’t thoroughly enjoy the series too. Although the show didn’t strike a chord with my friends and I, House of Cards was a huge success in the industry and ultimately became the first Primetime Emmy Award-nominated series for original online-only nominations. It paved the way for many more originals and multiple series to come. So began the new age of thriving Netflix Originals.


Black Mirror & Stranger Things

Photo By Kate Torline

Stranger Things was a hit almost immediately after its release. Its combined humor and horror, along with references to older 80s TV shows, such as X-files, made it a popular choice for many. Events that occur in the series surrounding its mystery are terrifying, but viewers still find themselves cheering on the heroes in every episode.


Netflix’s “horror” phase also arose when Black Mirror was discovered by viewers. Black Mirror personifies the present and the dystopian future in a darker way that focuses on how far technology has come and how far it will continue to go. Perhaps this is why viewers are so hooked.  


Dear White People & 13 Reasons Why


13 Reasons Why was one of the first Netflix originals to address social and personal issues. Many critics and viewers alike were turned off by this narrative. But the reality is events that occur in the show happen every day. Depression, anxiety, and every other mental illness are known to not discriminate based on social or economic class and the show brings these struggles to light for all viewers to experience.

Similarly, Dear White People covers touchy subjects that some may be hesitant to watch, however, unlike 13 Reasons Why, critics responded positively towards the content, plot line, and character development. Embracing differences and minority empowerment became a theme Netflix thrived on for years, and rightly so.


Birdbox & To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before


One of Netflix’s newest original movies, Birdbox, tested the producers and their unique thinking. The movie’s integration with social media and the meme culture posed to, not only expand viewership but ratings as well. Now, it’s rumored that Netflix is turning its focus on continuing to make original movies, but expand the production of shows. Movies such as To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, The Kissing Booth, and Birdbox are just a few titles we have recently seen that have pushed the height of Netflix creativity and originality. However, the company finds that in the long run, TV shows could have a higher return on investment and creativity.


Who knows what will come next! Netflix is constantly adding, changing, and shuffling their content, and for us Netflix fans, this means more late nights bundled up with our blankets, snacking away, indulging ourselves in our favorite series. Many shows are yet to be discovered, being that there were over 5,500 titles on the streaming service in 2018 alone, and I can’t wait to find the next diamond in the rough. Perhaps this is why we can’t seem to get enough!

Photo By Kate Torline

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