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Commentary: In race for supremacy, Netflix is missing one thing — an identity

In its quest to replace the old means of watching TV and going to the movies, the streaming behemoth — with 100 million (and counting) worldwide subscribers — seeks to offer at least one of every sort of show a viewer might like, pushing toward a goal of 50 percent original programming.

The pace and budget size are impressive (a reported $6 billion spent in the last year making its own stuff), but Netflix is still lacking one thing, which goes by many names — a sensibility, aesthetic, identity.

Even amid this peak-TV chaos of its own making, Netflix has capably delivered prestige dramas that get sterling reviews and multiple Emmy nominations (its total nods this year were second only to HBO’s).

Amazon (whose chief executive and founder, Jeffrey P. Bezos, owns the Washington Post) cleverly loops its Prime subscribers into the pilot stage of series development, empowering them to weigh in on the shows they’d actually like to see more of, though how much their opinions actually matter has never been quite clear.

Tilda Swinton and Seohyun An in “Okja.” (Barry Wetcher/Netflix) Netflix also now boasts a considerable array of its own kids shows — 33 originals at last count — in a heated battle with Amazon and HBO to gather children.

READ MORE (The Mercury News)

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Commentary: In race for supremacy, Netflix is missing one thing — an identity


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