Rediscovering Science Fiction Through Netflix

There have been a lot of changes since the baby came, but one of the biggest is that we rarely, if ever, go to Blockbuster any more. Instead, we rent movies from Netflix. For about $20 a month, we can rent three DVDs at a time from the company. We have a standing queue, and as we watch and return a disc, the next DVD in the queue is sent out to us.

I initially signed up for it because I wanted to watch some episodes of Stargate SG-1 in anticipation of reviewing an RPG based on the series. Much to my surprise, Sue loves Stargate, and we’ve been working our way through the entire series (we’re halfway through Season 3 now).

And that brings me to the subject of this column — rediscovering scifi through Netflix. It turns out that Netflix has a huge number of science fiction DVDs, and not just movies. In fact, it has most of the popular scifi series in the format as well, or at least whatever seasons of those shows have been released.

That’s just freaking awesome. Because even before Jordan arrived, I was never able to watch a complete season of anything — I always missed an episode or two here or there (like with Babylon 5, where I was never able to watch the end of Season 4, or Futurama, which I missed pretty much in its entirety). Now with Netflix, I can watch all of Stargate, Futurama, Babylon 5, The Prisoner, Star Trek, Farscape, The X-Files, The Dead Zone and a bunch of other series I either didn’t catch, or didn’t catch enough of.

Very cool. Even cooler are the facts that a) there are no late fees, so we can keep the discs as long as we like) and b) all of this is done via mail, and I don’t have to make daily runs to Blockbuster to pick up and drop off DVDs.

It hasn’t been with out the occasional hiccup — for about two weeks in early July, we hit a bad patch of DVDs that were sent to us, never arrived, and then got returned to Netflix — but all in all, it’s been an excellent experience. Netflix is definitely worth checking out for anyone who wants to expand their sf awareness … or just wants to catch up on a favorite old series.

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