Sunday, August 25, 2013

Breaking Bad: Why Netflix is $700 Better than Cable

One thing I accomplished this summer: watching all of Breaking Bad from Season 1 until now.  And be warned, Breaking Bad is as good as everyone says.  Possibly better.  It may be the best TV show I've ever watched.  The characters have so many facets, I've found myself rooting for or against everyone multiple times.

I'm a late comer to Breaking Bad, like I am to most trendy TV shows.  It usually takes critical mass of 3 or 4 friends saying "You HAVE to see this" to get me tune din.  And once I watch, turns out they were right.  I get hooked.

I didn't start watching the Office until season 3, after years of my friends camping me to Jim Halpert.  Then it became my obession.  I had an Office ring tone.  I dressed like Dwight for Halloween.  I could quote most episodes.  When the finale ran I felt that ache inside, the one you get when someone dear to you leaves, and you know you may never see them again.

The Walking Dead won my heart last year.  Though it's a zombie show, it's not really about zombies.  It's about people and the choices they have to make when the world around them goes bad.  A world where good intentions are often fatal and the cruel thrive really makes you question what kind of person you would be in the zombie apocalypse, and what kind of person you are now.   This spinoff game for my iPad puts you in a survivors shoes, and I've never played anything that has affected me so much emotionally.

As great as those shows are, TV can be an expensive hobby in terms of two of life's most precious commodities: time and money.  I cancelled TV awhile back because I found myself coming home from work and plopping down for an hour of Family Guy.  Then something else (like Office reruns) would grab my attention. Or my roommates would watch something and I'd get sucked in.

The price for all of this time wasting?  $72 a month from Direct TV.  There are so many other things I'd rather do with my life than watch a screen for hours each day.

When it comes down to it, I want a TV for three things:

1.)  To watch my beloved Oregon Ducks play.
2.)  To watch any of my "shows."  The Walking Dead or Breaking Bad at the moment.
3.)  To watch the occasional movie.

That's why Netflix fills my entertainment needs way better than cable, and at a fraction of the cost.

I pay $8.99 a month for streaming service.   Netflix caught me up on season's 1-5 of Breaking Bad this summer.  The current season isn't on Netflix, but I can buy an episode for $2.99, or the whole season for about $20 on iTunes.  If I buy the new season of Breaking Bad and the Walking Dead, then I'm out $40, give or take.  Those two seasons still cost significantly less than one month of Direct TV.

My total savings over a year?  Over $700.  That's not chump change.

As for my Ducks, going to a friends or down to the bar to catch the game is a simple option.  Even better, the new trend around here is to show Duck games at local pub theaters.  At Northern Lights they show most Duck games, admission is free, and they make their money off of food and drink. The atmosphere is the next best thing to being at Autzen Stadium.  People are yelling and screaming, and your view on the movie screen certainly beats your view from most seats in Eugene.  In fact, another local pub theater has started showing new episodes of Breaking Bad every Sunday too.

Bottom line, Netflix meets my entertainment needs with a more efficient use of my time and money.  It's a win win.  It's probably worth looking at in your own budget.  What shows do you really value, and what could you do without?  You could save some real money.

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