Is Netflix The New HBO? Andrew Tibbetts Reviews Their Line-Up

Andrew Tibbetts
Authored by
Andrew Tibbetts

August 18, 2013
11:03 a.m.

Orange Is the New Black

Nothing brings childhood back for me like lesbian prison sex. I used to sneak down to the basement to watch late-night television when I was a wee lad. In Northern Ontario there was only one channel, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and they used to put the most interesting things on after midnight: The Avengers, The Secret Army, and best of all, an Australian soap opera called Prisoner Cell Block H. I still sometimes sing the theme song in the shower: he used to give me roses I wish he would again but that was on the outside and things were different then.


It’s complete deja-vu for me to be addicted to a new women’s prison series with a great theme song. I’m singing this one in the shower too: animals, animals, trapped trapped trapped ‘till the cage is full.

Only now, because of Netflix, instead of watching it weekly over the space of years, I binged on all 13 episodes of Orange is the New Black over the course of a weekend. I’m not entirely sure which is better. But if you haven’t binged on Orange, I suggest you try it.

It’s a true story. This woman did something illegal when she was in college. Are we among friends? Sure, so let’s admit it. We all did something illegal when were in college. I know I did a bunch of things and only half a dozen involved llamas. Anyway, when she’s all about to get settled down, married and businesslike—due to her soap business, artisan soap!, that’s going to be in Barney’s!—she gets ratted on and has to go to prison for 18 months. Next thing you know it looks like she’s gonna have to prison fight an old Russian lady.

I’m speaking to gay men, here on GuySpy, which I assume is the smallest target market for girl on girl action. So maybe you haven’t wandered over to check this show out. Do. There’s at least one cute guy who takes his shirt off. In real life the actor is a personal trainer. In the show he’s a prison guard. Frisk me! But let’s assume you’ve gorged on porn and want something substantial. How about plot, characters, writing, action, cinematography and meaningfulness? Yep, it’s here, in color.

House of Cards

The original British mini-series is spot on! They made a U.S version and made two mistakes. One: They didn’t change it enough. American politics is about religion and money, not class. And two: Kevin Spacey isn’t charming. Ian Richardson as the lead in the brit version is beyond evil, but you gotta love ‘em! Kevin Spacey can’t get a date to the Oscars, even his mother isn’t answering his calls. But, thanks to Netflix’s policy of scouring the world for interesting, and inexpensive to secure the rights-to, television, the original U.K. version is up for the bingeing. There are tons of gays in it, or at least two, not counting the fact that everybody British is kind of gay, right?


“Face it, Kevin, you’re just not charming anymore.”

Hemlock Grove

I couldn’t watch it. Due to it’s extreme awfulness mixed in with some gruesome horror and bad acting, but friends tell me it’s the worst television series ever made. That’s something, right? Good luck.

Arrested Development: Season Four

I longed for this so much! Is it ungrateful to whine that it’s only excellent, not revelatory? Arrested Development was the best comedy show in history. Just the Milford Academy gags (Children should be neither seen nor heard) placed it in the top ten, and that was only .000000000000000000000079 percent of the humor.

In Season Four they do a Rashomon: Every character gets a turn at the center of a sequence of some seven or so events. This has a cumulative effect. The first few episodes aren’t the funniest. But as you get to learn more and more you mind gets blown, and then you’ll laugh easier, like you’re on acid. Very carefully plotted acid. And it has Liza Minelli running for office. Is she actually raped by an ostrich? I can’t remember. But this is so excellent—although not revelatory—that I’d watch it again.

The Future, not a series, but the actual, like, future…

Is OWNED by Netflix. Let’s face it. Broadcast-time doesn’t make sense in our cray-cray lives. Even Amish can’t commit to Thursday nights at 8pm with any consistency. So, why not put the whole thing up like a novel. You pick it up when you want and put it down when you’re hungry or someone hot has texted you and pick it up again when you’re ready. It’s been years since my preferred way of watching a show was waiting for the DVD to come out so that I could binge or graze, as needed. Netflix produces a show and then puts it all out there like dirty laundry. From the sublime—Orange Is the New Black—to the ridiculous—Hemlock Grove, you’ve got to hand it to them. They’re in tune with the times.


Anonymous User
Andrew Tibbetts (Guest)
8 years, 10 months ago

For the sake of balance, I confess to loving Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects, Seven, American Beauty and The Shipping News. I’m not sure what happened to him, or to my perception of him but I find myself feeling incredible aversion to him these days. He’s had a sort-of Robin Williams arc, without the laughter. Good actors should insist on working with good directors.