Two superb, under-appreciated, TV comedies from over a decade ago are now available on Netflix Canada and I recommend you watch them now.
Freaks and Geeks ran for most of a season in 1999-2000 and right from the opening credits with Joan Jett wailing out Bad Reputation I was hooked on the equally awkward Sam and his gaggle of geeks and the rebellious Lindsay going her own way with the fearless Freaks. Half the main cast of teens have gone on to further stardom, thanks to their association with Judd Apatow, so that’s another reason to check out this series and see them ‘before they were stars’.
Undeclared was a 2001 follow-up from most of the creative team and a few of the actors heading off to college for the first time where Steve (Jay Baruchel) tries to re-invent himself and navigate the strange social landscape of being a Freshman. Please note, you probably want to watch the episodes in this order, and not the order they are listed on Netflix. Somehow Netflix knew to jump ahead to Episode 9 to be played 2nd, but after that you have to manually select the order they are played in.
We’ve been using Netflix (Canada) for a few months now, and one of my (many) peeves with the service is the lack of transparency regarding content availability. A few times I’ve seen an “Available until” date display on the bottom of the screen when watching on the Wii, and I’ve determined it seems to show up 15 days before the content expires, and content will expire on the 15th of the month, or the end of the month. Now, this only shows up when you pull up the title, not in any of the browsing modes so if I see a selection that I might want to watch in the next while, I may end up missing out on it. It’s quirky, but thinking I might miss it hinders my enjoyment of it, know what I mean?
My present dilemma is I finally started watching Jeremiah, JMS‘s post-Crusade post-Apocalyptic tv-show, last week and I got 4 episodes in when the dreaded ‘Available Until’ popped up.
So… do I drop everything and try to watch all 34 episodes in the next 10 days, do I stop watching and figure I’ll come across it in another form at some point, or do I watch it like regular and when it disappears it disappears?
I assume the expiration of content is due to licensing & distribution agreements but a little googling on the matter doesn’t turn much up. There is nothing on the website’s help (heck, the website doesn’t even show the available until restriction (other sites say that this is a per-device ui issue), and since there is no official forum or support email I guess I won’t ever know (yeah, I won’t be calling in to ask).
Anyone out there have any insight into how the content expiration works on Netflix?
Update: I checked with the Executive Producer of this show in particular and he replied: “This stuff happens far above my paygrade and my understanding.”