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Saturday, June 18, 2011

I Heart Netflix

Specifically Netflix Instant Play. We run it through our Nintendo Wii, and it mitigates (somewhat) the tendency of small children to watch the same damn thing ad nauseum. We still have to watch some of the same stuff over and over again - kids and repetition, you know - but at least we have over 100 episodes of Dora the Explorer from which to choose, and we don't have to watch the same handful of episodes a gazillion times. It's more reliable a source (as concerns availability) than my other favorite media source - the public library. We've also used it to introduce Abby (and to some extent Lizzy) to shows that are otherwise expensive to procure, especially if one does not know ahead of time whether the child will enjoy it. Lizzy (at three years nine months) can navigate the Wii Instant Play interface by herself. The child cannot read yet, but she knows which buttons indicate Resume Play, Start Over, Choose Episode, etc. The only time she runs into trouble is when she tries to use the Search function, because the only words she can spell are Lizzy, Yes, and No.

About twenty dollars a month for unlimited instant play (plus three discs out at a time for things not available on Instant Play - this is why I have Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One in my hot little hands).  Their customer service is terrific, and goes above and beyond to answer strange questions (like "may I use your logo in my blog post?" The answer was "yes, that constitutes Fair Use, as your blog post - at least for today - is a fan site.")

Also, it allows me to indulge in what my mom calls "TV as comfort food". Job hunting when living close to the budgetary wire is a tense and somewhat depressing process, and in an effort to neither scream at my kids nor eat us out of house and home - both things I tend to do when stressed - I've been watching all sorts of old favorite TV shows and movies. Stargate SG-1, Farscape, Trigun, The Twilight Zone,  - you name it, I'm enjoying watching it. Generally during the kids' rest time or after everyone goes to bed, or while folding laundry or job-hunting online while the kids are elsewhere. As I also have a cold and am constantly exposed to Cottonwood of Doom - it looks like there's been a snowstorm out there - I could really use a little comfort food - TV or otherwise.