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STORIES FROM THE 44TH PARALLEL

Freelance Writer & Photographer in Michigan

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  • Marianne Kuzimski

How Netflix Helped Me Cut The Cable

Updated: Feb 20

Two years ago, after opening the cable/internet bill to find another rate increase, my son suggested cutting the cable altogether and just buying internet service.


“Just get rid of it!” he urged. “You can use apps that won’t cost nearly as much, and some are even free! They will have more options for the kinds of shows you love,” he promised.


“I don’t know…” I hesitated. “What about a daily news program?”


“You can get that for free with an antenna,” he said.


So I did it. I cut the cable.


At first it was hard getting used to. After all, I was raised on HBO, and it was like quitting Diet Coke… a hard habit to break.


Our first step was getting a casting device to use on our Smart TV, so I purchased a Roku for $29.00 at Walmart.


Since the Roku already had our favorite news station available through the News ON app, I figured all would be good. But we soon discovered that the program always started with commercials, and looped the same segment until a new version was uploaded.


Besides having no patience for the Roku news app, my husband also preferred the cable remote he had used for years. He didn’t want to learn how to use 2 new remotes, so decided that he didn’t like the Roku either.


I figured we were doomed to fail at this modern way of life, but once again our son came to help. This time with an antenna.


Finding an antenna that would receive all of the local stations… or rather, the one local station we preferred, was a little harder than we thought.

Trying five different antennas before finding one that worked, the reception is still sketchy at best. So long as it’s not raining, snowing, or the wind isn’t blowing 100mph, we can receive the news station we like. Otherwise, we can watch another one.


But there was still no random surfing through channels, the remotes were new and different, and with no program guide that tells you what’s coming on next, we were lost.


Luckily, YouTube was not new to the couch surfer I had married. With the capability to surf via the touch of the screen, hubby found a way to occupy himself every evening without watching the news. And can you guess what happened next?


Both of our moods improved!


What a relief not to hear all the political b.s. going on in the world, as it seemed that is all the news stations reported.


Watching the news reminds me of watching a Soap Opera. When you haven’t watched it for years and you decide to turn it on one afternoon, you quickly realize it‘s all the same stuff happening and you haven’t missed much at all.


The only issue with not watching the news on television was finding another way in which to stay abreast of important issues happening in the world.


Good thing the internet provides lots of ‘news’ to choose from, and it can be read or streamed directly from your favorite news websites. Signing up for news alerts through different apps like Twitter, for example, will also keep you up to date.


With the News covered and my husband happily surfing YouTube every night, I found myself missing cable in another way. I was bored, and I had to find something to occupy MY evening.

Through years of watching cable, I got used to sitting in front of the television every night. Suddenly I found myself not knowing what to do with myself, and I felt as if I couldn’t watch a movie at the same time my husband was watching YouTube videos because... well... wouldn’t it be rude?


I thought of using headphones, but the ones I had wouldn’t connect to the television… so that didn’t work.


Then I decided we should take turns. We HAD to do something different because I didn’t want to watch YouTube every night, so I suggested we try watching old movies... together. Picking one out every other evening, it soon became apparent that surfing on YouTube was a whole lot more fun for hubby than watching old movies.


Next, my husband tried to get me to love YouTube as much as he did by playing old music videos. It was fun for a while, but it quickly got boring listening to the same music every night.


Then I started reading on the Kindle, and that worked really good until I read a few too many crappy stories in a row. So I switched to internet games. Again, there are only so many I could play night after night without getting bored.


Something had to give!


"I can't do it," I complained one morning at work. With the phone in hand, I planned to get the cable hooked back up when my son and his friend had their first intervention.


“Don't do it!” they urged. “You can do this. Just try it a little bit longer.“


Determined to help me through cutting the cable for good, they asked, “What don’t you like about your new setup?”


”I don’t know what to watch!” I complained. “There's no scheduled programming, no tv guide... I’m used to a guide!”


So the boys started suggesting shows I might like.


I tried a movie here and series there, but the first major turning point came when it was suggested I watch Stranger Things. An “80s sci-fi horror classic,“ it was a Netflix Series that was so much fun to watch that I binge watched the entire first season in one week.



After watching Season 1, I had to keep going…


Finishing Season 2 & 3 in the weeks to follow, I find myself now impatiently waiting for Season 4 that is rumored to be out sometime around Christmas 2020.


It seems I had found my evening entertainment at last. And as far as feeling rude about being the other noisemaker in the room… I realized that the noise doesn’t seem to bother either one of us.


Since that first series binge, I am totally hooked on Netflix!

After the first series, I tried another… and another... and then another still! There are so many series and genres to choose from on Netflix that you can find something for every person’s tastes.


When my grandson comes up to visit and he’s wanting to see a movie, I load up Netflix.


When there’s an old movie we want to watch, rather than dig through our home movie collection, I load up Netflix.


When I go to work, the ‘kids’ say, “Did you see that new series on Netflix?”


Netflix keeps adding to their lineup, and every month there is another new Original Series to check out. Some of the series I found on Netflix were SO GOOD they even had my husband setting down YouTube and asking when we were going to watch the next episode.


Together we have watched series like Virgin River, Outlander, and Heart of Dixie, but I have also enjoyed Sabrina, Dracula, and The Witcher just to name a few.


Right now, I’m completely enthralled in a sci-fi thriller called Another Life. It’s only the first season, so I’m sure I will be out of episodes soon and will have to wait to see if another will follow. But I’m okay with that. There will be another new series to fall in love with next month anyway.


So that is how Netflix helped me cut the cable.


If you haven’t discovered Netflix yet, I highly recommend it! Especially if you are learning how to live without cable.





#Netflix #CutTheCable #OriginalSeries #family #entertainment


Thanks so much for reading!


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REFERENCES:

“Watch Netflix on your smartphone, tablet, Smart TV, laptop, or streaming device, all for one low fixed monthly fee. Plans start from $8.99 a month. No extra costs or contracts.” https://www.netflix.com

Rowles, Dustin, January 16, 2020, The Best Netflix Original Series Right Now, Ranked, https://uproxx.com/tv/best-netflix-original-series-to-watch-right-now-ranked/

Tellerico, Brian, January 13, 2020, 100 Best TV Shows On Netflix Right Now, https://www.vulture.com/article/best-tv-shows-on-netflix.html