STREAMING SATURDAY: Netflix Redemption 2017?

As streaming services go, Netflix has taken a beaten over at this blog. Perhaps its January releases will redeem Netflix’s position as a top streaming channel.

With its January lineup, Netflix might have addressed some of the criticisms us Solid Signal bloggers had. As you might recall from last week’s Streaming Saturday, one of my gripes about Netflix was its seeming disregard for older titles. The streaming service recently shaved 5,000 titles from its list, giving viewers the impression that anything more than three years old was considered worthless. I’m glad to see that Netflix has stepped into 2017 with a relatively strong roster of programs from a variety of decades. The streaming service also has a variety of series and original programs to make the first month of a new year an interesting one for streaming.

80s Film Classics
As a Gen Xer who grew up in the 1980s, I still have a fondness for many films made during that era. I’ll go so far as to call some of these films classics. (I’m not entirely crazy about my youth now being consider “classic,” but I digress.) As of the first of this month, 80s movie lovers like myself can enjoy Caddyshack (1980), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and 1988’s License to Drive, starring Corey Feldman and the late Corey Haim. It doesn’t get any more 80s than that. There’s also The Shining and all four Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve. (Yes, I know that the first Superman film was released in 1978, but only Stuart Sweet would argue such semantics.)

Awesome 90s Movies
Netflix also released some great 90s-era films this month, which certainly has me excited. While Gen Xers had a 1980s childhood, the 90s was the decade in which we came of age, and many of the films from that era are unforgettable.  Some of these titles made it to Netflix in January. For example, there’s the unforgettable Braveheart (1995). For something just as historic, though focusing upon a different time period, there’s Boogie Nights (1997). To be honest, it was this film that made me respect Mark Wahlberg as an actor. Of course, it would’ve bolstered my argument a bit if Netflix had a couple more 90s movies this month, but these two are find examples of classic 90s cinema.

The 2000s…
When it comes to titles from the 2000s, Netflix released plenty this month. For those who loved films released during the George W. Bush era, Netflix has Vanilla Sky (2001) and V for Vendetta (2005), to name a few. Films released during the Obama administration also are represented with titles that include Hostage to the Devil (2016) and Under the Shadow (2016). (Note: I’m in no way saying that the titles of these films reflect the presidencies under which these movies were released.)

Netflix Originals
As a streaming service, one of Netflix’s biggest strengths is its original programming. Whether it’s movies, series, or comedy specials, this streaming service never ceases to amaze with its dedication to creating vibrant original programming not found anywhere else. Netflix’s January releases in this category definitely show some promise. As movies go, Coin Heist (Netflix Original) looks like an entertaining romp on a slow-TV night, and the documentary Best and Most Beautiful Things (2016) appears to have enough quick, fringe, and (perhaps) cringe to make it interesting. My oldest son, Jake Jr., will watch Jim Gaffigan: Cinco, while I’m sure that Mrs. Buckler will get her latest Brit flicks binge-watch fix from The Investigator: A British Crime Story: Season 1. Meanwhile, I’m just eating popcorn and waiting for season two of Stranger Things.

A Good Start for 2017?
Yes, I think Netflix had a good start for the new year. Not amazing, not bad, but definitely pretty good. Will everyone agree? Probably not. I’m sure that my esteemed colleague Stuart Sweet will disagree. If I had to take a guess, he’d probably say that Netflix has yet to correct its most notable errors, namely its less-than-optimal browsing experience on the AppleTV app and an inability to search movies by category on the AppleTV app. These are big sticking points for Stuart and frankly, I can’t argue with him. Hopefully the powers-that-be at Netflix will listen to users’ complaints and make the necessary adjustments. This is what it needs to do to maintain its position as the No. 1 streaming service.

Here’s the complete list of what Netflix has available for streaming this month:

January 1, 2017
Around the World in 80 Days (2004)
After Innocence (2005)
Bee Movie (2007)
Boogie Nights (1997)
Braveheart (1995)
Caddyshack (1980)
Collateral Damage (2002)
Dreamcatcher (2003)
El Dorado (1966)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
HALO Legends (2009)
Hugo (2011)
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2011)
License to Drive (1988)
Nancy Drew (2007)
Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
Real Detective: Season 1 (2016)
Superman Returns (2006)
Superman II (1980)
Superman III (1983)
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)
Superman: The Movie (1978)
The Parent Trap (1961)
The Shining (1980)
The Perfect Physique (2015)
The Rat Race (2012)
To Be a Miss (2016)
Trudell (2005)
V for Vendetta (2005)
Vanilla Sky (2001)

January 3, 2017
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 11 (2016)
Jen Kirkman: Just Keep Livin’? (Netflix Original)

January 6, 2017
Coin Heist (Netflix Original)
Degrassi: Next Class: Season 3 (Netflix Original)
Growing Up Coy (2016)
Mar de Plastico: Season 1
One Day at a Time: Season 1 (Netflix Original)
Tarzan and Jane: Season 1 (Netflix Original)

January 7, 2017
Alpha and Omega 7 (2016)
Miss Sharon Jones! (2015)
Under the Shadow (2016)

January 9, 2017
Best and Most Beautiful Things (2016)
Ratchet and Clank (2016)

January 10, 2017
As I Open My Eyes (2015)
Best Friends Whenever: Season 2 (2016)
Happily Married (2015)
Jim Gaffigan: Cinco (Netflix Original)
We’re Lalaloopsy: Season 1 (Netflix Original)

January 11, 2017
Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

January 13, 2017
A Series of Unfortunate Events: Season 1 (Netflix Original)
Aquarius (2015)
Casablancas: The Man Who Loved Women Clinical (Netflix Original)
Historia de un clan: Season 1 (Netflix Original)
It Follows (2014)
The Investigator: A British Crime Story: Season 1 (Netflix Original)

January 14, 2017
Camp X-Ray (2014)
Cardboard Boxer (2016)
Estar O No Estar

January 15, 2017
A Beautiful Now (2015)
Hostage to the Devil (2016)
Señora Acero: Season 3 (2016)
Twisted Trunk, Big Fat Body (2015)
Wartime Portraits: Season 1 (2014)

January 16, 2017
Flash of Genius (2008)
Halloweed (2016)
Rezort (2016)

January 17, 2017
Fatima (2015)
Neal Brennan: 3 Mics (Netflix Original)
Roger Corman’s Death Race 2050 (2016)

January 19, 2017
Good Kids (2016)

January 20, 2017
Frontier: Season 1 (Netflix Original)
Papa (2015)
Take the 10 (Netflix Original)
Voltron: Legendary Defender: Season 2 (Netflix Original)

January 21, 2017
Bates Motel: Season 4 (2016)
Grami’s Circus Show: Season 2 (2016)

January 24, 2017
Cristela Alonzo: Lower Classy (Netflix Original)
Gad Gone Wild (Netflix Original)
Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the Devil (2016)
Kill Command (2016)
Terrace House: Aloha State: Season 1: Part 1 (Netflix Original)

January 25, 2017
Era cel cielo

January 27, 2017
Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh: Season 2 (Netflix Original)
iBOY (Netflix Original)
Kazoops!: Season 2 (Netflix Original)
Shadows of Truth (2016)
Sharknado: The 4th Awakens (2016)

January 28, 2017
Ripper Street: Season 4

January 30, 2017
Antibirth (2016)
Swing State (2016)

January 31, 2017
Bill Burr Stand Up Special (Netflix Original)