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COLLINS | Free Netflix? No Thanks

During my sophomore year, former Arts & Entertainment Editor Sean Doolittle ’16 wrote a polemic titled “I’m Mad as Hell, and I’m Not Going to Take This Anymore.” Doolittle put Cornell students on blast for failing to value the arts. “We don’t make time for art anymore,” Doolittle wrote, “There’s no urgency for beauty.”

I disagreed with Doolittle’s column. Ways to appreciate arts and culture were everywhere on campus. Every weekend, students presented a cappella concerts, dance performances, live theater and more. Even if you wanted to stay in after a long week, who’s to say that watching Netflix doesn’t count as engaging with art?

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘S.A. Presidential Candidates Promise Free Netflix Services, Improved Accountability’

Correction Appended. To the Editor:

On Friday, The Sun ran an article detailing the platform of Student Assembly executive vice president and presidential candidate Varun Devatha ’19, one of the points of which was an intent to provide students with “access to streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu.” Putting aside the ridiculous cost to students that implementing such a plan would entail and the redundancy of using allocated money to purchase thousands of subscriptions that students likely already have, I would like to ask Mr. Devatha a simple question: have you heard of Kanopy Streaming? It’s an online streaming service providing media ranging from entertainment to educational content and classic movies. Boasting an ever-expanding library as deep and rich as the streaming giants, Kanopy is available to students completely free through Cornell’s library website — all you have to do is sign in with your NetID! Why should Cornell students pay for a corporate streaming service when they already have access to a great one through the school?

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The Beauty and Vulnerability of Netflix’s Queer Eye

On Feb. 7, Netflix released its reboot of mid-2000s hit reality series Queer Eye. For the uninitiated, Queer Eye features a crew of gay men — the “fab five” — who rejuvenate their subjects’ lifestyles. Each fab five member has a specialty: fashion (Tan France), grooming (Jonathan Van Ness), interior design (Bobby Berk), culture (Karamo Brown) and food and wine (Antoni Porowski). At first blush, Queer Eye sounds like an indulgent, if light, watch.

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Imperial Dreams: A Marketable Storyline in a Political Light

If you were to invest just under a thousand dollars in Netflix stock when they went public in 2002, if you loyally or stubbornly held on to those stocks and invested another thousand dollars when shares hit their low that same year, today you would have a return on your investment of 20,361.42 percent.  Your under $2,000 would be worth over $400,000.  You’d probably have watched a lot of movies and you’d definitely be rich.  From a website offering 925 movies available for snail-mail rental, to an online streaming service, to producing and debuting original content, Netflix has scorned its skeptics and outperformed its competitors. Imperial Dreams, released on Feb.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF NETFLIX

Netflix’s Luke Cage is Good… At First

Luke Cage is a good show… for a bit. The first seven of thirteen episodes are a delight. Marvel’s new entry into its online-exclusive Defenders series (comprised of Daredevil, Jessica Jones and the upcoming Iron Fist) will get its fans all the more hyped up for when the four eventually convene. Creator Cheo Hodari Coker and lead actor Mike Colter do brilliant jobs in what is another solid entry to the already-great Netflix universe. Luke Cage provides an enthralling look into a gritty Harlem still reeling from the extraterrestrial incident of Joss Whedon’s Avengers (2012).

COURTESY OF NETFLIX

Easy on the Eyes

There’s so much sex on TV. Like, so much. Think: Game of Thrones, Sex and the City, Orange is the New Black, Masters of Sex, Skins. The list goes on. Sex is so ubiquitous on TV that you’d think the new Netflix series, Easy, is just another title to add to the list of sex-themed programs, with nothing quite fresh or new to add besides the shock value of obscenity.

COURTESY OF NETFLIX

A still from Netflix's new original series The Getdown, directed by Baz Luhrmann.

STANTON | On Hip-Hop and Nostalgia

Nostalgia — that seemingly endless pool of artistic inspiration — motivates at least half (by my less-than-scientific calculation) of this year’s major pop culture moments, from Netflix’s Stranger Things all the way to Frank Ocean’s Blond(e). As source material, it’s a tricky beast, at its best capable of drawing on shared memories to remind us what made something great in the first place. At its worst, though, nostalgia invites a kitschy reimagining of the past that too often morphs into revisionist history. Perhaps nowhere is this division more hotly debated than in the realm of hip-hop, a former subculture whose influence now runs far beyond its original parameters, sparking important questions as to how it should continue to evolve while remaining true to its roots. “No one alive can name me one rapper that was bigger than the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC or Spice Girls was in the 90s and mean it,” asserted rapper Vince Staples in a recent interview with Noisey.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF NETFLIX

Stranger Things Puts the Science (And Much More) Back in Science Fiction

When you watch Stranger Things, you are immediately transported into a relic of the 1980s. It was a time when adventure was sought out, science was deemed cool and heroism was somewhat synonymous with nerdiness. We are introduced to our heros — four boys around ten years old who strive for scientific exploration, fantastical adventure and unbreakable friendship — and, as viewers, immediately become attached to them. From the beginning of the first episode, there is an underlying element of supernaturalness that becomes much more overt later in the hour. However, unlike most shows for which the basis of the storyline is made up of supernatural events, this show isn’t nauseatingly cheesy or predictable.

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The Characters: Experimental, if Inconsistent

What happens when you give comedians free reign for a 30-minute special? Utter absurdity. At least, that’s what the Netflix comedy special, The Characters, would suggest. The avant-garde experiment features eight lesser-known comedians who write and star in a 30-minute episode completely under their own creative control. The big twist?