In Defence Of Boxsets: Do You Remember Life Before Netflix?

4 March 2016, 10:58 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09

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Katie Louise-Smith

By Katie Louise-Smith

Megavideo 72 minute limit, amirite?!

Do you remember it? Do you remember life before Netflix? 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. 

1) Before whole seasons of TV shows dropped on Netflix, there were these things called 'Episodes' that aired once a week. And if you missed them, you were basically ruined for the next 7 days. 

Some people still engage in this ancient behaviour today but the rest of the population have suddenly become, what I will now call, Stream Queens. Filthy Stream Queens.

2) It was never just a brief 10 day binge-watch love affair. It was a full blown season long relationship.

Before the invention of Netflix, I managed to have a long, albeit tumultuous, 8 year real-time relationship with ABC's Desperate Housewives. My last relationship was 4 days long. And it was with Netflix Original Master Of None. I regetted everything, yet nothing at the same time.

3) The long, painful wait for a boxset to be released was the bane of your very existence.

Those who know the struggle will never take today's instant access for granted. 

4) And when it did arrive, you made sure you had that DVD player ready and raring to go.

Sitting through the un-skippable adverts for TV shows you already watched didn't matter. You were finally about to spend an unbridled amount of time sat in front of a TV with all your favourite fictional people.

5) When you finished the box set, there was never any temptation of another series at just a scroll and click away.

That was it. You got in, you got out. You had a good time and you were ready to get back to your social life. I've heard stories of people that slipped down that dangerous "Up Next" Netflix vortex. Hopping from one 5-season series to the next. Boxsets wouldn't do you like that.  

6) There was NEVER any interruption from that judgemental bitch asking you if you're still watching.

YES I'M STILL WATCHING, NETFLIX VOICE OF JUDGEMENT. My boxsets never once did this to me. Not once. Except for that time when the DVD player overheated after 27 episodes of LOST... Maybe that was a sign?

7) Avoiding spoilers back then was a completely different ball game.

Nothing was ever dropped in bulk back in the day so spoiler DEFCON was kept at a low simmer until finale season. So nothing truly compares to the spoiler hell we live in today. NOTHING. 

7) Remember when you just couldn't survive a day without seeing that mind blowing finale so you fought tooth and nail to find a streaming link online?

It's a struggle we still face today. 

8) And remember when you got lumbered with a Megavideo link?

And it turned out that someone else in your house had already rinsed the 72 minute limit. EVERY FREAKIN' TIME!

9) Lending a boxset to a friend was the most painful experience of all time.

Thoughts about which one of my trusted friends might have passed on my Netflix password don't keep me up at night... what keeps me up at night is the fact that I lent season 1 of my favourite TV show to a friend 6 months ago. I haven't had it back yet. 

10) Netflix and Chill didn’t even exist, it was more like Boxset and Friendly All Nighter, amirite?

A staple of the pre-Netflix life. No ulterior, just genuine love of good TV and pizza.

11) Your ancient relics now still proudly on your shelf, watching as you type those 6 letters into your browser... N-E-T-F-L-I-X

I'll never forget you, boxsets. You'll always be my ba-- *Netflix UK drops Supernatural 1-11* OMG YESSSSSSS! *click* *boxset cries*