I was a late comer to Netflix, and very much still a newbie, but the wretched thing is rapidly damaging my cognitive abilities and sabotaging my family life. I can virtually hear my cerebral cortex unfolding with every hour I spend on it.
I have my 13 year old daughter’s French teacher to thank for this. At a recent parents’ evening I asked her, as any over-zealous mother worth her tiger stripes would, what she would recommend, beyond BBC bitesize, linguee.fr, and Allez-y magazine, to improve my daughter’s language skills. She suggested that watching French series on Netflix could go a long way towards equipping Alexia with a certain je ne sais quoi.
I was sold faster than you could say, well, I am not sure how fast it is to say sucker in French. Suffice to say that as soon as I hear ‘educational benefits’, I am every marketing director’s dream, and so I purchased a four screens packet for our five strong family.
At first it was ever so exciting, we had such fun choosing a black cat, a chicken, a random teenage face and a grumpy blue faced monster as our profile pictures, and we were all ready to go. We dispersed to our rooms.
I re-watched a few old favourites, Leap Year, The Notebook, Bridget Jones’ Baby, everything with Ryan Gosling, everything with Anne Hathaway, and then Leap Year one more time for good measure.
The rest of the family took to it like fish to a bicycle and are yet to resurface, but I got stuck half way through the second week of our 1 month free trial, and started dipping my toes in some of the worst crimes against film-making ever committed. How I wish I could un-see some of them.
It is hard to pick the overall most awful one, but if pressed, I would have to say – Ms. Matched. As soon as I watched it, I had an inkling it was probably going to be The One, but not wanting to be slapdash about it, I went ahead and watched a couple dozen similar productions. A hundred wasted hours later, Ms. Matched still wins hands down.
There are no easy words to accurately describe the tosh that this film exudes.
It has no redeeming features. The acting is non-existent; what the lead characters steadfastly offer in its place is to scrunch up their faces in regular intervals. The plot is nonsensical. There is no chemistry, no drama, no feeling, no logic. One pretty girl in a supporting role, I give you that.
So what’s next in store for Netflix and me? I am currently working through a seasonal glut of third rate Christmas movies, after which the plan is to finally treat myself to Netflix piece de resistance, its raison d’etre, House of Cards. After that, who knows, I might be ready for Leap Year and The Notebook again, or shall we just wait and see, que sera sera.
I am not sure how Alexia’s French is coming along, and I should probably check with her, as it was this trickily annotated language that started my slippery descent into brainlessness. For my part, I seem to have developed a worrying compulsion to pepper my writing with suspiciously French looking phrases. Oh well, c’est la vie.