Best way to roast the broomstick. Must try. Five Stars.

One instance in which the future looks exactly like it was supposed to

This post is brought to you by Netflix.

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I think I have referenced my malfunctioning Internet connection that has plagued the house for over three weeks — up for a minute, down for an hour, up for fifteen minutes, down until the next day — and my temporary solution has been to use my phone as a hotspot. That was until I got a text message that said I’d used 90% of my data plan. We were at lunch over the weekend with friends and Leta asked if she could use my phone to show her friend a video and I was like, hm. Let’s see… just how good is this video, Leta? It involves Justin Bieber? Sorry, I’d make the sacrifice for the royal baby, but I don’t love Justin Bieber fifteen dollars of overage costs.

This little hiccup in life has shown me just how much we rely on the Internet for, oh, every single thing: looking up addresses, phone numbers, recipes, take out menus, hours of operation, side-effects, symptoms, cures, washing instructions, fitted-sheet folding tips, and suggestions on how to calm down when failing every attempt to fold that fitted sheet.

I now only listen to music through online services, and all three of us have pretty much switched from traditional television to streaming video. In fact, we now watch shows, mostly through Netflix, on our phones, our iPads and through the Wii. Rarely do we even check the DVR anymore because even then it’s a question of, “Did the next episode record?”

HA! Did. The. Next. Episode. Record. That is just so precious.

Here I wax nostalgic to Leta about VCRs, how the tape would often get caught in the spools, and she will one day tell Marlo about how she had to wait a week for the next episode of a show to air. Imagine the hardship, Marlo. You can’t, can you? Kids in the 2000’s. They lived like animals.

Back in May I was invited with a huge team of bloggers to visit Netflix headquarters to preview a new set of features they’d be rolling out called Netflix Families in the next few months. I had no problem saying yes and being willing to work with Netflix because their model makes my life so much easier. They are how I want to access all of television and movies. In fact, this is what the future was supposed to look like: all of it, right there at your fingertips. Literally at your fingertips. Like, magic.

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(Yes, she’s wearing some of the jewelry my mother gave her. You can’t just show up to an episode of “Hole in the Wall” in your pajamas, people.)

Side note: Netflix referred to this group of bloggers as the Stream Team. A few of us who have known each other online for a while (her and her and her and some random guy) would routinely huddle up during breaks, stack our fists and then throw our arms in the air as we shouted, “STREAM TEAM!” Just in case you ever wondered why we ended up being bloggers.

We were also very excited about the return of Arrested Development, the series that was cancelled a few years ago and then picked up by Netflix. And then Christmas came early when they released 15 new episodes ALL AT ONCE.

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That’s the other innovative, industry-changing development that is happening: original programming. Whole seasons all at once. All at your fingertips. And here is where I acknowledge the four hundred thousand times people have told me that I look like Piper from Orange is the New Black:

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Yeah. Whoa. I could be her stunt double if I wasn’t afraid of heights or spiders or the sound of a balloon popping.

So. I’ve pretty much done away with clearing off the DVR so that there’s room enough for it to record what both the girls and I want to watch. Instead, when Marlo wakes up at an appalling hour I fire up Netflix, cue an episode of “Shaun The Sheep” and then catch some sleep as it streams in between this adorable request: “I want another one. I want another ‘Sthaun the Stheep.'”

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They’ve also improved the way they recommend content with new rows of suggestions. It’s no longer just “Recently Watched” or “Popular.” Now they offer a slew of titles under suggestions like “Family Movie Night,” “Classics to Share With Your Family,” and “Movies Based on Bestsellers” to help you decide what to watch. I’d love a row titled “Will Soothe Your Cranky Daughters Who Are Wiped Out After Camp and are Calling Each Other Names Like ‘Booger Face.'”

And even though my Internet service has been spotty at the house, my kids have been able to come home from camp and relax by streaming shows on my phone through my cell connection. Yes, I’m about to go over my data plan, but this actually has me considering a bigger data plan. Well, this, the royal baby, and the number of times I do a google image search for “Ryan Gosling with his dog.”

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This post was sponsored by Netflix. Netflix Families makes summer easier.

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One extra thing to mention… I am personally giving away a year’s subscription to Netflix because I like it that much. I’ll choose a random commenter on this post once I’ve closed the discussion 24 hours after it’s gone live, meaning by 10AM Eastern Time on Thursday, August 1, 2013. And then I’ll announce the winner on Friday. Whee!

  • payj17

    need to geek out on arrested development!

  • Julie Finnigan

    I love Netflix and still subscribe to the one disc at a time because I have a backlog of 50 movies only available that way. Do I ever watch the disc? Hardly ever. But someday I will.

  • Stephanie Cox

    I have had Amazon prime for over a year, and I’m regretting my choice now. Netflix is leaps and bounds ahead of the Amazon setup! One of the main reasons I justified paying for the membership was the “free movies” concept – and we have been so disappointed!

  • Erin West

    sweet giveaway.

  • The Crab

    I just signed up for the Netflix month-long trial a few weeks ago. It seems really great for TV shows, but the movies leave a bit to be desired.

  • Dawn @thedalaimama

    I haven’t become a netflix convert yet, as I was never terribly happy with their selections. We don’t watch all that much TV–but I will have to check it out again and see if it’s gotten better.

  • Teresa

    I am still in the DVR mode. It is just too easy to come home from travel and find “my shows” on the TV, no logging in, etc., but I am missing some of the Netflix only shows. I just need to find time to watch it all!

  • jen gooch

    I want to drop my “cable” and just roll with Netflix.

  • Kristen Elmer

    Whoot! Year of Netflix please! Also, just started Orange is the New Black and it’s awesome.

  • irucik

    How can anyone still live without netflix? The only problem i have is picking what I want to watch (especially if my 4 year old is involved)!

  • Beth in Illinois

    This is exactly how my family watches tv too! We don’t even have cable anymore! I’m a stay at home mom of 4 kids (4 years old and under! I know we are nuts!) A few years ago we decided to cut costs where we could and got rid of cable. At first I thought it was going to be awful, but I honestly don’t even miss it anymore. I love that there is a separate kids section, so my girls don’t accidentally see anything inappropriate. I just have to throw out there that I love Hulu too!

  • Unraveling_At_The_Seams

    Netflix! <3

  • chuck

    I like Netflix bc I travel and, as long as I can access the internet, I can watch movies and full seasons of tv shows at my leisure. thank you, dooce!

  • Beck

    I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never used any of the Netflix services.

  • Liz

    Would love to try out Netflix!

  • KC

    Would love to try Netflix! We have yet to even get DVR. Maybe when the kids are out of daycare, we can afford to buy some sanity!!

  • Love Netflix. Love it! All the TV shows they have, plus the original programming, has me questioning my cable subscription completely.

  • TylerAlyseA

    Orange is the New Black is soooo good! I binge watched it last weekend.

  • alex1s

    Pick me! I cancelled when they changed their service, but now I hear Netflix is offering a lot more programming.
    I’d love to try it out again.

  • Kirsten

    Thanks! We enjoy Netflix, and altho we don’t have a data plan at all for our cell phones (we’re just too cheap/poor), we do have unlimited data on our home internet just because we kept going over.

  • We’ve lived in the US, Brazil and now the UK and Netflix has been our only source of programming in two of those three countries. Love, love, love.

    Also, I can’t help but think that’s you when I’m watching Orange is the New Black, which is a weird confusion of my media worlds. I have to remind myself you were never in prison beating the sh** out of born again crank ho’s (that we know of).

    Also, also, now I have to go check out Shaun the Shtheep.

  • ST

    Now I know where I’ve seen you before! (Kidding…)

    Netflix has been my savior while I nurse my 5-week-old. He eats, I watch random things my husband will shake his head about later. Also, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood really keeps my older kids quiet until I also get requests for another one.

  • Peggy

    I love Netflix but my hubby watches the strangest shows

  • Heather

    Netflix enabled us to cancel cable & save tons a money per month. <3 it. 😀

  • Jennifer

    Netflix is a must-have at my house. Do my son and I need quick access to multiple viewings of Phineas & Ferb? Yes. Yes, we do.

  • Meagen Ridley

    I love Netflix!! I’d love it even more with a years free subscription! YAY!

  • Kodi

    This may have convinced me to look into Netflix.

  • Kristina Silbajoris

    Contemplating Netflix but free cable is hard to pass up (it’s a job perk).

  • Pamc

    I’ve not tried Netflix but am considering it. Probably should do the 30-day free trial to see if I “get” it!

  • Chel

    I would love to try out Neflix, finally!

  • Nancy D

    My husband and I just moved to a new state, and since we’re in the process of changing cable providers, this would be a great time to try Netflix.

  • Kellog76

    A Netflix subscription?! A certain 10 year old will need a new reason to call me, “Jurassic.”

  • Lori

    We love Netflix and couldn’t live without it! We are considering cancelling our cable and the thought of giving it up no longer makes me want to cringe.

  • Birdy Evans

    I’ve been trying to convince my hubby to let my family get Netflix but he’s under the impression that we’d just watch Netflix all day. Not us, NEVER! Bwhahahaha.

  • Melisa Harris

    I can totally see the Piper connection. I binged out on the entire 1 season. NO
    I’M CRACKING OUT FOR THE NEXT SEASON. I just downloaded the book. That will
    soothe the craving until Netflix finishes season 2. (Which they started filming
    this week!!!)

    I’ve also considered just canceling my cable. I watch Netflix more than cable. So
    much so, I had to double my data plan on my hotspot.

    Watch OITNB……..it’s crazy, sad, angering and hilarious….all at once.

  • Jhow

    Awwz yea. I could totally handle a year for free. Let’s do this.

  • Elizabeth Culp

    Lucille Bluth is my spirit animal…

  • Eddiewojo

    Netflix, Amazon and Hulu have me seriously considering dropping cable.

  • Katherine Klose

    Choose me please.

  • Katie Rojo

    Stupid DVRs. Why does it keep skipping my recordings of So You Think You Can Dance and Project Runway?!!!!!
    I need my own Netflix account to watch Dr. Who and House of Cards and Arrested Development and Orange is the New Black. And old episodes of News Radio and movies with Eddie Redmayne.

  • Andrea

    Hmmm… been meaning to subscribe to netflix for months. I rarely watch actual TV anymore, so I think it would be good fit! Especially if it were free for a year. 🙂

  • Erin

    Wanted to try Netflix anyway, maybe free is a good way to do it, especially because I always go over my data usage 😉

  • Amy Rainey

    I’ll take a free Netflix!

  • debby

    Love , love, love my Netflix, yo.

  • Rachel

    Just had insomniacial baby #2 = am up all night nursing = ultimate target market for a Netflix subscription. We were going to ‘cut the cord’ and cancel our cable this month, but need some distance from that phrase after the doctor uttered it in the delivery room… Maybe next month.

  • Lindsey Orcutt

    Free Netflix? Sign me up!! 🙂

  • LNassau

    That is awesome and makes me want a Netflix membership!

  • Suzanne

    Thanks for the family watching tips. Shaun the Sheep sounds perfect for my 3 yr old.

  • Kilodeuce

    Love your posts. Love Netflix. LOVE orange is the new black.

  • Gabrielle

    Since winning a free subscription is probably the only way I’d get my husband on board with having Netflix, I’m going to break out of lurk-mode and leave a comment. (His anit-Netflix stance is rooted in some legitimate issues with data compression in the streaming service and the fact that the aspect ratio isn’t always correct, whereas I’m all “almost any movie/TV show I want to see can be playing on my TV in under a minute, don’t you dare blaspheme this magical technology!”)

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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