dear netflix

can we talk

Dear Netflix,

I get why your algorithm offered me Kevin Hart's new special, "What Now?"

Over the last couple of weeks, I've watched Dave Chappelle, Michael Che, and Hannibal Burress's Netflix specials.

Clearly, I like stand-up, and have recently been watching talented and very funny black men doing standup, and Hart is talented, very funny, and a big deal.

Nevertheless, I watched it last night and I want to rate it "thumbs-down."

But I'm nervous that if I do that... you'll take it the wrong way.

I don't want you to stop offering me stand-up, mainstream comedy, or shows with black men. I need Idris Elba in my life for reasons that are entirely wholesome and none of your damn business.

I would, however, like you to stop offering me shows where the male comic does really shrill and whiny woman voices, or says things like "Women are so emotional," or every time he pretends to be talking to his fiancee he starts the sentence with, "Bitch!" (pause to allow for uproarious audience laughter before he says the actual thing).

It's one thing to know that you're not the target audience for a comedy special - that doesn't bother me at all. Some of my favorite comics do not write for me. Hannibal Burress doesn't write potty-training jokes for SAHMs. Louis C.K. is the voice of the white male middle-aged population. Aziz Ansari writes jokes for me 10 years ago, and Ali Wong writes jokes only for my id.

It's one thing to turn on the show and simply be ignored as a demographic. It's one thing to be accepted even if you're not explicitly included. I generally like action movies and bromances, so I am used to that feeling.

YOU do?

You know that Meryl Streep isn't in this movie, right?
You know there are no scenes with scones in them, right?

You know it's about an alien invastion
and a brilliant nerd who saves the day
and gets to make out with the sweaty chick
in torn clothes
who knows how to handle a big, thick, rock-hard

OK, well uh
I guess you can sit over there...

I think I speak for all women when I say that we are happy to sit in the back and enjoy the effects and explosions and roll our eyes when the camera lingers on a supple thigh that is, for some reason, glistening.

But it is ANOTHER THING ENTIRELY to show up to the comedy show ready to laugh, and instead watch that talented comic make everyone else laugh, not at one person who did something dumb, but at AN ENTIRE TYPE OF PEOPLE who OF COURSE ARE ALL DUMB.

There is nothing more gruesome than watching large groups of people laugh at something super shitty.

exhibit a

Netflix, I am writing to suggest you include a multiple-choice "reason why" option for after I thumbs-down a program.

Because THERE ARE SO MANY REASONS I might thumbs-down a program that seems like a good fit for me:
  • Needs more Christoph Waltz.
  • The actors are doing that thing where they pant while they're fighting and that's only okay if they're fighting on side-by-side treadmills.
  • Something bad happens to a child. WTF Netflix, a little warning next time please.
  • If I watch this I will be giving my own personal tenth of a penny to the sex offender or batterer who wrote, directed, or starred in it (looking at you Woody Allen, Casey Affleck, Johnny Depp, Terence Howard, Roman Polanski, Sean Penn, and apparently SEAN CONNERY?!?!)
  • Coooooould use an animatronic super shark.
  • Not as good as when I watched it as a kid.
  • Not enough banter. Needs more pith.
  • Claire Danes cries in this.
  • Brad Pitt chews something the whole fucking time.
  • This show is casually misogynistic, racist, homophobic, or transphobic.
  • Too much Ashton Kutcher.
  • Robert DeNiro, man, you used to be better than this. I'm just so sad right now.
  • The actors had more fun making it than I'm having watching it.
  • There is a scene where a woman apologizes to a man for not doing what he told her to do even though he had no reason to believe that his idea would be better than hers, and it's possible that his idea might have even turned out worse than her idea did.
  • There's a misfit kid who gets a dog and Jennifer Garner is in it. Fuck you, I know how this ends.
  • The fight scenes look like they were filmed by the shake weight guy while rollerskating over cobblestone streets during an earthquake.
  • Too many car chases. Which is to say, there is a single car chase.
  • The police station in this comedy isn't shiny enough.
  • The NYC apartment in this sitcom is TOO FUCKING BIG YOU ASSHOLES.
  • This is the movie Crash.

Thanks for your consideration.



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