Okay, confession time: I accidentally stumbled onto the US version of Netflix. I know, I know - this is unacceptable considering all the law suits that have been flying around lately.
But before the lynch mob starts lighting their torches and grabbing their pitchforks, believe me, I'm not lying when I say 'accidentally'.
I'm all for paying for content, especially with various streaming services making it so easy. I subscribe to both Netflix and Lightbox. It's nowhere near as tedious as trying to sift through torrents and ending up with unsolicited pop-ups.
I signed up to Netflix not long after it launched in New Zealand. It synced automatically with my Samsung Smart TV, so why not? Since then I have worked my way through a lot of what's on offer: Orange Is The New Black, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Vikings, Between, American Horror Story, docos, stand-up, movies and, painfully, the entirety of Lost.
But one night, curled up in bed, I decided to continue watching (don't judge) The Vampire Dairies on my laptop. Clicking onto the Netflix website, I had forgotten about the country-converting plugin I'd installed on my web browsers - from that one time years ago I had tried and failed to get past a location block.
To my surprise Netflix changed before my eyes, revealing the overwhelming amount of content Kiwis have been missing out on.
Without even scratching the surface it was easy to find House of Cards (including its latest season), The Walking Dead, Scandal, The Fall, Bates Motel, Dexter, Revenge and Marvel's Agents of Shield. Old favourites were also included: Scrubs, Bones, CSI: Miami (the best one), Grey's Anatomy, Star Trek: Voyager, Gilmore Girls, Roswell, Alias, One Tree Hill and Charmed. Even New Zealand's The Almighty Johnsons was on there.
Yes, some of these shows you can get on other streaming or on demand services, but imagine having them all in one place. I felt like my index finger was going to snap off from all the scrolling I was doing.
And don't even get me started on the movies. Netflix NZ's most recent additions to their film catalogue is 2013's Man of Steel and I Am Legend from 2008, whereas Netflix US features a lot of last year's big movies: Cake, Nightcrawler, The Interview, Transformers: Age of Extinction and Wolf of Wall Street (sure, it was released at the end of 2013 - but still).
That being said, it looks like there are a few shows that can be watched on the NZ Netflix that aren't available on the US streaming service: The first three seasons of Suits (Lightbox has the monopoly on the fourth and fifth), Jonah From Tonga, Ja'mie: Private School Girl, Vikings, Teen Wolf and the US remake of The Returned. However, the US does have the brilliantly creepy 2012 Les Revenants which the remake is based on. Maybe we can make a trade?
If you're a constant user of Netflix it's hard not to feel like you've clocked the New Zealand version, but it seems as though you can always get a little more out of your subscription ... albeit accidentally.
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