I remember one time (and I am unlikely to forget the incident ever) when a student (year 6) in my school in London asked me if I had seen some TV series on Amazon Prime and I responded that I don’t subscribe to Amazon Prime and so I haven’t. They then asked me which platform I watch my TV on? Netflix maybe? I responded in negative saying that since I pay my TV license I stick to good old BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Channel 5 etc. for my entertainment. A few students who were listening in on the conversation looked at me in horror and this student commented that I live a very sad life. I burst out laughing and told them that I am happy with my free views and they are welcome to enjoy their various paid subscriptions (although is it a free view if I am paying for the TV license? that is a thought for another day…not that it makes any difference to me now mind…).
I knew that in India, it is not possible to watch any TV in prominent cities (at least it was 5/6 years ago) unless you get a DTH service and that is why when I was in Bangalore I had to subscribe to either Sun DTH or a local DTH provider based on what language programmes you are likely to watch more. Now it seems that Netflix, Amazon Prime, Airtel XStream, and Tata Sky are the key players (anyone else I missed?). My siblings have both Netflix and Amazon Prime and my nepotes are bored when they come to my home because we have so far refused to subscribe to any of these. I know that I don’t have much time left because just like paying for a TV license in the UK, I have to subscribe to one or more of these services to get my normal TV too, which is very sad indeed. But it is what it is. Now the problem is though, these providers are so smart that we can never find what we need in one of them. We end up subscribing to at least two or even more to switch between the stuff we might end up watching. In this day and age, that seems to be a smart business move but hurts the consumers badly and we are not up for it. I am forever trying to find ways to circumvent the problem. For now, we watch our news and other stuff through the free channels available from Roku (Al Jazeera, Sky News, Wion, Plex etc.)
When I finally decided that it is time to watch Ponniyin Selvan Part 1, it was already out of theatres. It took me a long time to even convince myself that it is ok if they mess up the book which is my absolute favourite one (the first name of my pseudonym is a strong female character from that book…) and just watch it as another grand movie. But it was now available only with Amazon Prime. I have to get a 30-day Free Trial to watch this movie. Whenever my siblings and their children come home, they strongly suggest that I get Netflix. We had already done a free trial of it while we were in the UK, but we didn’t find many programmes that we would watch and it was very American, which Mr M wasn’t very keen on 😀 If we are to get this free trial for Amazon Prime, it would help us check out its contents and see if we would watch any programmes in it at all apart from the odd movies now and then.
Oh! Why does it have to be this hard and so much drama (and money to shell) to watch some good TV heh?