The Dominion Post
What Netflix isn’t showing Kiwis
While Netflix’s New Zealand service has greatly improved since its debut in 2015, there are still frequent complaints about shows and movies we’re missing out on that are available to US subscribers.
Some of that is down to complicated global rights deals and ownership of certain titles by other services or broadcasters (TVNZ, for instance is the home of Friends), but there are a few whose absence aren’t immediately obvious.
After comparing the current lineups, Stuff has singled out 10 Netflix US viewing options we’d love to see here asap, especially given the latest news that it’s hiking prices by up to 19 per cent.
David Lynch’s wild and wacky 1990 drama entranced and confused. It saw
FBI Agent Dale
Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) attempting to solve the murder of Laura Palmer. American Netflix subscribers can binge-watch to their heart’s content, but
Kiwis have to take their chances on finding a DVD or Blu-Ray boxset.
While there’s been a lot of angst about the absence of another 90s sitcom beginning with F on our service, the bigger crime is that it’s almost impossible to watch any of the 11 seasons of this erudite comedy on our shores.
A Cheers spin-off that surpassed its predecessor the misadventures of a Seattle radio psychiatrist, his sensitive younger brother and his former policeman father feature some of the funniest writing ever to grace US prime-time.
While Americans can watch as much of this classic 1970s sitcom as their heart desires, New Zealanders can only watch the occasional episode via Sky TV’s Jones! Channel. Netflix has slowly been improving our access to its Brit comedy back catalogue, but this is definitely a glaring omission at this point.
He’s the greatest, he’s fantastic, wherever there is a trouble, he’ll be there – except not in New Zealand. Yes, Kiwi Generation Xers will have to find alternative ways to introduce their offspring to this brilliant staple of 1980s kids’ TV. David Jason provided the vocals for our eye-patched rodent hero in this hilarious animated spoof of James Bond and other British spy stories.
Many prefer Ricky Gervais’ debut sitcom The Office, but this series set in the entertainment industry is truly his finest work. Featuring memorable cameos from everyone from Daniel Radcliffe to Patrick Stewart, David Bowie and Kate Winslet, it focuses on the misadventures of Gervais’ hapless Andy Millman. It used to be available to watch in many places, now it’s getting really hard to find.
The Third Man
The absence of Carol Reed’s 1949 Vienna-set noir from our Netflix service is part of an unfortunate trend.
While the US lineup is dotted with classic cinema, you’ll struggle to find anything before 1980 on ours. Sadly, it’s reflective of most of the streaming services available to Kiwis.
Yes, you can find it here on Neon, but really the lack of Disney movies on NZ Netflix (a situation that’s unlikely to improve with the imminent arrival of Disney+ in the US one suspects) is one of the chief bugbears for parents. And with a live-action version of this 1998 tale, filmed partly in our backyard, due to hit cinema screens in 2020, now would be the perfect time for Netflix to splash the cash and rectify things.
OK Netflix, so you’re more than happy to give us your 2018 reboot of these classic 1970s canine capers, but you won’t give us the originals like our US counterparts? Dog-gone it!
Films like 1974’s Benji, 1977’s For the Love of Benji and yes 1978’s Benji’s Very Own Christmas Story were beloved by a generation as they cheered on the heroic rescue dog. Without them there would have been no The Littlest Hobo – and we all know how important that was to Kiwi kids.
The absence of this 1967 Oscarwinner from our selections is really a bit of an outrage.
Dustin Hoffman plays the feckless Benjamin Braddock who is seduced by an older woman, only to fall in love with her daughter. Simon and Garfunkel provide the soundtrack.
So you can watch just about any John Hughes movie you want in multiple places, but finding a way to watch this brilliantly subversive 1989 high school black comedy in New Zealand is just about impossible? That’s madness. Stranger Things’ Winona Ryder and a creepy Christian Slater were at their absolute best in this revenge tale that’s meaner than Mean Girls.