I’m 66, live alone and have no children, and for many years I watched hardly any TV. Now I adore streaming. It means I can watch what I want, when I want. I can pause it and miss nothing should I need to leave the room. I also don’t have to wait until after 9pm for something of interest, or wait a week for the next episode (increasingly important to over 65s with poorer memories!).
It is like going out to the cinema several times a week – I have never ever watched as much TV as I do now. My absolute favourites are films and series, and docufilms about crime and criminals. I do watch fictional series such as Unforgotten and Broadchurch, but The Manhunt, The Confession and Pembrokeshire Murders were all incredibly gripping. True crime is way more interesting.
I’ve kept a list since I started, and I send it to good friends and former colleagues with similar interests. Streaming is one of the best innovations ever.
Amanda Tuckey, retired forensic psychiatric social worker, East Sussex – uses Netflix, BritBox, and Amazon Prime Video
I’m 76 and had no real interest when I first heard the kids and grandchildren talking about box sets they’d enjoyed. I went to the theatre and cinema regularly, but lockdown left me lonely and depressed. I began two cinema clubs with lonely friends where we watched a recorded film from TV, had afternoon tea, then watched a second film. We started running out of films so my son suggested Netflix – we loved it! It became a high point of our week.
We’ve been watching Queen’s Gambit, Better Call Saul, Ginny and Georgia, Ozark, Lupin and still have a long list. We have started to attend the real cinema again, but we won’t be stopping cinema club – it’s here to stay!
Val Goldthorp, retired teacher, Leeds – uses Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
I watch TV almost entirely on streaming services – I think they are fantastic. I like to watch programmes targeted to people much younger than me. They are fun, harmless, lacking in violence or other unpleasantness and generally easy to take. Shows such as Alexa & Katie, Never Have I Ever, or Kate and Koji are an enjoyable way to pass half an hour without bad language or violence.
同様に, Netflix has revived the romcom, a movie genre that Hollywood more or less abandoned. Many of these movies are not objectively that good, but I still enjoy them for their positive vibe in a bad Covid time. I have spent most of the past 17 months in isolation to evade infection. It has been a pleasure to enjoy silly comedies.
Michael Greason, retired, Toronto, Canada – uses Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, The Criterion Channel, Acorn TV and BritBox
Many of us were involved in the IT and multimedia business in the early days so it should come as no surprise that we embrace the ability to access screenings whenever it’s convenient.
Being a bit older I loved the new Grace and Frankie episodes, but also Behind Her Eyes was amazing and my kind of mystery. My current standard TV package (via Virgin Media) is uninspiring to say the least and I’m unable to erect a Sky aerial where I live. Streaming services provide me with more choice and at whatever time of day I want to watch.
Cheryl, 69, retired procurement consultant, Wales – uses Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Acorn TV, and Apple TV+
Both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have been lifesavers during the pandemic. Having both is ideal. Prime is better for movies and Netflix for an excellent choice of interesting and quirky TV shows. Both are very good for LGBTQ+ programming. They complement my favourite terrestrial/satellite channels, チャネル 4, BBC Four and Sky Atlantic. If needs be I can watch part of a season, leave it for a while, and carry on where I left off later.
I joined because of the March 2020 lockdown – I was fed up with the news. The monthly subscriptions are well worth it and I’ve watched a greater variety of programmes over the last 17 月. Some of them include This is Us, a well made and inventive series; Grace and Frankie, which features older actors performing situations normally reserved for younger ones, and Don Giovanni by the Royal Opera House, which had a great cast. As I didn’t particularly like the production in the theatre, I was interested to see what it would be like on the small screen. Very impressive.
Robert Hill, retired deputy headteacher, North Norfolk – uses mainly Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
I used to buy DVDs of foreign language films, but I like being able to download directly as storing DVDs is a nuisance. I was resistant at first to streaming services – they seemed just another expense – but lockdown made me think again. Curzon is free to join, but the films can be expensive if they are recent releases: My Donkey, My Lover and I was quite pricey, but I saw it just after the Guardian reviewed it and really enjoyed it. The cost was comparable to watching it at my local independent cinema.
I also signed up to Netflix six months ago because it seemed that that is where most of the good TV series are, like Schitt’s Creek and Call My Agent.
Ros Napier, retired teacher, Birmingham – uses Netflix and Curzon Home Cinema
I’m 85 and it’s very difficult to find things I am interested in. There is no index or reliable sorting of categories eg foreign, historical, ドキュメンタリー. Everything is just jumbled up. If I don’t watch something for a week or so it almost disappears completely. I find the organisation of the iPlayer irritating, but Netflix is much worse.
I am considering giving up my subscription, as I don’t watch television much, and can usually find something worth watching on current BBC programmes. I would like to continue Call My Agent if I could find it again, and the upcoming series of The Crown and Bridgerton.
Ann, retired, Warwickshire – uses Netflix
My official age is 76 but I still feel about 35 most of the time. How on earth do you decide what to watch? You have to sample a lot of stuff before you even know whether you like it or not.
Coming from a time before TV, then black and white BBC-only, we used to read and talk and think in the evenings. I can just about handle the ‘normal’ list of programmes on Freeview, but fail to understand the appeal of paying for even more services, most of which I wouldn’t want to watch.
それは言った, I have used Netflix, when I have been awake in the night, or unwell. That doesn’t happen often, as I am normally fit and very active. There’s something about being able to access any programme at any time that actually doesn’t appeal to me. It’s overwhelming and makes me feel a bit unwell, like too much chocolate, and there’s something about the invitation to being constantly ‘plugged in’ that seems unhealthy to me. And maybe too much choice isn’t good for the soul!
Sandra Crittell, retired psychology teacher, Surrey – uses Netflix
The range and depth of output from Netflix et al is far better than mainstream TV channels and, unlike the BBC, if we get fed up with one, we can stop subscribing. We love bingewatching a series (or miniseries) where you get proper character and plot development, rather than the often shallow and stereotypical output from mainstream TV channels.
We signed up during the first lockdown. Mainstream TV was boring as hell, we couldn’t go to the cinema, and so it seemed the most natural thing to do. We are now very unlikely to go back – especially when the next series of Ozark and Ray Donovan are out. It’s not all great, but there’s enough good stuff around that’s easy to find. Neil Thompson, retired, Enfield – uses Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Now
TV streaming services are filling a huge gap left by the BBC and other terrestrial channels. Almost every time I trawl through I find nothing of interest. I have no wish to watch The Good Life, Top of the Pops 1985, The Joy of Painting and such fodder. Other channels are scarcely better. I would like to cancel my TV licence but hesitate due to a lifetime’s dependency and the resulting uncertainty.
I like watching international movies and anime, mainly on Netflix. One example is Japanese Style Originator, recently removed from Netflix, which was a 27-episode series exploring the traditional arts, crafts and foods of Japan. Mind-expanding stuff.
New concepts, international concepts, serious explorations of the arts and sciences without celebrity presenters or invasive ‘music’ or sound effects – only on Netflix and Prime can I find these. Big shout-out also for Sky Arts, which is doing what the BBC used to do, and should still be doing, in terms of serious arts coverage. I mourn the death of the BBC and use the mute button frequently when watching it.
Richard G, retired, Andover – uses Netflix and Amazon Prime Video