Monday, August 6, 2007

Week 9: Black Books

Oh, Netflix, you vexing mistress, you got me again. You recommended Black Books to me and I fell for it hook, line and stinker.

Black Books is a TV sitcom on the BBC about a surly bookstore owner who is rude and sardonic to his clientele. I was expecting a sarcastic show full of that beloved dry British wit, given that the series was billed as "riotous" by Netflix. Apparently "riotous" is Netflix-speak for "includes an overused and abrasive laugh track."

I am sad to report that I made the fatal Netflix error of putting Black Books Series 2 in my queue before watching the first disc, so now it's already in the mail and we've wasted an entire rental period. Balls.

Even worse is the fact that I like to imagine there is someone at Netflix whose job it is to scour every member's rental lists, keeping a score of who rents the best movies, and, therefore, has the best taste in the entire country. Perhaps this list is shared with intelligence experts at the CIA so they can recruit super-elite members of a covert think-tank. Something like that.

The point is that I like to think our names are right near the top. He considers us renters of excellent tastes. And even though we don't know him, and he possibly doesn't exist, it MATTERS. When he can't sleep at night, he pulls out his lists and lovingly re-reads our rental history, nodding his agreement with our choices. But then this man finds that we have not only rented Gia in the past month, but also Black Books. The latter could be consider a slip-up, but Gia, no, that is unforgivable. And he purses his lips with a little twinge of disgust and rips our names right off his chart.

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