So then I found Netflix...
Having good TV is a necessity in my home.
Chris works late often. I spend my evenings writing. The kids love to watch as much TV as I'll let them, but they're not given much opportunity.
So, when any of us get the chance to watch TV- either alone or as a family- we want to make it count.
And, if I'm being perfectly honest, there is very little on cable we find worthy of our precious viewing moments.
I was actually a little hesitant to sign up with Netflix.
I mean, what could it offer that my (expensive) cable package couldn't?
The answer, after a month of living with Netflix, is A LOT.
I dare you not to be addicted to their made-for-Netflix series. I DARE you not to watch Madagascar 3 and the Smurfs with your kids (we may have laughed more at the Smurfs then they did- so funny!). I dare you not to love the convenience of having a show at your fingertips- Netflix was a lifesaver when my four-year-old was feeling sick and could do nothing but lie in bed with my laptop.
Chris and I have been catching up on movies that we missed during those years that we were living the life of 24/7 mommy & daddy, with nary a spare moment to make it out to the theatres. I have binged on shows that I have only heard about via Twitter and spent time laughing with my wee ones who have discovered their love of Blue's Clues and The Magic School Bus. (and Zach, the four year old, has discovered countless documentaries on dinosaurs which is like heaven for that dino-crazy boy).
The made-for-Netflix series (Orange Is The New Black and House of Cards) make for insanely smart, witty, well-written television- exactly the type of show that cable (sadly) often lacks. And don't even bother to get me started on their stand-up specials and documentaries.
But what I really love is the kid-focused programming section. It's easy to navigate, there's tons of good selection, and my kids are thrilled to get to choose a show- not just get stuck with whatever is on at that moment.
There are some drawbacks, of course. For over a week we did not have wireless internet capabilities in our home...for that entire time Netflix was inoperable. We also have a few 'dead' areas in our home that don't allow for a strong enough wireless signal for Netflix to work consistently. Chris can't live without baseball, hockey, basketball, etc. so cable is still a necessity for us, for the time being.
But, in all, the good outweighs the bad.
If your family is anything like mine, then you want your precious viewing time to matter. And for my money, Netflix is not only an economical purchase (at about $8 per month) but, in my opinion, you can't beat commercial-free, kid-focused entertainment at your fingertips.
*Full disclosure- I received a free year-long subscription to Netflix in exchange for posting my real-life experience. This is 100% my true, personal opinion. Rest assured- I'm a real, real Netflix fan.