An Open Letter to Reed Hastings

IMG_4334b Dear Mr. Reed Hastings,

You and I go way back, Mr. Hastings. I’m a HUGE fan of your service and the countless number of films and TV shows you have beamed into my house over the last few years. I was the first person in my circle of friends to sign up for your DVD service, the first to jump into the streaming game, and I’ll probably be the first to implant the Netflix Streaming chip into my brain whenever you guys decide to roll that out inevitable piece of technology (I’m willing to be a guinea pig if you need test subjects). For someone like me who is absorbing content on an almost constant basis, Netflix has been a tremendous asset and/or destroyer of productivity and being the loyal consumer that I am, it will take a mighty force to push me away from the Netflix brand.

As such, I thought it prudent to let you know about a SIGNIFICANT issue that has popped up in recent weeks. I’m talking, of course, about the decision to drop Phineas and Ferb from your instant streaming collection. I speak for parents everywhere when I say that this is a grievous error the likes of which the world hasn’t seen since the 1986 World Series. Mr. Hastings, we are tired. These kids, while tremendous blessings, are just plain exhausting. I only have one and dude, he wears me out! I try to play with him as much as possible but let’s be honest, there are times when the best I can do is turn on Netflix and let him partake in cartoon goodness. This, too, is tiring. Have you ever spent two hours watching today’s cartoons? All of them are fine for an episode, maybe two, but by the third episode, Calliou’s extreme obnoxiousness starts to seep into your brain and you start asking some serious questions about the Man in the Yellow Hat. And don’t get me started on the little slice of hell on earth known as Mater’s Tall Tales. A little piece of my soul breaks away every time my son begs me to watch it; it’s like a Horocrux, slowly tearing me apart.


But the one thing my son and I can agree on, the one beacon of light that keeps us both entertained and lets me believe in a not-so-distant future in which we can share any number of movies and TV shows, is Phineas and Ferb. This kid LOVES Phineas and Ferb, Mr. Hastings. He asks for “Pewwy” by name and he’s the only toddler I know who regularly uses the word “platypus” in conversation. This show is his jam and we watch an episode or two almost every night as he winds down before bed. Likewise, I’m totally enamored with this show’s brilliance. I’m pretty sure I’d watch Phineas and Ferb even if I didn’t have a toddler begging for it. It’s hilarious and having come late to the party, I see elements of this cartoon that have popped up in my favorite sitcoms over the years totally unbeknownst to me.

All that to say, when I looked over the list of movies and shows coming to and departing from Netflix in the month of March, and saw our beloved Phineas and Ferb scheduled to end on March 4, my heart sank. I’m man enough to admit I shed a tear, Mr. Hastings; not just because our shared interest would be taken away from my son and me but also because now I would be forced to watch wayyyyy more Curious George than any grown man should have to endure. The fact that Phineas and Ferb has remained on my queue going on a week after it was supposed to expire has somehow made this experience even worse. Every time he asks to watch “Pewwy”, I have to nervously turn on Netflix and hope against hope that it hasn’t disappeared in the hours since we last enjoyed the company of our animated friends. We’re basically living on the Lost island at this point, just waiting for a polar bear to devour us, and I’m slowly turning into Jack, demanding that we go back to a time when we didn’t even know Phineas and Ferb existed. Don’t make me turn into Jack, Mr. Hastings!

Look, I get that you have a business to run. When a movie or show pops up on the “soon to expire” list, I understand that there are complicated contracts, agreements, and licenses that have to be agreed upon in order to provide all of this content. That’s the way of things. Keep getting’ dem checks, my man. But my not-quite-two-year-old doesn’t understand the way the business world works. He doesn’t even have a job yet. Lazy, I know. So in order to keep all parties involved satisfied, I’m willing to offer the following incentives to keep Phineas and Ferb on Netflix:

1.) I will personally give you $87, which is the exact sum of money I have in my wallet at this very moment. Just let me know how you would like to process this transaction and we’ll get it done. 2.) I will turn over to you a vast collection of Chewbacca memorabilia I have accumulated over the years except not really because some things are worth more than my son’s happiness. 3.) I will tattoo the Netflix logo across my shoulder blades (as long as you require no photographical proof of such actions). 4.) I will carry with me, at all times, a list of great movies and shows available on Netflix engraved on a heavy tablet (the Biblical kind, not the Apple kind) to throw at anyone and everyone who laments the lack of quality content on your service. 5.) I will NOT email and tweet you videos of my son bawling his little eyes out every time he asks to watch “Pewwy” and I have to tell him, “No son, mean Mr. Hastings took Perry away from you and with it, stole all of our joy. It’s a cold, dark world out there.”


Hopefully this offer will be acceptable to you but I’m not above groveling if that’s what will get the job done. I look forward to your response and moreover, to your continued commitment to keeping Phineas and Ferb on Netflix and the preservation of exhausted parent brains everywhere.

With kindest regards, Brian

P.S. Seriously, what’s the deal with the Man in the Yellow Hat?