Netflix is such a powerful force in modern entertainment that it’s easy to take it for granted. In many households it has replaced regular TV as the go-to destination for an evening’s entertainment, and it continues to influence and disrupt more traditional outlets for films and TV. While Netflix does still stream shows and movies made by other studios and companies, it is of course increasingly interested in creating its own content, and 2018 saw it flex its muscles in that area more than ever before. On the TV side, its biggest dramas and comedies continued to pull in major talent, and many of the year’s best shows were Netflix Originals. It’s impossible to think about the year’s TV without talking about The Haunting Of Hill House, GLOW, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Maniac, or Daredevil.
When it comes to movies, 2018 saw the company attract some big-name filmmakers, with such acclaimed directors as the Coen brothers (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs), Alfonso Cuaron (Roma), Jeremy Saulnier (Hold the Dark), David Mackenzie (Outlaw King), and Paul Greengrass (22 July) choosing to make their latest movies for the service. And that’s not mentioning the wealth of documentaries, reality shows, and family content that hit the service on a weekly basis. While it could be argued that the company’s rush to fill its arsenal means that the quality can sometimes suffer, the only real problem is having simply too much to watch.
Next year will see the streaming landscape shift even further, with Disney+ launching as a direct rival. We’ve already seen Netflix canceling the Marvel shows that it has to license from Disney, and questions remain about how many individual streaming subscriptions people are willing to pay for on a monthly basis. But whatever happens, Netflix is going nowhere.–Dan Auty