Even my parents want to cancel Netflix — here's why

Netflix on TV
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

As the old adage goes, "like father, like son." Almost two months after I canceled my Netflix account, my parents were thinking about doing the same. I found out when my mom emailed me asking for advice, and so I replied "why do this on email when I can just call?"

A short while later, and I actually talked my parents into giving Netflix another chance (though I can tell they're still ready to give it the heave-ho). Fortunately for them, and myself, it's easy to cancel Netflix. Though if you ask my friends, the act of going to Netflix's account page and canceling is just a bit too much work. They're likely worried about the FOMO related to canceling one of the best streaming services.

Allow me to explain why my parents are thinking of canceling Netflix, and the show that's keeping them there.

Netflix's new pricing didn't help with my parents

Times aren't tight, exactly, but both of my parents are retired, and Netflix's price hike isn't helping. Like everyone else, they're taking a firm look at their budgets and seeing what is necessary. 

On the phone, my mom told me it all began when she was doing her taxes "I saw I was paying a lot for Netflix (now $19.99 per month) — and I was already paying $6.99 here and $5.99 there for things I really wanted."

So, why didn't she and my father want Netflix?

Netflix isn't giving them the right kind of international flair

I've known for quite some time that my parents TV tastes are strictly escapist. No, they're not interested in fantasy flair (this is one thing we have in common). They prefer programs that take place outside of the United States, preferably in England or Europe. 

To meet those needs, they've taken to watching three other streaming services a lot more, as my mom said "we're attracted to Acorn [$6.99 per month] and BritBox [also $6.99 per month] and MHz [$7.99 per month]." That adds up to $21.97 per month, which is more than the Premium Netflix account. 

Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma, Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton in Bridgerton season 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

So, to counter this argument that Netflix doesn't have enough UK and Euro fare, I asked her if she'd tried Bridgerton. Her reaction began with a very polite "nah," before calling it "just a costume drama," and "all bodice-ripping." Not that she would want to define their tastes as strictly highbrow: "we watch a lot of facile stuff, I don't want to call it crap, but you know."

Interestingly enough, she said "Netflix content? I'm not interested." I was a bit surprised that someone could make a blanket statement about the wide range of Netflix's library. But the more we talked, the more I realized that she's only going off of the Netflix home screen, and the stuff it's promoting and recommending isn't as knowledgable as, say, her son who covers streaming media for a living. 

Why my parents are keeping Netflix — for now

So when I mentioned Peaky Blinders — one of the most popular shows on Netflix — and she didn't acknowledge that it was a potential show she'd want to watch (it takes place in Birmingham, England, for starters), I was curious. So I rattled off the description of the series, and when I said "Irish-Romani," I could hear the positivity in her voice. This was when she basically decided to give Netflix a stay of execution. 

Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby, in a church, in a still image from Peaky Blinders season 6

(Image credit: Robert Viglasky / Peaky Blinders on Twitter)

This is when I realized that my mother isn't aware that some of these Netflix Originals are actually from other channels or services. Peaky Blinders, of course, is originally a BBC series. Then, my mom casually brought up the fact that they'd come back to Netflix if Derry Girls gets a new season. A quick Google search later, I found out that Derry Girls is another Netflix show that isn't from Netflix, it's instead from Channel 4 in the U.K.. A new season of Derry Girls is coming, and it will probably be on Netflix, too. 

Why Netflix failed to recommend Peaky Blinders to them, though, is a big question I have.

Of course, my mom provided a caveat: "television tastes are so particular, my tastes are wildly different from even my closest friends." And this is what Netflix is trying to take into consideration with its very wide gamut of content. But this conversation is proof that for everyone who wants a wide range of content, Netflix may be too
much of a generalist service.

A solution may be on the horizon

Yes, we could just share an account and break Netflix's cross-household account sharing terms of service. While that's a popular move (and one of our Netflix tips and tricks), Netflix is cracking down on account-sharing.

Right now, Netflix is testing a $2.99 per month surcharge to add people who stream in different households to the same account. If they provided that, we may try it. But that feature isn't available here, so we can't. Oh well.

Looking for something else to watch? Check out the St. Peter's vs North Carolina live stream.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.