If you’re currently assessing your portfolio of streaming services in order to free up your budget for different entertainment options, now might be a good time to consider if you really need a Netflix subscription over the next few months.
I surely can’t be the only one that’s looking ahead at Netflix’s fall schedule and feeling more than a little bit underwhelmed?
We still rank the platform as one of the best streaming services around, but it’s hard to deny that the next few months are lacking flagship TV shows. At least the streamer’s slate of upcoming movies looks a little more promising but most of its awards fair doesn’t drop until late November or even December.
In many households, Netflix has become so ubiquitous that stumping up a monthly fee feels as mandatory as paying for internet or electricity. But, as our streaming editor found out earlier this year, there’s no harm in canceling Netflix for a little while, and then restarting your subscription when something new catches your eye.
So, here’s why I think it might be time to take a Netflix break for the rest of the year.
Update: Netflix is also moving in to gaming, opening its own studio, but this is not a reason to stay subscribed as we do not expect any games to release for some time.
A lackluster Netflix fall TV schedule
Looking at our fall TV shows guide for 2022, the lack of notable Netflix entries on the list is pretty telling.
There are a few Netflix picks on the list such as The Midnight Club, based on Christopher Pike’s beloved young adult novel The Mystery Club, and From Scratch, which will see Zoe Saldaña fall in with an Italian chef in gorgeous Sicily, but neither seems likely to really grab much attention when they debut next month.
Then you’ve got slightly more intriguing picks such as workplace sitcom Blockbuster, which has a stellar cast anchored by Marvel’s Randall Park and Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Melissa Fumero, and Wednesday, which will see Jenna Ortega play the youngest member of the Addams family in her own series. But Netflix’s track record with original shows is so spotty that I’m already bracing myself for both to flop and wind up on the list of Netflix TV shows canceled in 2022.
Netflix’s real problem this fall is a distinct lack of flagship shows. Beyond The Crown season 5 — which to be perfectly honest is not my kind of show — Netflix is sorely lacking shows that will generate water-cooler discussions.
Looking ahead at what Netflix has to offer TV-wise over the next three months, I don’t see which show is going to give me the FOMO of not being part of on the week-one conversation. And that’s the type of content that keeps subscribers sticking around long-term.
Yes, Netflix is bringing the flicks
This year has largely been pretty horrendous in terms of Netflix movies. In 2022, outside of the true crime genre, it feels like almost every Netflix original feature has ended up with a thoroughly rotten score on review aggregate sites like Rotten Tomatoes. From Love in the Villa to 365 Days: This Day, if you’ve been staying up to date with Netflix movies this year, you’ll have endured plenty of stinkers.
Of course, the streamer tends to save its best stuff for the winter months, as that’s typically when awards contenders release, and Netflix still appears to desperately want that Best Picture Oscar statue in its trophy cabinet.
There are a solid handful of Netflix movies set to drop over the next few weeks that I’ll definitely be wanting to watching. These include Blonde, The Good Nurse, All Quiet on the Western, Bardo and White Noise. Plus, we can’t forget about Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.
But, my big problem for Netflix's films is the major awards shows won’t be held until next year, so I’m in no rush to see these movies. I don't need to watch as soon as they’re available to stream.
In fact, it makes a lot of logical sense to allow a watchlist of half-a-dozen flicks to build up first, and then resub to Netflix in late December (perhaps just as Knives Out 2 releases) or in early 2023 and have a marathon movie-night or two.
Outlook: Don't forget the power of canceling
It should go without saying, but it often gets forgotten, that signing up for a streaming service doesn’t have to be a lifelong commitment. And for that matter, neither does canceling a service like Netflix either. The smartest, and typically most cost-effective approach, is usually to assess what’s being added on a monthly basis and subscribe or cancel based on that information.
This practice of frequently subscribing and canceling, and then repeating the cycle, is known to as “churn” and most of the big streamers hate it. For obvious reasons, streamers want you locked into a long-term commitment, but in this situation, you have the power. Taking a short break, or even a slightly longer one, when a particular streaming service isn’t currently appealing to you is a smart move.
So, if you’re looking ahead at Netflix’s fall lineup and feeling as underwhelmed as I am, now might be a good time to consider unsubscribing and taking a look at the plethora of alternative options (For example, Disney Plus has been really grabbing me lately). Don’t worry, Netflix will welcome you back with open arms when something that really interests you drops.
Next: Netflix's new Jeffrey Dahmer show has been accused romanticizing a serial killer. How to watch Netflix Tudum online and see Netflix's future. Andor's B2EMO is the best droid ever — move over R2-D2 and C3PO.
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Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.