Even in death, Blockbuster Video continues to haunt us.
This past holiday, your very own TV Addict found ourselves in the somewhat unenviable position of having to rent an old-fashioned physical DVD (No, we were not vacationing in Amish country). Where things get complicates is that with most video stores being a thing of the past and not a Redbox in sight, our only option was to hit up a local [Shudder] Blockbuster Express.
Now, at this point you’re probably asking yourself why we’re taking the time to (a) kick a company when it’s down, and/or (b) discuss the movie industry, when the normal bailiwick of this website just so happens to be — as the masthead suggests — television.
Well, in short, our experience with this Blockbuster Express illustrates an increasingly worrisome trend we’ve started to notice across the ever-changing entertainment landscape. One that has continues to see the honest-to-goodness folks like ourselves get punished for playing by the rules. Which is to say, instead of simply illegally downloading our movie of choice online — which by the way we remain completely against and have spent countless hours chastising friends for — we decided to take the circuitous route of driving 10 minutes to the local Publix that housed the movie rental box, shelled out $2 (Yes, that’s 80 cents more than what Redbox charges for those keeping score at home) and of course dealt with the frustrating and time consuming return process upon discovering that the box was “out of order!” All for what turned out to be… you guessed it… a somewhat lacklustre viewing experience.
Turns out, rather than provide us with a standard copy of Crazy, Stupid, Love (Great movie by the way) — complete with what we’re sure were highly entertaining extras and DVD commentary — the customer got screwed. And while we don’t blame Blockbuster entirely, after-all, for all we know this could have very easily been the decision of Hollywood studios intent on penalizing those who are not-so-willing to spend $30 to $40 dollars for their Ultra-Deluxe-3D-Bluray copy, this trend of punishing the increasingly endangered species that is the paying customer has to stop.
What’s more, in an era where content of any kind is — let’s face it — mere clicks of a mouse away, Hollywood should be rolling out the red carpet and treating those of us still willing to pay like kings (See: Louis CK). The unenviable alternative being, continue treating us like second class citizens and risk alienating your formerly biggest fans. The choice is yours.