The latest episode of NBC's Saturday Night Live took aim at Netflix original programming, suggesting a gritty reboot of Family Matters along the way. It's no secret that in recent years, the streaming giant known as Netflix has drastically reduced the amount of licensed movies and TV shows on its service. In their place have come more and more Netflix originals, movies and shows produced by Netflix for Netflix. While some - like Stranger Things - have become pop culture phenomenons, not all have been so lucky.
Those annoyed by Netflix's continued shift away from streaming recent and classic shows and movies from other studios should prepare to get progressively more dismayed, as company brass has previously said that their ultimate goal is for 50 percent of Netflix's library to be original programming. In that regard, Netflix's losses will likely be Hulu's gains, as many of the beloved shows Netflix has said goodbye to in the last few years - including The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Scrubs - have ended up in Hulu's loving arms.
For the Netflix parody commercial SNL made, the venerable sketch comedy series chose to focus on how Netflix has a constant stream of originals arriving throughout the year, spending billions of dollars to produce that endless wave of content. As the parody's narrator lays out, Netflix's goal is the endless scroll, resulting in new shows having appeared at the top of Netflix's menu by the time a user has reached the bottom, thus achieving a singularity. Check out the sketch below.
In addition to taking swipes at Netflix's sheer volume of original programming, SNL's parody commercial also unloads a few more specific jabs. A sample Netflix pitch meeting is shown, where an executive throws money at a project after hearing just the name of the main character. Also, Netflix begins ordering shows from itself, such as Saved by the Crown, a high school version of Netflix's popular drama about British royalty, complete with host Claire Foy reprising her role. In one particularly biting bit, the unpopularity of many of Netflix's originals is highlighted, revealing that Netflix has been airing a show for three seasons that is watched by a single viewer, and the company didn't even realize they'd been producing.
Two moments near the end of the parody are perhaps the funniest, those being Officer Winslow and Leslie Jones in a Van Getting Batteries. Officer Winslow makes fun of Netflix's high amount of reboots and continuations, and offers a brief glimpse at a gritty Family Matters reboot starring Kenan Thompson as an alcoholic Carl Winslow that threatens Steve Urkel with a gun. Leslie Jones in a Van Getting Batteries is a riff on Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and takes a dark turn when Jones runs over a bicyclist and attempts to evade police. Many fans have grown tired of SNL's ongoing focus on politics and Donald Trump, so it's nice to see that they can still provide laughs without bringing up the latest Washington scandal, even if Netflix is the butt of the joke.
Saturday Night Live returns on December 8, with Aquaman's Jason Momoa hosting.
Source: Saturday Night Live