Dear Netflix, You Are A Liar. » VSB

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Dear Netflix, You Are A Liar.

Dear Netflix,

I’m an ardent supporter and user of your services. I was hittin’ a Netflix and chill before it was even a thing. Of course, I was doing that by myself usually where I’d fire up Netflix and chill on my couch and watch whatever movie I or the mysterious people who have stolen my password had queued up. Some very weird people have stolen my password. Also, in case you don’t know (though I’m sure you do), “Netflix and chill” is the updated version of “movie night” or “making it a Blockbuster night” dates where you hoped to watch the opening credits of a movie with rather randy partner, eschew that movie to make your own (heheheh), then have the participating party gone by the time the credits for the original movie start rolling so that you could get some rest for the kickball game you had going the next morning. That’s a good night.

Netflix, I appreciate you. But alas I have a gripe; you are a liar.

Don’t look at me like that, Netflix. You are. Own it.

Actually, before we get to that, I have a few questions. Actually, I just have one. How do I get my account back to a reasonable standing so that the movies you all suggest for me don’t all feature star Keith Robinson, Christian Keyes, Essence Atkins, Leon, or Darrin Dewitt Henson who is now remarkably playing the role of father to college kids. Seriously, it’s getting embarrassing. You know how I said that somebody has stolen my Netflix password? Right. That’s messed up. But whats more messed up is that they can see what you suggest for me too. This means that they know I fell down that bad Black movie rabbit hole and I can’t seem to get out. Who the hell knew Keith Robinson starred in so many movies? If he keeps this up, he’s going to get a Clifton Powell Bad Black Movie Lifetime Achievement Award before he’s 40. But this gets right to the heart of my issue.

You have a “Popular On Netflix” list of movies that gets populated every time I log in. Why is Keith Robinson in so many “Popular On Netflix” movies?

And you know good and gotdamn well that You Got Served is not popular on Netflix. That movie isn’t even popular in Omarion’s household. Nor is Squeeze, a movie from 1994 that I’m pretty sure nobody would know exists if you all didn’t tell me it was popular on Netflix. I watched this movie, beeteedubs, and its fucking terrible. Dysfunctional Friends? Really? Are you kidding me? How is this movie popular on Netflix? How SWAY? It’s not, that’s how. You are a liar. You are lying to me every single time I log in.

Look, I’m not math surgeon, but I know that there are something like 70 million Netflix subscribers. Since it’s a paid service, I’m guessing that the vast majority of those people are not Black people. Just guessing here, feel free to tell me that I’m wrong. Assuming that I’m right, though, you are trying to tell me that ENOUGH WHITE AND OTHER PEOPLE like Keith Robinson to make his movies popular on Netflix? I think you’re a liar.

Are you telling me that if I go to my mother’s house – she’s white – and log into her Netflix account, her Popular list is going to look like mine? It won’t feature Days of Thunder instead of Drumline 2??? No Sandra Bullock listed, but Essence Atkins movies are. Aight, fam.

Oh, nigga, did you all SEE DRUMLINE 2? It got panned by EVERYBODY when it was on. How the fuck did that make it to being popular? It wasn’t even popular when it was FREE! Shit, if it wasn’t for Black Twitter raking it over the coals and hashtagging it to high hell, it’s entirely possible that Drumline 2 would be scrubbed Fahrenheit 451 style.

Hey, Netflix, I read Ray Bradbury novels and love Ayn Rand (seriously, have you read Anthem? Netflix, it’s life altering). How you trynna play a brotha? I’m not stupid. I know what a popular movie is. Pitch Perfect? Yes. The damn sequel did like $70 mil in its first week. Movies starring Ryan Gosling? Sure. If you tell me The Notebook is popular I’m buying it. Even family movies like Brave and Toy Story 3 or Finding Nemo. Sure. I’ve sat my kids down to watch more than my fair share of animated features to kill a few hours. Hell, I’ve seen both Mulan movies.

None of that shit is ever on my personal Popular list. What gives, b? All of those movies are in your library of movies? But they’re not popular. But motherfucking CRU is. All Things Fall Apart starring Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is. N-word please.

You are a liar, Netflix. I don’t believe you one bit that those movies are ACTUALLY popular on Netflix. I think you looked at the movies I may or may not have watched and tossed them into your algorithm and tried to tell me that those are the movies that folks are checking out on Netflix. There all these news stories about Black Twitter, how come nobody’s writing about Black Netflix. Oh, that’s because you all skew what movies end up in my home!

White people don’t know Keith Robinson, Netflix. Why do I have to? Did I know his name when he was in Dreamgirls? No. I didn’t. Do I know? Yes, because he’s in every other movie you try to tell me is popular. I’m sure he’s a fine person, but there’s a reason he’s only showing up in my household.

Stop lying. Ohmmmmmmygod.


Panama Jackson


Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at

  • ALM247

    The Columbia House of online movies……..

    • DBoySlim

      Ahh memories. I think I still owe them money.

      • I think we all still owe them money.

  • JustKit

    I’ve never had my password stolen, but i’ve auctioned it off for stamps and seeing as how the first of the month is nigh…any takers?

  • Do you suppose they do something by region or city? I got “suckered” into You Got Served this summer because it was advertised on the homepage. Netflix tryna say all Black people in DC pressing “Play” on You Got Served? (Never mind that I did actually press “Play.”)

    Lastly, Darrin Dewitt Henson (and his no acting talent self) is forever and always the dude who had a dance DVD out teaching Nsync choreo:

    Ain’t. No. Lie.
    Bye. Bye. Bye

    • Jennifer

      Oh! THAT Darrin Henson? Of Darrin’s Dance Grooves fame? Good luck, brother. LOL

      • Yup, him. I feel fairly confident in critiquing his acting because I watched all five seasons of Soul Food. He played the Mekhi Pfifer character from the movie on the show, and his acting was…wooden, to say the least.

        • GirlMelanie86

          Soul Food is the only thing I actually don’t mind him in. He wasn’t Mekhi’s quality but he was aight.

          • He grew into the role, but he was already at a deficit when the series started, so… lol

            • GirlMelanie86

              I’ve never heard you speak but for some reason I read this in what I imagine your voice sounds like and this sentence made me laugh for, like, the last 2 minutes, lol. He was pretty bad but he did grow into it after a minute.

              • Ha! Did you imagine a deadpan delivery? That’s usually what I’m going for.

                • GirlMelanie86

                  dead on, lol

              • well damb! I didn’t realize how bad he was.

    • It’s algorithm (like the one on amazon with the recommended titles) + lifestyle marketing (marketing according to similar lifestyles) = Netflix list

      • In theory, I guess. But it seems the algorithm only sees “movie with predominantly Black actors”=”you, Netflix user, want to watch any and every movie with a predominantly Black cast.”

        Malik mentioned it above, but Gina Prince-Bythewood recently gave Netflix h3ll for that ind of shoddy configuration. Rather than pair a movie like Beasts of No Nation with, I dunno, Mother of George, Netflix would probably pair it with You Got Served, talking about some, “Since you watched Beasts of No Nation…”

        • What did you think of Beasts of No Nation?

          I thought it was done well and Stringer Bell took his ain’t sh*tness to a new level.

          • I actually haven’t watched it. I’m a wimp about things like that (like, I still haven’t seen Hotel Rwanda, for example), but I knew what the movie’s premise was.

            • It’s not for the faint of heart! The novel is dope too.

              • Yeahhh. That’s why I know I could never watch it. It’d be hard for me to get the images out of my mind.

              • Amber

                Have you seen War Witch? I’m thinking Beast is very similar.

                • I’ve heard of it but haven’t watched it yet. Is it good?

                  • Amber

                    Yeah it is. A tear jerker but good. I haven’t seen Beast yet but I’m thinking it’s similar.

                • Pinks

                  They are. Both have stunning imagery and the child stars are what make the movie (to me).

          • Pinks

            I liked it – a bit difficult to watch at times, but it did its job.

            • I forgot that old boy was creeper in the novel but they made you remember it well.

  • she

    Omg thank you! I have this same struggle like no I don’t want to only watch Hav Plenty or the rest of these movies. Please someone hack my Netflix and reset my algorithm!

    • Amber

      I liked Hav Plenty though. I think the bigger problem is the state of black movies and TV shows. Why can’t black writers and directors find a way to make good movies about every day middle of the road ish.

      • Most of the movies are remakes of successful concepts that did well. That’s simply black hollywood copying, the same typical hollywood formula. The difference with black movies is that there’s a huge gap between the top talent of actors and the mid-level ones, and the same goes with directors, not to mention budgets.

      • panamajackson

        Hav Plenty is an odd movie that oddly works despite terrible acting, intentionally terrible acting, and the completely seemingly improv’d nature of the dialogue. I like it for its awkwardness.

        • Jennifer

          I remember seeing Hav Plenty when it was released. Quirks and wrinkles aside: it was very different from the other black folk movies coming out at that time. I liked it.

        • JamesInstagram

          Hav Plenty is the kind of movie Drake would’ve starred in, produced, directed.

      • Jennifer

        “Why can’t black writers and directors find a way to make good movies about every day middle of the road ish.”

        I totally want that too, but I don’t think the studios are supporting those kinds of movies. You can find that in the indie set. Mother of George. Big Words. Pariah. Pre-Selma Ava DuVuernay. Good stories about regular folks–besides white folks.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          “Why can’t black writers and directors find a way to make good movies about every day middle of the road ish.”

          Not everybody has the fiscal means to go the Robert Towsend / early Spike Lee route.

  • ??Jessica??

    “And you know good and gotdamn well that You Got Served is not popular on Netflix.That movie isn’t even popular in Omarion’s household.”

    I am dead!!!!

  • nillalatte

    I have Netflix. I don’t use it that much. There are 4 other people on my Netflix account and I’m pretty sure 3 of us don’t use it. But, the movies they suggest for me are all Anime! Why? Because that’s what my son has watched, searched for, and messed up all my grown up choices. I am not into animated Japanese cartoon girls at all.

    BUT… your post reminded me to look up NCIS on Netflix. I’ve been meaning to do that because I have been watching recordings of marathons whatever channel is running it. I thought, I’d really like to see this series from Season 1, episode 1. I looked it up on Netflix. 12 Seasons?! Where the fudge have I been? Not planted in front of a television every week on a specific night! 12 Seasons. Is that like 12 years of x # of episodes? Do you know how long Gibbs worked on a damn boat in his basement?

    Let me, however, tell you about a film on youtube. Wanna see some absolutely amazing footage of countries, places you will probably never visit in your lifetime? Search for “Human.” There are 3 volumes. Most people won’t be able to sit through them… Squirrel! lol There is a lot of reading because the stories people from all over the globe speak in their own language and it’s translated to English. But the stories! OMG… the stories.

    • I stopped watching NCIS after Ziva left. The vibe was just off to me. I always wanted to know how Jethro got the boat out of the basement. CBS has an interesting set up with their actions dramas though. All of the NCIS shows and Hawaii 5-0 exist in the same universe.

      • QuirlyGirly

        I stopped watching NCIS after Ziva left.

        Me too! I liked the whole dynamic of the cast with her in it. Oh and NCIS New Orleans is growing on me. And the guy who played PJoe in Crazy in Alabama has a big head. I like him tho

      • nillalatte

        You’ve probably watched more episodes than I have and I’ve been on this binge for several weeks now! My kids hate me, but it’s my maniac personality showing. lol

        Yeah, I feel the chexual tension and chemistry between Tony and Ziva. When you have that type of chemistry between characters and then one leaves, the fun just kind of sapped from the show. :( I’ve never watched the new Hawaii 5-0 either. Just something about the shows they try to remake from the 70’s or 80’s are just not that appealing to me.

    • DBoySlim

      Human sounds interesting. I might have to add that to the queue.

    • Epsilonicus

      I have watched parts of Human. I love it!!

      • nillalatte

        It’s looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong. I’ve watched the first two. :) Hopefully will have some time this weekend to get through the 3rd one. :)

  • Dilon Wilson

    Ok I’m glad its not just me . some of the movies can be cool but others its like “wow they took a terrible movie remade it with bad actors and sent it straight to Netflix” if you watch one messed up black movie on Netflix it will mess your whole account up lol

    • Jennifer

      “if you watch one messed up black movie on Netflix it will mess your whole account up lol”

      Yep! November Rule. It was my own dambed fault tho. I just needed something to watch while finishing my hair. Tatiana Ali messed up all my recommendations.

      • Mannnn! November Rule was so bad! I was mad at myself for watching.

        • panamajackson

          I don’t know this November Rule movie. I feel like I must watch this November Rule movie. I see tatyana ali, la la anthony, and victorial rowell are in it though. I’m all in.

          • YeaSoh

            See this why you got struggle Netflix and chill problems

            • LMAO!

            • panamajackson

              I’ve already accepted my lot in life.

          • Amber

            The movie is basically a good concept with near poor execution. I’m not totally going to say it’s bad.

          • My takeaway was that it was (attempting to be?) a sneaker head rom com movie.

            I also fully admit to falling asleep for maybe 15 minutes, which I think might have been a crucial time in the plot because when I finally woke up, it was nearing the end. There were all these references about what came before, but I couldn’t be a s s e d enough to rewind.

            • SaneN85

              You didn’t miss anything. I promise.

          • it’s good for a watch. some of the dialogue is corny tho.

        • uNk

          What about that one movie with Jason Weaver, some others where they friend passed away and they all had to stay in a house for the weekend to get money or something. I thought it was actually kind of funny/corny lol

          • I haven’t seen that one. Now I’mma have to look for it (since my Netflix algorithm is jacked already, what’s one more movie?).

            • uNk

              Do it!! its a good netfilx and chill movie if you got your draft pick already for cuffin season

          • Peaches

            Them trying to push Stacey Dash & Persia White as only a few yrs out of college was a stretch for me. And TO, chile please

            • uNk

              Thats right!! TO has got to be the worst actor ive seen in a long time. You right though they were all too old lol should of been like a college 10 year reunion

              • Sigma_Since 93

                You’re supposed to cut your teeth in B movies. Imagine how ticked off you would have been if you paid for this on the big screen…..

                • uNk

                  I dont even think they could have made the previews for the movie tempting to watch.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            I thought Jason was the one who was making nrop that made Brian Pumper look like George Lucas.

          • GirlMelanie86

            i can’t think of the name of it but I’ve seen that movie. On Netflix.

            • uNk

              did you like it?

              • GirlMelanie86

                I thought it was funny. Most things usually are after a drink or 7, lol.

              • GirlMelanie86

                It’s Dysfunctional Friends. It’s one of those by Datari Turner.

      • IsitFridayyet?

        *Hangs head in shame*
        I liked November Rule.

        • TeeChantel

          ha! It was both good and bad.

        • Even the part with Tyga at the end?! LOL. I wanted to like the movie more, but I’owno.

          • IsitFridayyet?

            Tyga was there to help move the plot. He served a purpose.

            • Jennifer

              “He served a purpose.”

              For once. :-)

        • Jennifer

          It would have been okay if Ashley Banks had gotten a better happy ending. Her options were her no s h i t ex-man or that no s h i t pro athlete. Ugh.

          • IsitFridayyet?

            But, but he wasn’t a no S***, he was confused and holding on to pain. He had let it go before he could love.

            • Jennifer

              Ugh. OK, you’re right. He exhaled the pain. Shoop! Shoop! I’m just getting impatient in my old age with tired movie endings.

      • Amber

        That’s how i get messed up with bad movies cause the only time I use Netflix is when I’m doing my hair. Then because it held my attention while deep conditioning I end up thinking it was an OK movie.

    • LMNOP

      What gets to me is they had all this talk of their sophisticated algorithm for recommending movies. Sophisticated algorithm my azz.

  • GenevaGirl

    “Since it’s a paid service, I’m guessing that the vast majority of those people are not Black people.” I died!

    Actually, I know more black folks with Netflix than I can count. I guess that it’s the one service that we pay for.

    Wait, there were two Mulans? Thank goodness my munchkin has outgrown Disney princesses.

    • GirlMelanie86

      The second one was trash to me.

  • Nick Peters

    Hulu and chill?

    • JamesInstagram

      Plus, Hulu Plus has The Criterion Collection.

  • IsitFridayyet?


    I think about this every time I log into Netflix. Since I am the only person using my Netflix, I’ve set up a “guest” profile that I use to see what’s really new to Netflix. Since a few movies you mentioned are on my watch list, they may actually be popular.

    • panamajackson

      Or you have the same problems I do.

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