Is it just me or does it sometimes feel like subscription streaming services have a borderline unfair monopoly on our viewing habits? Remember back in the day when there were actually some really good shows on network TV? Sure, there was the allure of cable programing; but only one subscription separated network TV viewers from everything on cable. Now, we're juggling Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO GO and whatever else is sure to pop up soon enough.
While this can be annoying at times -- how many fake emails can I make before Hulu catches on to the fact that I've had roughly 12 free trials? -- I never would have compared the streaming services to a drug cartel. That is, until Netflix made the comparison for us. Now it's all I can think about. If I try to back out of Netflix now, will they come for me in the night? Will the friends and family mooching off of my account be safe??
France recently launched an anti-piracy campaign. The country's goal is to prevent French people from torrenting, streaming and illegally downloading movies and TV shows from third party sites. But Netflix took things a bit too far with the anti-piracy video it contributed to the campaign. And when I say they took it too far, I mean that Netflix used actors from its hit show "Narcos" to literally threaten French pirates with bullets.
"Narcos" tells the story of Pablo Escobar's cocaine cartel in Colombia and the DEA's continuing struggle to stomp out the country's drug trade in the years following Escobar's demise. In case you couldn't already tell, it's a very violent and dramatic show. So who better to threaten those hurting Netflix's business than the show's beloved drug kingpins themselves?
"Do you think we didn't see you Googling 'Narcos Season 3 Download?' Do not be a fool, 'Narcos' is a business," actor Pêpê Rapazote says at the beginning of the video, in character as drug lord Chepe Santacruz Londonõ.
I get it. The French are known for their dry, sarcastic and sometimes absurd humor. If the joke stopped here, I could chalk it all up to the humor being lost in translation. But as so many train wrecks do, things escalated quickly from Rapazote's warning.
"There's bullets for you, your family, and all the people you send to watch 'Narcos' on all those shitty websites full of dubious pop-ups," actor Damián Alcazár says.
Oh crap. Did Netflix seriously just threaten to off people's families over this? Maybe it's just me, but that seems a bit aggressive. Although, I will agree with the streaming service about the annoying pop-ups on dubiously legal (read: definitely not legal) streaming sites.