The world of entertainment has come down on Netflix like a ton of bricks for trialling a feature that allows content to be watched at different speeds.
We don’t know. Is this really such a big deal? Netflix’s latest glitzy addition, Steven Soderbergh-directed The laundromat, is a fine example of an experience that would be improved with the option to slow things down to absorb information-heavy lectures about shell companies before breezing through every last ambling, tangential narrative strand you’re never getting back. Come to think of it, the timing of that release is suspicious.
But whether we think Netflix is intentionally commissioning films so incompatible with real time that users embrace functions designed to warp it is irrelevant. We’ll happily watch whatever moving colours and shapes Netflix’s bottomless chum bucket has for us at any speed.
Aaron Paul, the 40-year-old who recently reprised his role of a 25-year-old for the Breaking bad film, is a real authority on the concept of time, and he thinks playing with the speed destroys his art. How he’d deal with a movie night with our tea-brewing, dishwasher-loading, piss-taking parents and their feverish use of the more widely accepted pause function is anyone’s guess.