Sunday, May 5, 2013

Netflix Wishes You a Happy Mother’s Day. (And I do too)

The difference between Netflix and myself is that I don’t have any pretty red envelopes to send to you for Mother’s Day which falls on May 12th this year.  Unless I send you the ones I get from Netflix.  If you still rent Netflix discs as I currently do, you’ll have your own though.  But why should you want a Netflix envelope for Mother’s Day?

Because Netflix, not sparing any expense, is promoting the day as if it was Christmas, Easter, and Halloween rolled into one.  I don’t know what their envelope printing costs are or how much overhead they have trotting out a special run of themed envelopes but it can’t be cheap.   Yes, I know there is always advertising on the inside when you rip it open, but for Mother’s Day they’ve gone so far as to scribble stuff on the front and the back as well.  So I guess besides promoting Mother’s Day in general, Netflix wants you to know they have a heart of gold and are thinking of you, Mom, and apple pie.

I probably shouldn’t have noticed any of this.  I usually just rip open the big envelope to get the discs out.  Back when I was writing articles like this in regards to my Netflix viewing habits, then I would read what was on the disc holder in order to get the information I needed such as who was in the film and the year it was made.   I also scanned each envelope that I wrote about. 

My own mother passed away back in 2005.  She was just a few days shy of being 76 years old and spent the last few years of her life bedridden in a nursing home.   But one thing she still loved to do was to watch movies, especially some of the old classics.  The last movie I sat and watched with her was The High and The Mighty starring John Wayne and Robert Stack.  And she seemed to enjoy it.

One Christmas way before that, years before a series of strokes did her in physically,  the family chipped in and got her a VCR, back when they were still a bit expensive.   She loved it and was very appreciative of it.  Even if for some reason she hadn’t, we would never have known.   So I guess if anybody could have appreciated the sentiments behind the Netflix Mother’s Day advertising campaign, she would.

You’d have to really look at the front of the Netflix envelopes to notice anything different from the usual.  Each one has a pithy Mother’s Day phrase telling you what you should do for Mom on Mother’s Day.  But really, if you love your mother, do you need Netflix telling you how to treat her?  Well, maybe some of you do. 

These are the envelopes I received in the mail yesterday.  I don’t know if the three I received earlier in the week were of the same variety and I’ve already sent those envelopes to the shredder.  I’ve circled the Mother’s Day Sentiments in blue.

The back of the envelopes are a horse of a different color.  No, they are still red but they have have quite a bit of artsy fartsy fancy schmansy writing on them featuring motherly types quotes and remembrances courtesy of Hollywood Screen Writers.  It was the Forrest Gump one that caught my eye and enticed me to explore the situation further.

Inside?  Well, that’s where the advertisement comes in.  In each envelope Netflix gives you three Mother’s Day DVD suggestions. If my Mother were alive I’m pretty sure she would have liked the suggestions of The Cosby Show, The Brady Bunch, Leave It To Beaver, and Roseanne.  I’m pretty sure she liked all of those shows and would watch them over and over again regardless of how many times she had seen them.  On the second envelope, it gets a bit iffy.  I really don’t know for sure how much she liked animated features and if she had ever even seen an episode of The Simpsons.  She might have watched with some of the grandkids.

If she did, it was never while I was around.  But I wasn’t a grandkid.  But I don’t think she would have cared for Family Guy.  On the other hand, you could probably give Brave or The Incredibles a spin on the DVD player and I doubt if she would have objected.  She might even have enjoyed them.  Envelope number three is much like envelope number one.  All movies I’m sure she saw at some point in her life. The Thrill of it All and Please Don’t Eat The Daisies would have been especially enjoyable to her.  I have seen three of the four for sure and may have even seen Mrs. Miniver at some point in my life but if I did, I’ve long forgotten the details. 
Okay, so maybe this is just advertising to get you to rent more Mother’s Day films.  Maybe not.  There’s been far worse commercialism of the un-holidays like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day then what this is.  So I actually think it’s a good idea and really do appreciate the effort.  On the other hand, isn’t renting Mom a Blu-ray or DVD pretty much implying that you’re kind of a cheapskate?  Hell, do what I did with The High and The Mighty.  Buy her the dang thing.  Better yet, buy her a complete season or series of a TV show she really loves.  That’s my suggestion.  Or just spring for a whole year of Netflix rentals or streaming.  As Cousin Eddie says, “It’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year round.”  

But take the advice on the front of the envelopes, kids.  Appreciate and cherish your Mothers while you still can.  They won’t be around forever you know.  Give them a hug, tell you how much you love them,  how much you appreciate the sacrifices they made for you and everything they’ve taught you.  Send them my Happy Mother’s Day wishes as well.  As for my mom, and all my grandmother’s and their grandmother’s, Happy Mother’s Day where ever you are!


  1. Nice post. I like the Christmas Vacation quote.

  2. Just call me Mr. Quotable. Figure I better say something nice about Netflix because I'm for sure gonna rip them a new one as soon as I find the time.