I do agree with the author that Netflix is more of a “newsstand” rather than a “library”. I believe though that Netflix also does provide some documentaries that are nontraditional but they are just not as viewed on Netflix. In this case it does not make sense for Netflix to put more of these nontraditional documentaries on if they are not going to be seen as much because that means people are not as interested in viewing them.
The documentary that I chose was Icarus, and I believe that this documentary conforms to the genre expectations in a few ways. I think that Icarus was very similar to other documentaries that I have watched on Netflix because of how it was formatted. There were scenes of the subject talking to the camera and there were other scenes where they would be in the act of performing something or they would be ignoring the camera. This is very similar to other documentaries that I have watched because almost all of the other documentaries are set up in the same way. On a more subjective level I found this documentary to be very enriching and interesting to watch. I was surprised to see the main character actually do steroids and train for a race just to see if he could pass a drug test. However, this is also very similar to other documentaries I have seen because it has the subject do something dangerous and not something the average person would do and they record themselves. Also it did not bring awareness to a social issue I did not know about because I like to watch the Tour de France and I have known about Lance Armstrong doping for a while now. However I did not know that he had been tested around fifty times and passed every single one.
The docuseries that I chose was Evil Genius and it was very different from Icarus. One of the ways that a series is different from just a regular documentary is that in the series each episode ends on a cliffhanger. This is very different from the regular documentary because in this one most of the time is spent building up to something bigger while providing facts and a story along the way. Also in the series each episode was focused on a different part of the story but they all still tied together with each other to form a smooth flowing story. In watching the first four episodes I can say that I was definitely invested in the “story” that it tells. I also really like mysteries and this was a murder mystery with a bank robbery and quite a few twists so that also made it very interesting for me to watch. It is also very accurate to say that there are “narrative” elements at play here. I think they are definitely mixed into the all of the facts especially when Russia gets banned from sports testing and this affects the man helping provide Russian testing and help on how to beat the tests. I disagree that watching a documentary whether feature-length film or multi-episode series is a more “meaningful” use of ones time. This is because when you are watching something on Netflix it is to relax and to watch something that you enjoy. If you chose to watch a documentary then it just means that you are interested in the topic and that you want to learn more facts about it. When you watch a TV show or a movie it is because that is what interests you at the time and you just want to relax. Just because you want to learn facts about a certain topic does not make it more meaningful to everyone because everyone has different things that have “meaning” to someone. Sometimes that is to watch a documentary and at other times it is to watch a movie or a mindless TV show because that is what they want to do at the time. Also if you chose to watch a TV show or movie then it can have meaning to you because it can be how you connect with other people who have also watched the same ones.