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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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March 22 2017

Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse, and Firefly will be leaving Netflix in April. Back to DVDs then.

We'll see. They were supposed to have been removed in March 2015 (http://whedonesque.com/comments/34226) and March 2011 (http://whedonesque.com/comments/25981). The more likely situation here is that the contracts are about to expire and FOX has been lazy to renew them right away.
Yes, I'm seeing this reportedly widely without any recognition of that fact, libradude. I don't think they've been off Netflix for more than a month since they started streaming.
Well, I just pre-emptively called their bluff and cancelled Netflix. Glad I purchased the whole Joss library on Amazon streaming last month.
I feel like we should do a petition for a real remaster for a Blu-ray release!
We haven't had most of those on GB Netflix for some while.


[ edited by Liam12 on 2017-03-23 01:21 ]
Didn't someone recently share the article about Joss Whedon's feelings towards the binge-watch mentality Netflix creates and how he's not a fan of that viewing style? Conspiracy!?!
Logging back in after a very long hiatus to mention that Hulu seems to be keeping the Whedon oeuvre. If the "end" on Netflix is not just another "end of current contract" thing.

Netflix & Hulu (deluxe) are still cheaper than cable. (Since I've had Amazon Prime for years, for the free 2-day shipping, I don't count that. But one of Amazon's "extra" channels will run Buffy, etc.)

I've got most of the DVD's. Newbies out there are eager to buy Blu-Rays--any news of new releases?
Hmm...

April Fools Day prank? It's suspicious to have *all* of them leaving at the same time.
They're all from the same production company (20th Century Fox) so if there's some contract dispute/laziness there that makes sense.
I stopped watching Buffy on Netflix when I noticed they were showing the chopped version of OMWF.
Everything fox related is allegedly leaving, probably cause contract renewal people are lazy.

Are the amazon prime versions the hacked up HD "remasters"?

@not_bridget the chance of blu rays are less than 0 at this point
@Ricardo L.: The petition exists. Over 1500 signatures for a new remaster and a Blu-ray release:
https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/make-buffy-the-vampire-slayer-on-blu-ray
As far as I'm aware, the only 'chopped'/'hacked' up episode of Buffy on Netflix is OMWF. It's frustrating, but it's also one episode out of 144. The HD master is highly problematic visual-wise, of course, but I don't believe the episodes are edited time-wise (with the exception of OMWF).
Well i meant hacked in a less literal sense and more of a they totally screwed over the entire show with there stupid widescreen BS sense.
What's missing from OMWF on Netflix? I just watched it, and it appears to have the full version.
@Nebula1400, you're right-- it looks like they finally did put up the full length, 50 minute version. They used to have a made-for-TV edit up with like 7 minutes cut out. Nice of them to fix that right when they're about to [supposedly] remove the show from Netflix...
Also, Netflix made a recent 'goodbye' video for Buffy, Angel, The X-Files, etc.:

https://www.facebook.com/netflixus/videos/10154429464863870/

So this announcement seems legit, unfortunately.
I can't find it too unfortunate. Those hd versions are abominations.
Word is that Hulu will provide them all going forward.
So if you spend roughly $700 a month to get all the cable, premium and streaming services, you can watch almost all the shows you like. Isn't progress wonderful?
@Grack21 They're also removing ANGEL, Firefly, and Dollhouse. This isn't just about the problematic Buffy HD eps (some of which look quite good, IMHO).
Crossing my fingers that this doesn't affect Netflix Canada, particularly since we don't have Hulu.

They didn't post the farewell video on their Canadian social media pages and they had never made the switch over to HD, so I'm hoping these are separate licensing agreements.
It's a shame to see the others go but I'm happy to see the Buffy HD version disappear from Netflix, Fox really messed-up with that remaster. It's so frustrating when you see what a great job they did with The X-Files, and then treated Buffy like garbage :(
That sucks about the other shows, yes.

It's not how they look that bothers me, its the un cropping. It's particularly bad in restless, for example, you can see the cheese man waiting to jump into the frame.
Widescreen cropping can work if handled with care (The X-Files and The Wire are examples of that). Sure, the Buffy purists will always want the standard ratio (just as I'm sure the X-Files and Wire purists did/do). However, widescreen Buffy honestly doesn't bug me-- I just wish they had treated the whole remastering process much more carefully. There are many issues, no denying that. Clearly, this remastering wasn't really done for the fans.
@libradude: I agree, I was a 4/3 purist for Buffy, but seeing The Wire's remaster changed my mind. Just like Buffy it was framed for 4:3 but shot in 16:9. Except that HBO and show creator David Simon worked together to carefully convert the show to widescreen in HD, and the result is excellent. They zoomed-in a little when they felt it was needed, and they digitally erased all the "goofs" on the sides.

Having watched Buffy S4-7 in 16:9 several times (and now the first 3 in that terrible HD version), I can safely say that Widescreen "Buffy" can work just as well as widescreen "The Wire". The problem is that Fox converted the eps in the worst way possible (there is a tone of unnecessary cropping).
Of course a 4:3 HD version would be ideal, but getting a satisfying 16:9 remaster is much more realistic at this point. Fox just needs to fix the whole thing and take "The Wire" as an example.

My biggest issue with the remaster is actually the absence of color-grading and the overuse of DNR. That alters the show much more than a different aspect ratio.
I agree about the color and crop issues (among other issues). However, I've been less-than-enthused with the argument that the original DVDs are perfect. They're not. There are coloring issues there as well, and they look especially poor on HDTVs. These factors-- in conjunction with the 4:3 full screen resolution-- are potential turn offs to new viewers (especially young viewers, who are used to having everything in widescreen 720/1080 HD). I assume that's why FOX remastered these Buffy in the first place. They wanted to air the show in widescreen HD and make it more accessible to contemporary audiences. They did a cheap job, and there are plenty of issues, true. That sucks. I just wish some individuals would take a more balanced, practical approach. This whole 'the HD episodes are the spawn of Satan' argument has clearly gone nowhere (and, frankly, it isn't entirely true-- some episodes look quite good).
Are we at the point where fans could do a proper HD conversion?
Oh, the DVDS are far from perfect. Makes me wonder where my box of vhs tapes is...
While I love my DVDs, it's sad that they're going off Netflix because I like knowing they're still available for people to discover. The days of people trying out new TV shows on DVD are pretty much over.

Grack21, do you know any differences between the DVD and VHS versions? I still have a couple seasons on video but I haven't touched them since I got the DVDs.
Oh, I meant the episodes I personally taped. Man, 90s commercials.
I still have the complete series of Xena that I taped off Oxygen in the early 2000's. Interesting to watch the old commercials, but they had an annoying black "info bar" running across the bottom of the screen at all times, which sucked.

I have my Buffy DVD's, and no other version shall ever pass my eyeballs.
That reminds me, when rooting around my university library's DVD collection I stumbled upon some old videos, including taped episodes of Buffy, presumably from the BBC. I loved the idea that someone had been recording them for the library at the time they were aired.
Are we at the point where fans could do a proper HD conversion?

Simon, I would donate to that Kickstarter or GoFundMe in a heartbeat, but do you think Joss would be interested in supervising or otherwise participating in a way that would culminate in a great end product?
Yes, I be up for supporting a kickstarter project (haven't done one since the Veronica Mars movie), especially if Joss was involved or supportive. How much would we need to raise?

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