Reflections of (ME)dia: Netflix

Throughout the years, major movie studios have been unchallenged in their portrayals of individuality. This can be seen especially in ‘coming of age’ films. It has always been the same story, the narrative such as the ‘boy meets girl’ has dominated this genre for years.

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Gone are the days where families used to gather in front of the telly to watch the regularly scheduled daytime transmissions. The rise of the Internet, ultimately paved the path for online streaming to be easily accessible to many at an affordable rate. Amongst them is Netflix, the biggest player in this new digital market with predominantly young and impressionable audiences. Recently it has become apparent that Netflix is boldly challenging the idealization of youth. There are various paths of adolescence that are often untold which Netflix has chosen to portray in their originals.

For the longest time, it was not popular to showcase physical attributes that hinder one's potential to have a full life. However, Netflix originals such as To the Bone and Fundamentals of Caring illuminates situations that a lot of people face while growing into adulthood. To the Bone, written and directed by Martin Noxon, tells the story of Ellen, a 20-year-old anorexic girl who spent years, of what most would call the golden age of teenage years, in various recovery programs in hopes of confronting addiction and the attempt to self-acceptance. What the film goes on to show is that time ticks differently for everyone. It’s okay for someone to experience life at their own pace as long as they’re aware of what is hindering them from experiencing a healthy life.

On the other, we have Craig from Fundamentals of Caring, who is faced with a predicament where he is forced to live with Muscular Dystrophy; a genetic condition that interferes with the production of proteins needed to form healthy muscles. For someone living with terminal illness as such, it’s not surprising that he chooses to avoid interaction with the outside world. However, throughout the film, with the help of the protagonist, his caretaker, he finds the value of life outside the bubble he had been living in. With this, we learn to not be afraid to take risks and not to worry about time pa