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5 Ways in Which Amazon Prime Can’t Ease My Depression

by Steven Fitzgerald 21 days ago in coping / selfcare / pop culture / depression
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Things to avoid on the streaming platform if you are of a melancholic disposition

5 Ways in Which Amazon Prime Can’t Ease My Depression
Photo by Madison Oren on Unsplash

1. Binge-watching Hammer horror films on Amazon Prime

Depression Rating — 5 out of 10

Watching horror movies is good for your mental health. Something to do with the safe and cathartic release of emotions. Given that I’m always looking for a serotonin hit, I went swimming in the back catalogue of Britain's finest purveyors of terror.

Not just for the mental well-being benefits, but also due to nostalgia. My father was obsessed with these cinematic treats — it might sound weird to say that busty, vampiric virgins and middle-class Devil-worshippers reminded me of my childhood, but that’s just the kind of childhood I had. Happy, albeit infused with the diabolic.

Thus, in my head, these Gothic offerings from England’s masters of macabre are undisputed masterpieces of terror.

In reality, they’re poorly acted pieces of Day-Glo fluff with recycled sets. I know they were made on the cheap but — surely — the producers could have found more than one castle to shoot in?

This is the United Kingdom for goodness sake — you can’t move for castles. They’re everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Go up any hill in the UK. There’s a pile of castle-shaped bricks perched atop it.

Granted, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee endow every outlandish encounter with more gravitas than it deserves. But they’re the only saving graces — these films are awful.

Just dreadful.

Despite the lofty academic claims that horror is NOT bad for your mental health, I was still expecting the subject matter to depress me somewhat. It didn’t.

What did?

  • Seeing the same locations over and over and over and over again. I gave up counting after the fifteenth appearance of the same velvet-lined study which stood in for Dracula’s living room, a Satanist's library, Dr Frankenstien’s boudoir, and a nefarious aristocrat’s dungeon.
  • Overacting that would make the performances in a telenovela appear like something out of an Ingmar Bergman movie.
  • Zombies that looked like walking desiccated sponges.

  • And that blood....

... It’s paint. Bright red paint.

I hope Van Helsing packed some hardcore laundry detergent and stain remover. He ends up looking like a handyman who has spent the last decade painting postboxes.

My childhood lied — this stuff is depressing.

2. Binge-watching the James Bond canon on Amazon Prime

Depression Rating — 6 out of 10

Re-watching ALL of 007’s adventures made me reassess my life-long obsession with Britain's favourite spy. Why? Because the films are terrible.

Daniel Craig’s tenure isn’t simply a highlight; it’s the only one. It says a lot that Craig’s worst — ‘Quantum of Solace’ — bests all of Connery’s, Moore’s and Dalton's combined. Lazenby gets a pass. ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ is awesome.

The rest? I felt like my bleaching my eyeballs after watching them.

I honestly don’t know where to start. The casual racism? The misogyny? The lazy harking back to the days of the Empire? The plotholes? The amateurish back projection? Sending a secret agent into space?


Awful. Just awful.

It’s also made me question my homeland as a whole.

Whereas other countries might idolize political activists or Nobel-winning scientists, the British chose to hero-worship an assassin.

A cold-blooded killer who — if he was to take a psychiatric evaluation — would be deemed a sociopath. He’s basically Ted Bundy in a Tom Ford suit. That’s Britain, baby!

It’s all so, so wrong.

And so depressing.

3. Trying to watch a film through IMBd Player — on Amazon Prime, again — then discovering that advertisement breaks expand the running time of a single movie to a week

Depression Rating — 7 out of 10

I attempted to watch ‘Throne of Blood.’ I gave up after 5 hours. I could have flown to Australia and back and the film still would still be running. Without ads, it’s only 2 hours long.

4. Subscribing to one of Amazon Prime’s affiliate channels and being made to feel like an idiot

Depression Rating — 9 out of 10

Don’t go down the Mubi or BFI rabbit hole. Don’t!

The James Bond movies might be garbage but at least you can understand them. Stay on that path in the woods. Don’t veer off into the trees because that’s where you’ll encounter movies with ‘subtext.’

Lots of it.

And it’ll hurt your head and make you feel like a dunce.

You’ll encounter film censors who slowly go mad. At least, I think that’s what happened — it might have all been a dream — or a film within a film. No idea.

Or movies in which tropical fruit murder Brazilian fishermen. There are now things I can never unsee.

Or films where the characters spend three hours gazing out of various windows at storm-ravaged landscapes. They intersperse this gazing with random acts of graphic violence using coat hangers and then having lots of sex. Before returning to gazing out of windows. My brain still aches.

Then there’s the one about the cat-turned-union leader.

Those two hours were so trippy they made the end of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ look like an ‘Ozark’ episode.

I’m either incredibly stupid or these films are.

Either way, depressing.

5. Creating a listicle of things I watch on Amazon Prime that do not ease my depression

Depression Rating — 10 out of 10

Pretty self-explanatory.


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About the author

Steven Fitzgerald


Film, theatre, mental health, sport, politics, music, travel, and the occasional short story... it's a varied mix!

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