Friday, October 23, 2009


Much like the blog and everything else, I signed up for Netflix last week, eons after everyone else did. I tried to act like I was taking the moral high ground, supporting local business (which I was, since I love Movie Madness) but I was also repeatedly paying late fees and spending gas money etc. So I stared at the free month of Netflix (thanks, Gabe & Robin, by the way), and decided finally to give in. And newsflash...

If you like movies, Netflix is crack. Seriously. It's insane. So let's say, in non-Netflix life, you're standing in Movie Madness and you want to bring a movie home. There are at least five that are in your face and interesting, but you are not a slug and therefore cannot bring five movies home at a time.

But Netflix gives you a queue, and you can add things endlessly! They're popping up to your house one at a time, so you may see a movie and say, "You know what, I may want to see that movie sometime in the next seven months. Let's stick it on the queue." And there it sits, waiting, and not at all making you feel like a slug.

Netflix also has this thing where you can find your friends who are on Netflix, and you can see what's on their queue and what they like, and you can compare tastes and have a big Netflix party. But see, the thing is, I don't want any of my friends to see what I have in my queue, not because I have added anything shameful or tasteless (yet), but moreso because my queue is insanely long and the breadth of it basically proves that not only could I swap trivia facts with that dorky video store employee who watches and knows everything, but actually, secretly, I am him, and always have been.

The thing Netflix famously does is they take the films in your queue, movies you've rated (I'm not telling you how many I've rated, either), and types of movies you say you like, and then they suggest things. If you're me, they suggest things you've heard of or been vaguely interested in, and this is how your queue grows to gargantuan proportions. But when you sign in, they suggest things based on mix and match categories. So today, my main screen is suggesting some "Dark Foreign Movies Featuring a Strong Female Lead", "Tortured Artist Dramas", and "Mindbending Psychological Movies". Don't I sound like a barrel of fun? Who wants to come over?

My absolute favorite though, because they take what you like plus what the typical Netflix user likes, is when they recommended that I see some "Unrequited Love Movies", such as "A Cinderella Story" and "Taxi Driver".

Seriously. Apparently anyone who loves "A Cinderella Story" will also love "Taxi Driver" and vice versa. I would love to know how many angry letters Netflix gets in a month. "Dear Netflix, How dare you suggest that we follow "The Lizzie Maguire Movie" with "GoodFellas". Have you no sense of decency?"

That would be a great department to work in. I wonder if they're hiring.


  1. I have 363 movies in my queue, and 14 saved movies. To be fair, 150 of these are series discs. I have 55 in my watch instantly queue, but I can't bring myself to download the software required to actually watch the movies instantly. It is a real pickle.

    The real thing about my netflix experience, though, is that my account is around five years old, and during those five years there have been at least two periods where I kept the same movies in my possession for well over a year. As a matter of fact, the last time two times I moved house I had the same three netflix movies.

  2. I started watching Fitzcarraldo with Christina once. Were you there, too? If so, I am sorry. I miss you. Let's watch a movie next time we're in the same city. May I selfishly request the Danielson Famile Movie? I heard you can get it on Netflix...