I think most of us can admit that there has been a time in our lives where we decided that we were going to stay home and do nothing. Often times it’s the best reason for living. The idea of coming home after a loooooong day of work, put on your best comfies, eat some food, sit on the couch, and Netflix it up. I’m not going to lie, there are times where this very idea gets me through the day. We’ve all been there. And then the time comes, you’re sitting on your couch in your best comfies and… nothing. You just stare at the screen, or aimlessly flip through your options of what to watch, and spend the majority of the night trying to figure it out. It ultimately ends with you watching The Office or an MCU movie again, and you leave feeling unfulfilled. All this potential at our fingertips and it changes nothing. It’s the overwhelming nature of Netflix. It’s daunting. It’s slightly intimidating. And it puts you in a comfort zone where you just go back to the things you know because they’re not going to let you down.
That in itself is part of the problem though. What happens when you finally decide to just watch one of your favorite shows after submitting to the exhaustion of trying to figure out what to watch instead of one of your favorite shows? You then spend another thirty or forty minutes trying to figure out what episode to put on. You’ve already seen them all a million times and now you’re thinking you want to jump into the deep cuts. The random episodes that no one really talks about but you love because they make up the whole of the series. Then that doesn’t feel right because you really just want to watch the episode with Prison Mike or when Joey puts on all the clothes or any of the Ron Swanson/Tammy II episodes. Suddenly choosing to watch something becomes this vicious, unforgiving circle that you can’t escape and that you’re doomed to repeat night after night unless you have a predetermined viewing plan prior to sitting down on your couch in your best comfies.
Luckily, Netflix has been trying to help. They understand the problem they have created with their obscene amount of content. Recently they have added an experimental “Random” button to a number of their most-watched television shows like Friends, Arrested Development, Parks and Rec, or The Office. You have options too! You can select a random episode from fan-favorite episodes or you can go for one of those deep cuts and just hit an overall random button. This is a great option that is sure to help many of us who just sit in front of the screen for hours trying to figure out what to watch. It’s definitely a step in the right direction.
Now, most of you might be saying, “ummm, I have never seen that button what are you talking about” and you would be right. It’s an experiment and only a select few accounts have been given the option to go random. That part is a bummer. I’ve looked on my account, I don’t have it so I have to suffer like the rest of us in this endless cycle of drowning in content. Hopefully, this is something that Netflix expands and just adds to every account. I’m here for it but I’m willing to go a little further with the concept.
We usually choose our favorite shows as a fallback once we get frustrated trying to figure out what we want to watch in the first place. A random episode button is a wonderful idea but what if Netflix just had a random random button. A button you would click that will just randomly put something on your screen. It would be built based on your algorithm of things you’ve watched in the past and could open your eyes to some content that you’ve been missing because of how overwhelming it is.
You can even breakdown the randomness. Put it into categories. Are you in the mood for a movie or television show? From there you can select if you want a comedy, horror, thriller, documentary, sci-fi adventure, or any other endless possibility. Next thing you know Netflix throws something on your screen. Or maybe gives you the option between three somethings and you choose what you want. Now instead of searching through all of Netflix, Netflix is bringing specific content to you based on the things it already knows you like. It could help people from getting crushed underneath the avalanche of content, and maybe introduce them to movies or shows they didn’t know exist or should be watching. Like I’ve been waiting for someone to force me to start watching Peaky Blinders for a while now. This could be exactly what I need.
What do you think Geeklings? Do you think Netflix needs an overall random button to help narrow down your searching? Were any of you selected for the random episode button? What did you think? Sound off in the comments or throw me a line over at Twitter @iamgeek32. Maybe Netflix will hear us.