I’d like to take a minute and thank our technology overlords. Yes, the ones who provide us devices and means of connecting through this wonderous mystery we call the internet. While 2020 has mostly been a bag of suck, technology has had our backs. The Nintendo Switch allowed us to social distance properly while still visiting our friend’s Animal Crossing islands and then immediately humbling them with your red shell skills in Mario Kart. Technology allowed us to have happy hours with friends and family through Zoom leaving us worry-free about finding ourselves a designated driver. Technology allowed us to be a part of Watch Parties where you could watch countless hours of television or movies with family, friends, significant others, or in my case, complete strangers to celebrate the release of Community to Netflix. Could you imagine quarantine without these technological wonders?
Yeah, me either.
I have to say, the Watch Party might have been my favorite discovery of this pandemic. That and possibly Ozark. I will die for Ruth. D-I-E. But what a tremendous idea. Get a whole bunch of your friends together online and watch something together while using a chat feature to distract yourself from whatever you chose to watch. It’s a wonderful way to make isolating feel less isolated, I just wish more platforms offered it.
Netflix was my first introduction to Watch Parties and I suppose Twitch would be my follow up, but streaming services like HBO Max and Disney+ didn’t really offer the feature. With the exception of Disney who sort of offered it through a Google Chrome browser add-on, but as I learned over a month ago when wanting to do a Black Panther screening, it was not very reliable thus leading to a very frustrating and embarrassing non-watch party. Ugh, still annoys me.
Well Geeklings, I bring to you good news. As of today, you can now host Watch Parties on Disney+ with six of your favorite family members or friends… providing they have a subscription to the streaming service. Is social distancing keeping you away from your binge buddies? Want to catch up on the first season of The Mandalorian together before season two comes out? Want to just watch a bunch of Pixar movies together and cry because Pixar doesn’t care about your feelings? Now you can and your friends won’t be able to see your tears! Talk about an added bonus.
Watch Parties have to be created on your mobile device or web browser but after that, you can transition to watching on your television. You no longer have to crowd around your tablet/laptop/phone to watch with the people you miss the most. This was certainly one of my hang-ups concerning Netflix’s features. I’d much rather watch on my television, that’s why I have it as the centerpiece of my living room, the laptop experience just wasn’t cutting it. Although, without the laptop, I wouldn’t have been able to chat with the rest of the gang. It’s a double-edged sword I suppose.
If you weren’t crazy about the chat feature because it was too distracting from the thing you supposedly wanted to watch then more good news for you because Disney has you covered. There will be no chat feature option on the Mouse’s Watch Party. You can only communicate through emojis which is… different but certainly allows for everyone to actually watch what’s on their screens. I suppose if you really wanted to communicate with people you could boot up an additional Zoom call so people can try and outdo each other for most hilarious commentary. With the Watch Party, the viewing experience is synced up which makes it an easy option. You no longer have to hope that everyone hits play at the same exact time. We all know that one person, let’s call them Hank, is always a second behind causing an annoying echo ruining the experience for everyone. Nice job Hank!
What do you think Geeklings, you excited about the official Disney+ Watch Party option? Anyone else thinking about a possible Mandalorian season two I Am Geek viewing party? What’s the first movie or show you’re going to watch with friends? Be sure to sound off in the comments or throw me a line over on Twitter @iamgeek32. Let’s start planning that first I Am Geek viewing party!