dear netflix … really?

This is the closest I’m ever going to get to a topical blog post about a current news story and, while I’m aware that there’s some quite significant politics stuff happening in America right now, what I actually want to talk about is the Netflix original movie, A Christmas Prince, and Netflix’s ill thought out Tweet about it. For those who’ve missed this particular story, Netflix appear to have done a series of Tweets about user data (which is already something companies have to be really careful about) and one of the Tweets read: “To the 53 people who’ve watched A Christmas Prince every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?”

Now, in a vacuum I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using interesting bits of user data for marketing purposes. It’s anonymised, it sometimes throws up fun quirky factoids, and, if presented non-judgmentally, the fact that a small but non-trivial number of people have watched a particular movie every single day is an intriguing observation. The thing is, it wasn’t exactly presented non-judgementally and that makes it feel very different, especially, I suspect, if you are one of the 53 people who have basically just been called pathetic in public by a company with whom they have a business relationship. It’s kind of the equivalent of … well … this is going to be a tortured example but bear with me.

KFC (at least in this country) used to do a meal called the “Boneless Banquet For One”. It was basically a KFC value meal in which none of the chicken had bones because not everyone likes chicken with bones. But the name was not terribly well received and probably not terribly well thought out. Because, let’s face it, going into a KFC and asking for the Boneless Banquet For One is about the most humiliating thing you can do in a KFC. And I did actually see stand-up comedians do jokes in which they pointed out what a terrible name Boneless Banquet For One was, and speculated about the kind of sad pathetic life you might have to have to consider ordering such an item in the world’s largest fried chicken franchise.

The thing is, KFC never Tweeted from their corporate account: “53 people have bought a Boneless Banquet For One every day for the last 18 days. Get a life guys.”

Because surely day 1 of marketing 101 is “don’t equate using the product that you make and sell with being a loser”. I mean, I really can’t believe I’m having to explain that to a large, multi-national corporation.

Now obviously the difference between KFC and Netflix is that KFC has a very small menu of food offerings, each of which they take personal responsibility for, whereas Netflix has a massive menu of entertainment offerings, most of which are provided by third parties. So I can absolutely see how Chad the Social Media Wonk, in order to keep up with his punishing daily Tweet quota, decided he could construct a pithy observation based upon the surprising datum that 53 people had watched a particular cheesy movie every day for the best part of a month.

There are, however, two problems with this. The first is that Chad seems to have forgotten that the anonymised data around which he was constructing his witticism wasn’t just numbers. It represented actual people who subscribed to his company’s service and, especially given that 53 is a very small and specific number, when he Tweeted about that group of people every single one of them would have known who they were and known that he was taking the piss out of them directly. Again, I shouldn’t have to explain to a multinational corporation why that’s a bad idea. The second problem with Chad’s tweet is the one that bothers me more (because, frankly, Netflix being crap at business isn’t really my problem) and that’s that Chad did a very poor job of examining the assumptions he was making about who the 53 people who watched A Christmas Prince every day for 18 days were and what their lives were like.

If you’ve not already seen it (and I would generally have said “go watch it, it’s fabulous” but obviously the context makes that recommendation difficult because I’d essentially be encouraging you to reward a corporation for being dicks to its customers) A Christmas Prince is a self-consciously cheesy movie about a young American girl who goes to a fictional European country and falls in love with their wayward but misunderstood Prince. It’s basically a Harlequin but on screen. I watched it the day it came out and I really enjoyed it because it’s fun and light-hearted and Christmassy and uplifting and nice. It is exactly what you think it is and exactly what it intends to be, and I admire things that are like that. Do be aware, there’s disabled child in it and, while I’m in no way qualified to talk about disability issues, I would say that its handling of her experiences is well-intentioned but probably over-simplistic and she does basically exist to allow the heroine to demonstrate her warm heart and free spirit, which isn’t great. If that’s a deal breaker for you, then I completely get that.

And, as it happens, I’ve only watched A Christmas Prince once. Partly because I’m busy watching every movie Hugh Grant has ever made and there are only so many hours in a day. And partly because, yes, I personally didn’t particularly feel the need to watch the same film every day for 18 days. But I think can think of about ten different reasons why you might and none of these reasons involve someone having “hurt you” with all of the skeeviness that implies.

Basically Chad’s Tweet (and I should sincerely apologise to people called Chad) pretty much encapsulates everything that’s wrong with the way the rest of world views romance, and especially romance readers. It does not admit of any reason for engaging with an uncomplicatedly happy love story that isn’t rooted in fundamental psychological dysfunction. And, obviously, I’m reading quite a lot into literally three words here, but just that phrase “who hurt you” carries so much problematic and problematically gendered baggage about, well, everything. It suggests that people who watch and enjoy that film are lonely and sad. It suggests that the reason they are lonely and sad is because someone has made them lonely and sad. While it does not specifically use any gendered language it is also not the sort of phrase you would use if you were talking to a dude. At least not if you were talking to a dude about his habit of watching schmaltzy movies (you’d tell him to man up or grow a pair or point out he’d never get laid that way—all of which also problematic, but in a different way).  Maybe I’m projecting but in the same way that a tweet about how some people have watched the new Star Wars movie every day for the last 18 days followed by a comment about how they should get out of their mom’s basement would be playing into a very specific stereotype about people who like Star Wars, so this Tweet seems to play into a very specific stereotype about people who like romance. Which everyone is already so familiar with that I won’t do it the dignity of articulating it.

At the start of this post I said I could think of at least ten reasons why a person might have watched A Christmas Prince every day for the last 18 days, none of which are “because that person is a sad loser” which is what Netflix seems to be implying (again, it seems to be implying this about its own paying customers, what the fuck Netflix). Now I kind of pulled this number out my arse but because I basically never bluff let’s see if I can actually get to ten:

  1. You are a godawful hipster. Having reamed Netflix for using disparaging language I’ve probably made a bad start here, but let me stress that I’m using the term ‘godawful hipster’ affectionately and speaking as someone who identifies as a godawful hipster myself (for fuck’s sake, my user icon is a top hat). I can absolutely see somebody just really liking the idea of watching the same cheesy Christmas movie every day between now and Christmas. You can make a ritual of it. You can MST3K it. You can livetweet it or do a series of Tumblr posts or even just text your ironic observations to your equally hipstery friends. I’m starting with this suggestion because Chad’s original Tweet seems to imply that people who’ve watched this film a lot are emotionally invested in it to an extent that suggests deep seated psychological problems and I wanted to point out that that the group of people most likely to watch the same cheesy movie way more than is normal are actually the group who are least likely to be emotionally invested in it.
  2. You are an actual child or you have an actual child. Children are legitimately different from adults. A small child will quite happily watch the same film every day for a month and not even think that’s unusual. A Christmas Prince is a sweet family movie with an adorable kid in it. I’d bet pretty good money that a good proportion those 53 people who’ve watched the film every day the last 18 days have done so at the request of their children.
  3. Backgrounding part 1: work. Okay maybe this is just me but I’m sure it’s not. I hope it’s not. Anyway, I like to have stuff on in the background while I do routine work. Obviously not if it’s not something where I have to concentrate really hard and especially not if it’s something that I have to engage with creatively but if I’m washing up, or putting data on a spreadsheet, or filing or ironing I like to have something on in the background that isn’t music and that I don’t have to pay too much attention to. This will almost always be either a really formulaic TV show (terrible police procedurals are the best thing because you just get to look up every 20 minutes and they’ll fill you in on what all the clues have been) or something I’ve seen before. I wouldn’t personally use A Christmas Prince for this purpose because it’s got too many princes and not enough murders but that is purely a style choice.
  4. Backgrounding part 2: exercise. You’d have to be a lot fitter than me for this to work but a huge number of people like to have something to watch or listen to while they’re exercising. And because having a ritual genuinely helps with someone you have to do every day it’s really useful if it’s the same sort of thing. Now obviously this movie is about an hour and a half long so you’d have to have quite a serious regime (or else be one of those people who cardios for ages) but I can completely see that A Christmas Prince would be a great thing to watch while trying to hit your daily step count.
  5. Backgrounding part 3: holiday admin. There are loads of things related to the holiday season that are or can be soul-crushingly tedious. Maybe you have to write out a hundred Christmas cards. Maybe you have to wrap presents for a massive extended family. If you’re doing that kind of thing it can be really easy to lose track of why you’re doing it, and having a totally unironic, totally sincere romantic Christmas movie on in the background is a really good way to keep yourself in the holiday spirit while you’re doing the fundamentally not very festive bits of your festive celebration.
  6. You just fucking love Christmas. I wouldn’t choose to watch A Christmas Prince every day during the Christmas season. I do, however, start eating mince pies in October and I’m pretty sure I’d watch A Muppet’s Christmas Carol every day if I thought I could get away with it because the muppets are great. Some people really like to intensely engage with Christmas as a thing. For some people that’s for religious reasons, for some people it’s cultural, for some people it reminds them of the best part of their childhood, for some it’s trying to make up for the worst part. People have their seasonal rituals. Some people listen to Christmas music, some people wear Christmas jumpers, some people might choose to watch the same Christmas movies every day just as a way of getting themselves hyped up for a season that can otherwise be genuinely quite draining.
  7. The real world is kind of shit right now. Again, I’m not going to talk about contemporary politics on this blog but, um, if you’re at all bothered by transgender people being excluded from the military, or it apparently being okay to be a neo-Nazi now, or all the sexual harassment stuff, or if you, y’know, aren’t too wild about the possibility of nuclear war then maybe an escapist film about a nice American lady who marries as nice, ambiguously European Prince is what you really need to be watching to unwind in the evenings. Escapism is not a dirty word. Sometimes escapism is incredibly valuable.
  8. Your kid/spouse/sibling/mate from university is in it or helped make it and you are really, really proud of them. I’ll admit I put this category in mostly as a joke and because, I’ll be honest, ten was bit ambitious and I’m running low on ideas but, actually, just to get super mathsy for a bit there’s quite an interesting point to be made here about selection bias. Because we’re not talking about randomly selected Netflix users here. Obviously any random person with a Netflix account is so vanishingly unlikely to have a personal connection to any given thing they watch that it isn’t even worth considering. But we’re talking specifically about the 53 people who have watched this film more than any others. I’ve had quick look on IMDB and there are 20 people with name roles in this film. Between them and their families there must be at least 53 people who are directly personally connected to it and some of those may well have decided to watch the film every day, either because they’re super pleased their friend is in a movie, or because their kid doesn’t live at home anymore and they miss them, or because they (perhaps correctly or perhaps incorrectly) believe that by watching the film every day they will improve its ratings, thereby increasing the chances that their friend/sibling/spouse/child will get work in future.
  9. You find that this particular movie helps you sleep. Again, this a ritual thing. It really does help to regulate your sleeping patterns if you do the same sort of thing before you go to bed every night. I know some people who listen to the same music, I know some people who listen to the same audiobook or a small range of audiobooks, I know people who read the same book or the same sort of book. It’s eminently plausible that A Christmas Prince, being a light, engaging, unthreatening movie with no explosions and very little yelling, does this job for some people.
  10. You’re sharing an account. This is a little bit naughty but it’s possible that the accounts on which this film have been watched every day are, in fact, being used by multiple people (people who may also fall independently into any of the categories listed above). I could quite easily see an eighteen person book group where one person says “hey, have you seen this awesome movie on Netflix” and everybody else says “I’d like to watch that but I haven’t got Netflix and I don’t want to get it for just one film” and so they pass a password around for eighteen days. And thus the film gets watched 18 times but no individual person watches it more than once or twice. Again, not super plausible. But, again, we’re talking about 53 people out of millions. The reasons for implausible behaviours are almost always themselves implausible.
  11. Special bonus reason: somebody did, in fact, hurt you. Because, you know what? This is a nice movie. I mean, it’s not exactly the most progressive film in the world. The only representation in the entire film is that the heroine has one friend who is black and one friend who, I think, we’re supposed to believe is gay based solely on his beard and his sass. But basically it’s a happy story about two nice people who fall in love in a fundamentally unrealistic environment. And apart from the two comically evil antagonists, every single other character is kind and warm and supportive and loving. So, yes, maybe for some of the people who have watched this film it it’s because their wife has just left them or their boyfriend has just cheated on them or their child has just died and they’re looking for something to make them feel happy because they don’t currently feel happy. And, you know what, fuck you Netflix for turning that into something shitty.

PS – I have a book out today. If you read it, I’ll think you’re cool.

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47 Responses to dear netflix … really?

  1. Courtney Miller-Callihan says:

    no one named Chad deserves apologies. Yeah, I said it.

    • You are harsh on Chads.

    • To keep it with data, especially small sample sizes, I out myself as one of the XYZ people (no idea about the actual number but I don’t think it’s more than 53) who searched your blog for “Hugh Grant”.
      I came across this post here which I missed the first time around. X-mas season, having had to travel, just too busy, so I missed it… but I was not too busy to watch this particular movie, while browsing through new ones for not watching “Love, Actually” or “A Card to Remember” like 18 times in a row.
      I love your post, for many reasons like calling Chad and Netflix out (also I have a lovely friend called “Chad”) and for coming up with reasons why watching a particular movie or a TV series on repeat is dope. (Guilty as charged for watching upbeat TV shows while doing routine work and in my case, I would exactly choose one with a lot of princess and no murder in it 😀 )
      Great food for thoughts!

  2. araminta says:

    Well said.! I hate the thought of some smug git making these assumptions. Having said that, the people employed by companies like Netflix (and they probably subcontract to a company that has their account) are likely to be quite young and imbued with the arrogance of youth. Hopefully they will learn empathy when they grow up. Annoyingly, I now want to watch this movie which proves right the adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

    • Annoyingly, I’ve had a very similar impulse (that is, the impulse to watch the movie, not the impulse to cut Chad some slack for his youth and inexperience, though I’ve had that too.). And, really, I’m not sure it’s even annoying. I mean, rationally Netflix is a subscription service. The only way to effectively exercise consumer influence over them is to cancel that subscription. If I try to punish Netflix by continuing to pay for their service but using it less, I’m essentially trying to protest their behaviour by making their business cheaper to run.

  3. Bee says:

    My nephew watched the same films again and again when he was a little kid and I ALWAYS watch Friends while ironing. So, yeah Chad.

  4. Ariadna says:

    No apologies necessary to Chad since 99.99999999999999% of all Chads tend to be douche-y on some level. Save, perhaps, Chad Smith (Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ drummer.

    Anyhoo, I remember quirking one eyebrow when I saw the tweet. It’s snarkier than witty. And yet, despite the fact that I can see why it’d irritate some, I ended up shrugging it off. (Caveat: I have no plans to watch this movie and have v. low tolerance to Christmas-y movies in general. So, it could be my grinchness in action. #IDK.)

    Also, out of all the reasons, I’d guess that the combo of nos. 9 and 10 are the driving force behind the repeated viewings.

    I think that the main driving point in the furor over the tweet is that Netflix is usually beyond tight-lipped about their user data.

    • The user data thing genuinely doesn’t bother me. When it comes to big data stuff like this I’d actually much rather companies talked about it than just sat on it and used it to make decisions they don’t tell us about. Having said that, I think it sort of cuts at the heart of social contract that allows us to put up with the sheer amount of data harvesting that clearly goes on. Basically, I’m willing to pretend I don’t realise that Google is keeping track of everything I search for because I do actually value the convenience of having customised searches and, in return, Google undertakes not to Tweet about how damn often I Google basic household tasks I should really know how to accomplish by now.

      • Askewe says:

        Yes, and this is why I’m happy to google the occasional potentionally embarrassing word meaning or question (now I know how the ginger doesn’t get lost when figging I truly sleep easier) and am mostly comfortable with the fact google probably know every minuitae of my life, but still try to avoid facebook. Because I don’t feel they understand the upholding of the social contract thing at all, and had this sort of thing come from them? Zero surprise. Also, feel free to pass on excellent basic life skill tips, we too are sorely lacking 😉

  5. Ellie says:

    Thank you so much for this post.
    We don’t even have Netflix here and I found that tweet so insulting. Making fun of your viewers’ habits is such a big NO.
    Btw, we definitely could be one of those 18 people because D could watch a favourite animation again and again for days. She has diversified her taste a bit but at one point we used to watc Toy Story at least once a week 🙂

    • I honestly do think that this the most likely explanation. A Christmas Prince isn’t explicitly a kid’s movie but it’s also explicitly not not a kid’s movie and it’s free on Netflix which a lot of movies aren’t. So I can imagine an enthusiastic child watching it every day because they’re excited about Christmas.

      • Ellie says:

        I kept thinking about this and I realise I maybe be overreacting but still, I felt pretty sad seeing how few people on Twitter (of the ones I follow, at least) just ignored the tweet and how many people on Twitter in general joined in the mocking. I’m aware there are much bigger problems in the world, but this lack of reaction shows how unempathic we are, how unable we are to imagine a world different from our own.

        • Askewe says:

          Lol, last one, I promise- I actually ended up vomiting comments everywhere here cause I’d come over here to decompress after walking away from a twitter debate about healthcare having being told, among other things, that “3rd world women’s tragedies have no relevance to us”. So yeah, apologies Mr Hall, but thank you for saving that brick wall from my forehead…

    • Maarja says:

      Considering a friend of mine just complained of having had to watch the same episode of a traffic show (!!!)(i.e a TV series where they talk about traffic laws and safety etc) because her son wanted to… This makes so much sense!

  6. Jane says:

    I can suggest one more possible reason: when I worked at the public library, we had many patrons who for mental health reasons (dementia, sensory issues, anxiety etc) found it helpful or calming to borrow and watch the same TV show or movie over and over. Whatever gets you through the day, you know? Life is difficult.

    • Actually, that’s a really good point. I mean, to be honest, I don’t have any of those particular issues but *I* find watching the same thing over and over again quite comforting. But, yes, that possibility does also make Chad look like even more of a jerk. And I could definitely see this being a very soothing movie to chain watch.

      • Askewe says:

        I purposely didn’t mention autistic children, or hyperfocused obsessive as he children, or anything of this ilk in my list, since I didn’t want to sit them side by side with my sillier ideas, but yeah, we have a handful of books and dvds here that have expired due to obsessive use. Thank goodness for digital!

  7. Darla Sharp says:

    I loved this post! I read about this tweet and I had the same feelings. Also, HTBIWAB automagically downloaded to my Kindle today–YAY! Early Yule gift for me!

  8. Belinda Menzies says:

    The fun thing is that people enjoyed the movie so much because come on, people love cheesy Christmas movies. That’s what we look forward to every year and they’re meant to be watched over and over. Netflix’s tweet is unfortunate.

  9. Askewe says:

    Ok, coming up with random possible reasons to justify things is kind of my catnip* (last week it was what positive thing the name Mouldy McMouldface could ever be used for. I think we got to eleven or so before we found something else to amuse us), so here’s some more:
    1. You have a large family – one or two of them watched it and loved it, and they started making others watch it, repeat and add in a few re-watches, voila!
    2. You actually hate Christmas, but have horrible friends, who have challenged you to watch a Christmas movie every day before xmas, and are extra horrible so decided to just make it the same movie every day.
    3. I haven’t seen the movie, so I’m making some assumptions here, but I’m going with: you live in the southern hemisphere and want to watch something with snow every time it gets too hot outside, and this fits the bill adequately.
    4. Your pet likes the tv left on when you’re out. You thought they’d been looking a little sad, so you left on something seasonal and uplifting for them. They seemed to like it, so you kept leaving the same movie.
    5. You are an aspiring actor, and one of these characters emulates a role you are auditioning for. You have been repeatedly watching for purely professional reasons.
    6. You wish to overcome your Christmas phobia with exposure therapy, got up to this movie, haven’t felt ready to move to the next challenge, but don’t want to backslide.

    I have more, but I’ll stop there 😉

    Although I must say I do think your first point is cheating, because it sounds a lot like ‘You are a writer, and have decided to do a number of strange and unusual blog posts about the entire High Grant cannon, ahem, sorry, rewatching a christmas movie…’ 😉

    Anyhow, I’m off, apparently I have some reading to do… 🙂

    *please rest assured captcha I am not a robot, nor am I actually a cat. Or a robot cat.

    • These are great – and, actually, perfectly plausible. I’d also point out the first one isn’t cheating. It’s just the kind of thing I actually do so I feel other people might also do it. I mean, God I hope so 😛

      • Askewe says:

        Now you have me wondering which of mine I thought of because they are potentially things I’d actually do. It’s too much potentially disturbing introspection for today :-S

  10. Please delete this if you think it’s too off-topic/unwanted but I’ve been pondering something since yesterday which is kind of related, since it’s about the making of assumptions about relative strangers.

    So, in the deleted scene you posted to subscribers yesterday, Ardy makes an assumption about a sales assistant. I’m not saying that Ardy is being insensitive and unimaginative like Chad, but there is a judgment being made, and given the context I’m not certain it’s justified, though it may well be. Ardy thinks:

    It was too nice a day to get social justice cross with someone. “They’re for me.”

    “S-sorry. I shouldn’t have…Sorry.”

    “It’s okay. And my girlfriend’s a boy.”

    Clearly lots of people do make heterosexist assumptions, but for some reason I couldn’t help wondering if there might be a non-social-justice-invoking reason why the sales assistant came to those conclusions. In the end, I worked out why I was springing to the sales assistant’s defence: there is some pretty strong textual evidence to suggest she was primed by Ardy to make those assumptions from the very beginning of their conversation.

    “Can I help at all?” One of the sales assistants—a smiling woman with a non-threatening prettiness to her—had crept up on me.

    I gave a little yelp and shook my head. “I’m good thanks. Just, y’know, looking to go a little Fifty.”

    It seems to me that if a person who looks male invokes Fifty in the context of buying expensive BDSM sex toys, the person who’s been given that information is quite likely to assume that the reference is being used to indicate the existence of a situation like the one in Fifty, and therefore that there is a m/f couple, with the m being dominant. After all, the coverage of Fifty didn’t just focus on the presence of BDSM, it was very much focused on what Fifty implied about women/gender and submissiveness so Fifty is now firmly associated with a male dominant/female submissive dynamic.

    • You’re very welcome to ask about anything you like – although I’m not sure how much insight i can offer here. First off, it’s a deleted scene so not carefully edited, and secondly I try to avoid offering interpretations of my work because I strongly believe that readers what readers is as valid as what I think. If you think Ardy is being over-sensitive is this scene, that’s fair enough.

      For what it’s worth, I think I was trying to do here was explore that difficult edge where both parties could be more charitable to the other. The shop assistant could still have avoided assuming Ardy’s partner was female (in general, I think would be a better place if we all avoided making assumptions about people’s identities) and Ardy could have been slightly prickly about it. I think something I was conscious of when writing the scene is that Ardy isn’t just responding to the shop assistant – he’s responding everyone who has ever made similar assumption about him. Essentially you’re supposed to sympathise with both of them in that scene in that I tried to a create a space whereby the reader could identify with Ardy’s frustration at having to deal with that kind of thing yet again but also with the shop assistant’s discomfort at being called out for an error she didn’t intentionally make and might not have made under other circumstances.

      • I didn’t conclude that Ardy was “being over-sensitive in this scene,” I just felt that Ardy was making a judgment about the shop assistant and I wasn’t “certain it’s justified, though it may well be.”

        So, given that you intended readers “to sympathise with both of them in that scene,” you succeeded.

        I’m also enjoying the drifting snowflakes you’ve currently got on the blog.

  11. Cynthia Gobatie says:

    Beyond your cogent response to Chad, I am delighted by the shout out to “A Muppet Christmas Carol” — my absolute FAVORITE version!

  12. Ingela says:

    Number umpteen (and my immediate assumption): film student writing an essay on formulaic romance movies. Or any situation where you need to do a close analysis really. An author trying to learn the craft… the possibilities are endless.

  13. Lennan Adams says:

    I felt so sympathetically horrified and embarrassed by that tweet. Fucking Chad. *angry face* All your reasons are super valid and I can relate to many of them. I dearly hope YouTube won’t tweet about how many times I watched Tom Holland dancing to Umbrella on Lip Sync Wars (it was many more than 18.)
    Another reason that occurred to me—my BF owns a store where they play Netflix all day every day. His is a comic book store, so they are playing Guardians of the Galaxy and the like, but I can totally see a retail establishment where it was appropriate to play something like this movie playing it daily. Anyway, regardless, fuck Netflix. And annoyingly I really want to watch the movie now—maybe I’ll put it on every day for the next 18 days in solidarity with the 53.
    Also I’m excited that you think I’m cool. :p I love your Billionaire series *heart eyes for Ardy*

    • Lennan Adams says:

      Also, I just turned on Netflix and this movie, with a big play button, is what’s on the main page and also it gives me a 98% match for it—which is interesting since I really only watch sci-fi. Stupid Netflix.

      • I’m sometimes perplexed by the Netflix algorithm. Once it recommended me American Horror Story “because you watched RuPaul’s Drag Race.” I suppose the thing is that it matches by what things people who watched the things you watch also watch – which is necessarily going to be eclectic because very few people exclusively watch one genre.

        Also, I will add retail use to my growing of list reason to watch the same Xmas movie every day for the best part of a month.

  14. LJ says:

    You run a business with a tv in the corner, and found a Christmassy movie with no offensive material…

  15. Liese says:

    So, can’t help but wonder what a snarky Kindle Chad would post about the 53 peeps who have read For Real 18 times! 😉 Ok, maybe not in the last 18 days, or in one year, but lifetime totals of 18+ surely will include me at some point if 2017 was anything to go by…

  16. Amy says:

    I think out is also worth pointing out, for the list, Netflix will automatically play a similar title. I can imagine if someone was watching another Christmas movie and fell asleep that it could default to the title under discussion. (At least based on my own observations, any Disney title seems to pull Hercules as the next in qeue. I have kids/ used to babysit my friends kids we’ve watched a startling amount of Disney on Netflix).
    And, I have your book, yay for pre-order and automatically showing up on my kindle, though I’ve not yet read it. I’m on a temporary hiatus from books that will inevitably play havoc with my emotions (Or in other words, I spent the last 4days reading a book that left me feeling like an emotional punching bag).

    • Autoplay shenanigans will also go on the list. And incidentally is anyone else bothered by the judgemental way that, if you watch a lot of the same thing in a row, Netflix pops up a little window saying “Are you still watching [blah].” And I know it’s just a way of checking you haven’t fallen asleep to save electricity or bandwidth or something, but I always read it with emphasis on the *still* like Netflix can’t believe how many episodes of The Good Place you’ve watched in a row. And, fuck you Netflix: the answer is all of them.

  17. L says:

    N+1: All 53 of them tried a long distance tandem movie watch challenge with absolutely no one falling asleep in the process and had been failing for 18 days in a row before they finally gave up. So it was actually Netflix that actively hurt them.

  18. Diana says:

    I ritually listen to Terry Pratchett’s “The Hogfather” while wrapping my Christmas presents. I think I win.

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