The Netflix Loop


With all of the cold weather we’ve had in Minnesota this winter, I’ve spent many a night snuggled in watching movies. Have you ever started watching a rental DVD, gotten part way into the film, and said to yourself, “How the heck did I get this movie?” It happens to me more often than I’d like to admit.

My first reaction is always, “This must be some sort of mistake. They sent me the wrong DVD!” Just as I’m starting to get a bit angry with the Netflix people who made this error, I start to have tiny flashes of familiarity to one of the actors or actresses in the film. This is when I realize that I’ve once again been sucked into The Netflix Loop!

You see, when I rent a DVD, I am one of the few who actually WATCHES the previews, and often I will add these movies to my queue. This is one of the ways I end up with movies I probably would never choose if left to my own devices while cruising through Netflix. The previews lead you to movies that are either by the same production company, feature some of the same actors and actresses, or are of the same genre as the movie you have rented. I’ve discovered that a brief preview is NOT always enough to guarantee the movie will be a hit for me, even if it has something in common with other movies I’ve enjoyed.

Another way that Netflix lures you into the loop is by giving you “suggestions” based on your rentals and reviews. Sometimes these are great suggestions, and I’m really glad I followed the lead. Other times, though, I experience that same phenomenon…”I can’t believe I picked this movie!” I’m going to have to steer clear of recommendations and previews!

I will also admit to two things of which I am not proud. First, I have ended up with movies in my DVD player that are of an “inappropriate” nature. Movies which have “delicate” themes, like the Iowa teenager who goes off to New York City to make her way, and signs on to a “film” company, and suddenly is starring in movies she can’t tell her parents to watch. It must be like the “6 steps away from Kevin Bacon” theory…I am now 6 steps away from an actress I admired in a quality film, but admiring nothing, and finding no quality. And suddenly, as I’m fumbling to eject the DVD, I go into a small panic, wondering who will find out what type of movie I just rented!

Second, at my age, with my memory what it is, I have actually ordered the same movie twice. Now I could forgive myself for this if it were a movie I had seen in 1978, and understandably had forgotten about. But no, I have ordered the same movie I’ve seen within the same month! It is difficult to admit that you are no longer capable of remembering a movie for more than a month. Now where did I put that remote?


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