The 11 Stages of Picking and Watching Netflix

Jenna Hoffstadt – Indy Writer


College students are notorious for saying “screw it” to cable and spending the little money we have on a Netflix account or “borrowing” our sibling’s password. With Netflix, we have access to thousands of hours of programming at our disposal. However, one does not simply pick a Netflix show…




1. When you open up Netflix, you have to go through your options. This begins with the featured movies and shows at the top.




A lot of the times, these are Netflix Originals. Netflix has produced some quality programming like Orange Is The New Black and Arrested Development but they also produced movies like The Ridiculous Six... It’s up to the individual what that means. I read reviews for the Netflix Originals before devoting my time to them because they are hit-or-miss.


2. I usually scroll past the featured section to find the “Top Picks for Jenna” tab. 90% of the time I would never watch any of these suggestions.




I don’t know if something got screwed up with the program they use to generate these suggestions but Netflix does not get me. Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce? I’m 20 years old and in a new relationship… World War II: In Colour? Why would I be interested in this?


Do you ever just…?


3. When I’m done scrolling through that tab at least 3 times, I make my way through the useless tabs of “Because you watched ____”



That one show you didn’t really like but picked because nothing else seemed interesting?  Yeah here’s like 15 other shows that you wouldn’t really like either.


4. Then you fall upon a tab with a ridiculously specific title like “Movies Featuring a Strong Female Lead based on Books”





The most obscure movies all from different time periods with actors/actresses you’ve never heard of… that is what fills into this category.


5. After you try to find something new or different, you fall back to the mainstream. “Trending Now” is a great tab to look under if you want to be involved with Netflix conversation around the water cooler on Monday.




Making a Murderer is all the buzz. I have yet to jump on the bandwagon but I have hovered my mouse over the play button a few times. I’m just not ready to commit myself to a hard-hitting documentary right now.


6. Most of my time searching for a Netflix show is spent saying:




“Yeah, that looks good.”


*Reads description*


“Ok, ok…”


*Thinks about it again*


“But I’m in the middle of re-watching How I Met Your Mother for the 3rd time…”


7. Inevitably after 20-30 minutes of searching I fall back on what I know and Love: The “Watch It Again” or “Continue Watching” tabs.




This is a safe zone. The comfort food of Netflix, if you will. No wondering if you might like it or not. Just a bunch of familiar shows with story lines you know and love.


8. Once you decide which one you want to re-watch, the binge begins.




It’s about 11pm by the time I get around to Netflix (College keeps me busy, ok!). So I cuddle up with my fuzzy blankets in my boyfriend’s shirt staring into the eyes of my MacBook Pro. Shows like Parks and Rec are dangerous because they are typically 20 minutes long.


9. “I have time to watch another one” turns into 6 more episodes and before you know it, its 3am.




But its ok, I don’t have class till 10am! I’ll just not eat breakfast… that gives me time for another 2 episodes! I can totally run on 6 hours of sleep.


10. “Are you still watching?”




This message is like skulls and cross bones. The shame and guilt of binging on Netflix is overwhelming. The server wants to know if you’re still there… if you’re ok… They should consider a plug in that checks your vitals to make sure you’re alive.


11. “Continue watching”




This button is your savior. Once you click it, you are washed over with excitement to continue living vicariously through your favorite character. No one ever has to know about your binge. Just you, Netflix, and chill.

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