Thursday, March 17, 2011

362. Netflix

So The Husband and I finally succumb to rampant peer pressure and sign up for Netflix. (Yes, I am well aware Netflix has been around for over a decade … obviously, we are fairly good at resisting peer pressure.) We make the mistake, my darling and I, of signing up together, as in: at the same time on the same account just under my name. This spells disaster for all concerned.

First, The Husband and I cannot agree on even basic information like a secret password for our account (I want something easy to remember, like “Netflix”; whereas he favors using the same password he has used for all his accounts for the history of time: 94kr2$mWp*fT45 (yes, that is a fun one to type in at the drive-thru ATM machine).

Once past that hurdle, Netflix wants to know which year I was born (I assume so it can suggest movies that appeal to my contemporaries). Depressingly, 1968 is not an option. I suddenly feel ancient.  The Husband laughs, then searches for his much-more-recent year of birth instead. Ha ha, 1969 is not listed either! He gives up and goes to the next set of questions.

Next, we must fill in a simple questionnaire to help Netflix determine our movie preferences so it can offer recommendations that are tailored to our specific likes and dislikes.

This is where things go violently south. The Husband is still at the keyboard, giving 5-star ratings to movies like the instant classic Hot Tub Time Machine and the prim and proper Meet the Fockers while I am poking at him to “go back, go back!” to Shakespeare in Love and give it a 5.

“I’m not giving that a 5!” he says, not even attempting to conceal the contempt in his tone, “That was a stupid movie!” He rolls his eyes, and goes to the next page of choices.

I tug at his sleeve like an impatient preschooler. “You liked Splash—don’t you remember? Hey!” I gasp as he clicks 5s for Caddyshack and Independence Day, “You can’t give everything a 5! The computer will be confused!”

And indeed, the computer is confused by our schizophrenic clicking. Netflix is spitting out movie recommendations with titles like Terminator 8: A Love Connection, Wedding Bells Massacre, and When Harry Met Sally in Outer Space. What kind of stupid movie options are these?

As if that’s not bad enough, The Husband says helpfully, “Oh, I just remembered: we should choose some movies that Tall and Short might like, maybe some animated features?”

Netflix gags and sputters to keep all our choices straight. Apparently, MOV likes action-adventure-cartoon-romance-raunchy-dramas (but not in a foreign language with subtitles, thank God there is one thing we can agree on).

A new message flashes across the screen: “Split Account Option.” Evidently, Netflix has dealt with married couples before.

(“Movies Or Videos”)


  1. I really have given up on selecting movies.. I get vetoed for ALL of the movies I want to see. Luckily, "the adustment bureau" in the movie theatre, WAS something J wanted to see. {good thing he didn't know too much about it and that it was a L.O.V.E. story!} Anyway, good luck to you with this one. Streaming Netflix to your TV is well worth the $$!


  2. clearly you need a tivo. it will solve all your problems

  3. oh, no, dear Megan, TiVo is the one that started it all. Much as I love TiVo, if TiVo were a person, I would have married him, and then subsequently divorced him due to his pushy and manipulative ways ("shall I record this for you? how about *this*? I think you will love THIS?").
    TiVo is awesome (and the subject of my very first ever blog entry waaaaaay back last June) but The Husband and I were feeling so left out of mainstream pop culture, that we finally caved and did NetFlix. They just emailed to tell me the first movie is on the way! Yay! It can be like Christmas every day!

  4. yes, christmas every day. except when your dvd sits collecting dust on top of the tv for two months and you forget about it, only to wonder later why you're paying $20 a month for dvds that never get delivered...

  5. ooooooooh, Megan, that is EXACTLY what I am afraid of. Yikes!! Thanks for that hearty dose of realism.


When you write a comment, it makes me feel like I won the lottery or at the very least like I ate an ice-cream sundae. (This has nothing to do with the fact that I did just eat an ice-cream sundae.)