Saturday, December 09, 2017

Forever Queue

There are 37 items in my Netflix queue, and it’s beginning to dawn on me that this list will never, ever be empty.  It will take significant work for it to ever drop into the 20-25 range.  I could be technical about this, and develop a strict viewing schedule (at least one item every one or two days until everything is complete), though even this has tons of complications.  Even my schedule doesn’t allow for THIS much viewing….especially since I have so many other things to watch on normal TV.  Plus, you know, life and stuff.  On top of that, several of the items here are shows rather than movies, in some cases programs with multiple seasons of content; I can’t just rifle through those when I have a spare 90 minutes to kill one night.

Some positives…

* seven of the items are films I’ve seen before but haven’t watched in years.  So technically, I don’t pressingly *need* to watch them again, and could delete them if I really wanted to make a serious queue purge.  A couple of the movies I actually own on DVD, in case I ever wanted to go old school and see if the DVD player in my parents’ basement still works properly.

* I’ve gotten much less tolerant of stuff that fails to capture my interest within the first, say, 20 minutes.  Sometimes it’s simply a slow-moving program, sometime I can immediately tell it’s not very good, or something it’s just something that I “get” quickly and realize that I don’t need to see any more of it.  For instance, the pilot of Lemony Snicket’s Series Of Unfortunate Events was quite well done and entertaining, yet that single episode totally filled my appetite for anything Lemony-related.  It could be that when I sit down and check out some of these other items on the list, I’ll check out just as quickly, thus opening my schedule to watch something else and perhaps knock out two queue entries in a single evening.

One lesson I’ve learned in clearing out a queue is to always focus on the non-original programming first.  Netflix will have its own content available forever; it might only have a certain movie or show for a few months, and since there’s no set schedule for when that program might disappear, it’s best to watch it ASAP.

Maybe the other lesson was that online streaming is just overwhelming.  I pitched the idea of getting my folks a Netflix account but they turned down the offer since, to quote my dad, “there’s just too much.”  I think my folks like getting a weekly dose of a single episode of one of their favourite shows rather than binging a season at a time, and then another season, and then another show, and so on and so forth.  Once you get into that habit, that’s how you rack up 37 shows with no end in sight.  Like a fool!

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