Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's Always Good to Start the New Year with a Laugh

It's always good to start the new year with a laugh.

And it my case, I'm also starting it with a one-month free trial of Netflix.

Signed up, Netflix asks you to rate movies you've viewed in order to provide data for the company's software to recommend movies from their catalog. I did this--this one's a three, that one's a four, and so forth, out of five stars possible.

The day moves on to evening, and I'm sitting on the floor, my laptop connected to our flatscreen TV via a HDMI cable. Demonstrating how to connect the flatscreen to the computer, how to open Netflix, and the cinema I'd added to my "list," I then scrolled down to "Our Recommendations for Thomas" to show my wife this function of the website.

And there is was--having crunched the numbers of my movie evaluations, Netflix told me that it was four-stars-out-of-five certain that Leave It to Beaver was a show I'd really like!

Now, I have nothing against Leave It to Beaver or The Andy Griffith Show or McHale's Navy, but my personal perspective on those shows is "been there, done that."

I haven't heard my wife laugh so completely in a long time, and even though I was somewhat nonplussed, soon I was laughing along with her. We started wondering how the recommendation arose. Did some young hotshot programmer think, "Yeah, he's over sixty, so he'll eat up that old-show stuff." Maybe the thinking is to throw in some leftfield possibilities "and see how he reacts."

Later, when reviewing more shows on Netflix's "personalizing" page, the pop-up mentioned that the site will "get better" at recommending shows for me as I continue to rate more and more titles.

I hope so.

I plan to keep my sense of humor, and we'll see at the end of our free month whether we keep our subscription. Maybe a chance for good laughs is worth $7.99 a month.

Copyright 2013 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved


  1. Replies
    1. Maybe I'll get lucky and they'll recommend "Circus Boy" or "Rin Tin Tin."