Netflix Amnesia


I slit open the familiar red envelope with anticipation. I slipped the printed sleeve out and read the name printed on it in confident black lettering. It was:

The Machu Picchu Elevator
(Special 'More Llama' Edition- Now with English and Creole Subtitles)
starring:
  • Gordon Chen-Murray
  • Beatrice Cannes-Darling
  • Jose Santa-Maria-Nina-Pinta-Escobar-de-Arte-y-Pico
  • and Steve

Okay, so that wasn't really the name of it. But it might as well have been. I turned that envelope in my hand, confirmed my address on the front-- yes, yes, that was me-- and had to admit, it had happened again...

Netflix Amnesia.

For my friends outside the U.S. who may not have this, Netflix is a nifty little system by which you rent movies online. You choose a selection of films, and the Netflix folks just mail them to you, so you don't ever actually have to get dressed or leave your house.

When you're done with them, you pop 'em back in a pre-posted envelope, and mail 'em back.

Or, if you're operating on that Not Leaving Your House or Getting Dressed thing, you leave 'em for the mailman with a nice note.

It's a super little service, for this most part. Not only is it perfect for we lazy folks who don't want to be standing around a video rental place, dancing around forty other people trying to choose from a selection of the same four films, but Netflix also seems to have everything.

I mean, I know because I've tried stumping them.

Let's see, do you have....

Bowling for Anchovy Pizza, Season 2?

Yes, yes they do.

Do you have....

Cholera, the Golden Years?

Yup, present and accounted for!

How about...

Queen Elizabeth Three: Queenie's Revenge?

Yepper.

So I'm getting a chance to see a lot of films and television series I otherwise would never get a chance to enjoy. Which is terrific!

The thing is, I also tend to get swept up in the moment. So sometimes I'm online choosing films, and Netflix tells me:

"If you liked The Darjeeling Express and Cannonball Run and Pan's Labyrinth and The Teletubbies, you might also enjoy The Machu Picchu Elevator..."

And I read the little blurb and think, "Why, Netflix, you might just be right! I MIGHT just enjoy The Machu Picchu Elevator. Let's put that bad boy on my list!"

And now, my list is, like, a mile long. Meaning it can be months before I ever see The Machu Picchu Elevator in my mailbox. And a lot goes on in those couple of months to distract. Like work. And other Netflix films. And whole presidential elections.

So every now and then-- well, maybe every couple of weeks-- I am confronted by a movie title I have absolutely NO IDEA where it came from or why, and I have no one to blame but myself.

Oh, I have been moved to choose things because of Netflix Peer Pressure, where the recommendation comes so often I eventually cave in and add it to the list just to shut them up.

I have been moved to choose things because some obscure actor was in it that nobody else cares about but me and the guy's wife-- and even the guy's wife not-so-much.

I have been persuaded by well-written summary blurbs... And because something was directed by the second cousin twice removed of someone I once saw do a different Netflix movie...

And then I discover the thing has subtitles.

Well, it turns out, Netflix was right; I ended up actually liking The Machu Picchu Elevator. I give it four stars.

"If you liked the Machu Picchu Elevator, you might also enjoy: Dancing in Owen Wilson's Bathtub- V."

Ask me in three months.

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If you liked Netflix Amnesia, you might also like some of these other posts over at Humor-blogs.

16 comments:

Jonny's Mommy said...

I'll rent Dancing in Olen Wilson's bathtub!

Whooo-hooo..

The Brother, from whom's (whose?) blog I bounced from (Unfinished Ramblings) uses Netflix. I, however, have not yet done this, but may cave under his peer pressure and do so soon.

Jenn Thorson said...

Jonny's Mommy- Heh, I think we might in fact have a hit with, "Dancing in Owen Wilson's Bathtub." :) There might be a big waiting list for this one.

Ah, you must be the infamous sister of "Unfinished" whose former teenage room he invaded in unending Siblinghood... Pleased to meet you! :)

Da Old Man said...

I love the Netflix experience. And you summed it up perfectly. Someone at Netflix is almost demanding that I rent Office Space. It seems no matter what movie I watch, they always recommend that I rent Office Space. It's a conspiracy.
By the way, Netflix has a huge variety of Bollywood movies available.

Jenn Thorson said...

Da Old Man- Actually, "Office Space" is great fun. Given your diverse employment experiences, and your sense of humor, I'd say you'd probably like it a lot.

Netflix is often right, when it gets pushy like that. :)

PS- I actually have "Om Shanti Om" to watch this week. It's three hours long, so I need to carve out a chunk of time!

Greg said...

So far I have avoided the Netflix experience, mostly because I am often easily persuaded to watch one of the free OnDemand movies that Comcast offers to me. Like with TIVO, with which I am also unfamiliar, it must be strange to have a machine suggest what else you might enjoy. But come to think of it, YouTube does the same thing for me.

Let me know about Owen Wilson's Bathtub...that might be interesting!

(So have you been brainwashed, or do you get a kickback for every time you drop Arte y Pico's name, now?)

Jenn Thorson said...

Greg- I think you'd LIKE the Netflix experience, actually. I do filter out some of their recommendations, to tell the truth, but they're closer in what they choose than, say, Amazon is for the same sort of thing.

And regarding Senor y Pico: HA! You are the first person to notice!! YAY! You get... um... let's see... 20 virtual candy bars.

Sujatha said...

Happy Bollywood watching, Jen! (PS: It's always great fun fast forwarding through the dance sequences, if they get too annoying and usually cuts off a good 1/2 hour of film time. I did it after the first 2 stanzas of 'Deewangi' and highly recommend it.)

damon said...

But do they have adult films? I'd love to see their suggestion list after a few of those rentals.

Chat Blanc (aka Sandy) said...

I don't use netflix so I had no idea such an affliction existed! I bet selecting movies while medicated or drunk wouldn't be such a hot idea then! :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Sujatha- Thanks for the Bollywood Enjoyment Tips. :) I like "Deewangi" as a song, but if there's some extended-extended-extended film dance version, I may very well be taking you up on your suggestion.

Damon- I can't say I recall, but wanna do reconnaissance for us on that Damon and report back? :)

Sandy- I don't know if inebriation would change the process at all. I guess it might make the choices interesting, but since I don't remember what I choose or why anyway, I see it being just about the same. :)

Alice said...

I defintitely need to look into NetFlix. So many folks keep talking about it and there are SOOO many movies I'd like to see that I'm positive will never appear on a shelf in our county.

Jenn Thorson said...

Alice- You'd finally get to see "The Usual Suspects" the whole way through, at least. :)

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

I fall into the same situation having no idea why I've rented something when it arrives. They should let you put notes next to each movie in your queue. I've gotten so carried away with "You might also like..." that I maxed my queue. Did you know that you can only have 500 movies in your queue? So I started a 2nd profile for spillover.

Jenn Thorson said...

Nanny Goats- Notes might help, although I can see me writing something that makes sense when I rent it, and then three months later seems entirely cryptic.

500 in the queue??? Are ya kidding??! WOW. I've got, like, 30-40. I bow before your extensive rental list. Yipes!

The Anonymous Mr. X said...

Owen Wilson's not all he cracked up to be. We saw that one where he's the bodyguard, Drillbit Taylor, and it was all right, but we've seen better. That said, I'm sure The Wife wouldn't mind watching it. ;)

Jenn Thorson said...

The Anonymous Mr. X- Well, admittedly some of Owen's film choices aren't the best. But hey, when Netflix recommends stuff, what can ya do? :) I might agree with your wife on this one.