The first challenge you'd be faced with, of course, is deciding what to watch. We've all had those nights when we're itching for a trip to Cinema Paradiso, but two hours later we're still five games of Eeny-meeny-miny-moe away from picking a movie. Apparently that's a serious enough problem that most apps and extensions built for Netflix attempt to solve it.
LeanFlix is a web app that's adding quality hours to Netflix users' lives by making the process of choosing a movie or TV show a breeze. It lets users filter media by genre, year, Rotten Tomatoes Critics / Audience Score, IMDB Ratings and MPAA ratings - all of which are important parameters for a lot of us. But what really sets the service apart is what's called the LeanFlix Score, an extremely granular ratings system which aims to surface just the right kind of film each time. Region-specific features are still in the works, so make sure to cross-check LeanFlix recommendations are available on your local Netflix subscription.
ReelGood recreates how a lot of us get movie recommendations - through friends, in a smartphone app; ratings reflect how people in your circles feel about a certain movie. The app also lets you compare watchlists to find movies that you have in common with friends, which is a godsend for those of us used to squabbling over what to watch. ReelGood is currently available only on iOS. The Android app and support for TV show ratings are expected soon.
And if you still have trouble making a choice quickly despite these apps, you could get the Netflix Showdown countdown clock to really force you into it.
Now there are times when you're hankering after something like sentimental reincarnation movies or critically-acclaimed cerebral foreign political movies, and you just know that hunting down those kinds of films is going to be a major chore. That was until we found out that Netflix had already categorized movies in those and thousands of other super-niche subgenres, but kept it a secret. Now that that cat is out of the bag, tracking those movies is a lot easier.
You could go over a list of those 76,000 or so erstwhile secret Netflix categories like on this website yourself. But a more convenient way to do it would be using Netflix Super Browse, a Chrome app that adds a search menu for them to your standard Netflix interface. Now you have no excuse to miss out on those 'Feel-good Children & Family Movies starring Muppets' (yes, that's one of the secret categories).
One grouse many have with online streaming services is that they lack the element of spontaneity and serendipity that we've come to associate with channel surfing. You have to admit, it's pretty neat to chance upon a cool new show while randomly skipping through channels (that's how I found Duck Dynasty. Yay).
You can have your streaming cake and eat it too with Chrome extension OttoPlay. The service combines content from Netflix and YouTube to create programming blocks that are analogous to TV channels. Shows are grouped into channels based on their genre, so it's not exactly like TV, but it's close. You even get a virtual remote to switch between channels.
Finally, you're going to want to have a way to setup remote Netflix viewing parties without having to get on conference calls to sync playback or discuss scenes. Netflix Party lets you do just that by syncing pause/play controls and a native group chat feature. Showgoers also offers users similar functionality.
So that was your list of cool apps and extensions to enhance your already sweet Netflix experience. Happy streaming!
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