We're all watching TV wrong
Last month Boaz and I discovered a Netflix hack that is both genius and embarrassing. Too embarrassing to share? I’ll let you be the judge.
To start us off, here’s a super scientific graph I made of how interesting most movies are, from start to finish.
The beginning and middle have plenty of times when you can check your phone or go to the bathroom without missing too much. That’s followed by an exciting twenty minutes with some revelations or explosions, and an ending where almost everything is resolved and you can go on with your life. Same with sitcoms, here’s another very detailed graph:
Oh no Rachel and Monica have a party or something, that sweet little Parks and Rec donkey has the hiccups, Lorelei wants Luke to win a jam-eating contest, it’s all resolved by the time we hit the credits.
But with Netflix shows (and all the other streaming places) they’ve turned the chart inside out, and put the most exciting part in the last thirty seconds.
Every episode “ends” at a point when it’s physically impossible to stop watching.
Obviously they’re doing this to make me hit NEXT EPISODE and watch all of Stranger Things in one long and terrifying sitting, and for the last six years I accepted this. If I sat down to stream one show, I was entering a loose contract that I would watch tv until it was either light out or I’d run out of snacks. Boaz is better at turning off the tv but honestly it sucks to stop watching when a character just looked over their shoulder and gasped. What do they see??? Why are they gasping?
Which brings me to the best way to do Netflix: start the next episode, and then pause during the next boring or nice part.
For the last few weeks, I’ve ended every Netflix show not on the dramatic “ending” of the fifth show we’ve watched, but mid-way through an episode: the beginning of a party, a silent montage of someone getting ready in the morning, or after that Dungeons & Dragons game and basketball game in Stranger Things.
Time to end this newsletter on a boring note so you can go about your business! Thanks so much for reading, and for sharing it or subscribing if you want to.
I haven’t read any new books this week, but I saw Everything Everywhere All at Once, and I’m halfway done making another All Well Box Top. Movie + Shirt = Book, I think? I hope your week is full of nice things.