Thursday, September 14, 2006

Netflix Queue as Metaphor for Living

Preamble: I have a book on my shelf titled How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything. It's this zen-influenced self-help workbook to help one recognize and adapt to (and alter, if need be) one's habits, particularly in regard to Projects. I have not yet done anything with the book. Ditto the budget kit workbook.

So, over at Middlebrow, there's a lively discussion about the Netflix Queue, particularly as it relates to couples and listing/reserving styles. To wit: is it more effective to list everything that piques one's interest, or to keep the list short. I am of the former camp, using the list for anything that looks interesting. I then play with the order regularly, trying to anticipate what time GF and I will have together to watch stuff, and what we might want to watch, as well as what I might want to watch on my own, and what I'll be in the mood for.

ZuZu* raises a couple of important points in her comment on this discussion. First, she asks, "what happens when you aren't in the mood to watch the movie you have..do you send it back? do you wait to get in the mood?" I've held on to a few items, thinking I would get in the mood eventually, and then finally sending them back.

Of course, one of the reasons I end up with items I'm not in the mood to watch is another of ZuZu's points: "I think the most stressful part is the queue that reminds me of the films I 'should' be watching...and gives me guilt for wanting to watch guilty pleasures and fluff. Renting at a store I would feel out my mood and see what caught my eye. Now I am reminded how far behind I am on all the classics." Yes, even in the privacy of my very own apartment (the animals don't care what I watch, so long as I'll lounge around the living room with them), the Shoulds attack. I should see this movie, or that. I mean, I've never seen Jules and Jim, or Harold and Maude, and any number of other two-name titles. I'd really rather watch...schmarmy romantic comedies. Particularly if Hugh Grant is in them.

*ZuZu, it turns out, is a filmmaker herself. You can check her out here. Another movie for the queue!

1 comment:

heather s. said...

Oh boy does Netflix bring out the "good student" in me. First, I went through a movie guide and added all the classics I hadn't seen. Then I ruthlessly "denied" all the fluff suggestions -- just in case my list should ever be public (of course, I can't quite bring myself to stop renting "Dallas" episodes).

But what happens is that I often get these movies in the mail that I'm not in the mood to watch at the end of the day after reading 10 thousand student essays or working on my diss. I just want something that's "entertaining" -- you know, something with Patrick Swayze surfing or Kate Winslet looking fetching.