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Seven tips and tricks to help you decide what to watch on Netflix

Overwhelmed with choice? Sick of the endless scroll? Maltesers is here to help make the decision-making process that bit easier

Netflix

One of the most difficult things about browsing Netflix is trying to ascertain whether or not a film is any use.

 

It's a Saturday night. You’ve got your blanket, Maltesers, and remote control - everything you need for your weekly Netflix marathon. Only problem? You can’t quite decide what you want to watch.

You spend the evening scrolling, flicking, and bickering. Before you know it, it’s bedtime and you’ve spent the whole night watching the menu screen when you could have been kicking back with a movie.

Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. After all, Netflix is amazing, but the choice can be a little overwhelming.

With that in mind, we have compiled some handy tips and tricks to help make the decision-making process a little easier next time.

1. RATE EVERYTHING YOU WATCH

Netflix’s algorithm makes recommendations based on what you have watched and enjoyed in the past. So why not help it along by rating movies and TV shows you have already watched? The streaming service allows users to rate content with either a thumbs up or a thumbs down, which in turn helps them make recommendations based on your tastes and preferences. The result? No more being bombarded with movies you have no interest in.

2. ADD MOVIES TO YOUR LIST

Scrolling through and stumble upon a film you’ve been meaning to watch? Don’t just make a mental note to watch it: add it to your list. The My List feature is your friend and chances are you’re probably not using it to its full capacity. Next time you have some free time on your hands, browse Netflix and add some titles to your list. That way you’ll save yourself the hassle of trawling through the homepage to find something of interest. Trust us when we say that future you will thank you.

3. CLEAR YOUR HISTORY

Watch a cringey romcom and find yourself getting ‘Because you watched’ suggestions based on it? Or, worse, did you give your mam your Netflix password? Clear your viewing history and start anew. Just visit Account > My Profile > Viewing Activity and remove the offending materials. You’ll start seeing changes to your recommendations in no time and it’ll be as though you never watched Bride Wars. (We won’t tell if you don’t.)

4. SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW

Netflix has thousands upon thousands of films and television shows in its library, which can make it difficult to keep track of what’s actually available to watch. Especially when you consider the dozens of titles that come and go each month. Fortunately, there are plenty of websites to consult if you’re trying to keep up to date with the ever-expanding library.

For instance, both JustWatch and What’s New On Netflix offers daily updates about the service’s new and forthcoming films and shows. New On Netflix UK, meanwhile, crowdsources information on titles that we’ll soon be saying goodbye to. Well worth checking on if you’re in a pickle over what to watch.

5. GET SMARTER WITH YOUR SEARCH TERMS

Nothing on your homepage piquing your interest? Netflix’s search function is actually pretty sophisticated if you just use it right. In the mood for something that’s not on the service? Just search for whatever you’re in the mood for and Netflix will identify similar films for you. For example, if you search ‘You’ve Got Mail,’ you’ll get results for Notting Hill, When Harry Met Sally and It’s Complicated.

You can also use broad search terms like ‘action movie’ to browse anything that falls under that genre and explore more specific subgenres like ‘gangster Asian action movies’. Likewise, search for your favourite actor or director to access all movies/programmes either starring or related to that person. Boom, sorted.

6. THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT 

One of the most difficult things about browsing Netflix is trying to ascertain whether or not a film is any use. The blurb sounds interesting, but is it worth the risk?

The app Upflix collates IMDb scores and Rotten Tomatoes ratings for every film and television series on the service. At the swipe of a finger, you can figure out whether that movie is worth ninety minutes of your time or best avoided.

7. LEAVE IT TO CHANCE

Still crippled by indecision over what to watch? Why not take it out of your hands and consult Netflix Roulette? Netflix Roulette asks for your preferred genre and presents you with a film or TV show to watch. It’s completely random and you can spin as many times as you like.

Sure, what’s the worst that could happen?


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