My Netflix Vocabulary






I’ve been a loyal Netflix (noun) customer since 2002.  I did downgrade last year from the three-at-a-time to the two-at-a-time plan, but I’m loyal nonetheless.  Through the years, I’ve developed a close relationship with the online DVD rental service.  Netflixing (verb) has become a part of my life and I’m happy to see that Netflix-like (adjective) companies have been springing up, like BookSwim. Just like you would with a long-term boyfriend or with a best friend, I’ve developed a Netflix vocabulary and an informal survey of fellow Netflixers (noun) has shown that many of you have, too.  So, it’s time to get these in writing.

Queue Anxiety — When you returned a movie but forgot to check to see if your movie mood and circumstance and your movie queue lined up.  Is Schindler’s List coming, when you really just want to see Definitely, Maybe?  A friend shared her anxiety the other day when she realized her boyfriend was going out of town and it was the perfect moment to catch up on old Shirley Temple movies. But…had Glengarry Glenn Ross already shipped?  The race was on to find out.

Queue Spotting — You’ve felt a little out of the movie loop.  Maybe you hadn’t been religiously reading A.O. Scott or some important New Releases passed you by.  What do you do?  Check out your friends page to see what everyone else is watching.  Guaranteed that there will be some moments of, “Yes!  I meant to catch that one in the theater.”

Binging — This is particularly prevalent around the end of the year, but can happen anytime when someone decides to do a retrospective or movie list of sorts.  All the NY Times critics list their favorite movies of the year, and you’ve only heard of 15 out of 30 of them.  Or somebody decided to rank the best Grace Kelly movies and you determine that you just haven’t had enough of the Princess of Monaco in your life.  Then, you log into Netflix and add every single one of those movies to your queue — 5, 10, 15 at a time.  You just got a whole lot busier.

Purging — This is when you decide that you have way too many movies on your queue for it to be manageable and meaningful.  Sometimes, you may not even recognize some of those titles.  For example, I’m hovering at about 70+ movies right now and it’s making me cringe.  When I hit 75, it’s usually time to purge, start over and let nature take its course.  However, some folks are perfectly comfortable maintaining massive queues.  Autumn currently has 537 movies in her queue and she’s very well adjusted.

Queue Blocking — This is a very common problem.  There’s one movie at home that you just can’t bring yourself to watch.  You may be on a long-term hiatus from heavy documentaries, or not at all in the mood to watch a war movie.  The bottom line is: you’re not ready to hit play and the movie sits at home for weeks — sometimes months — at a time blocking your queue.  The key here is that you keep talking yourself into the idea that you will get around to watching it.  But you won’t.  And it’s much better for everyone (well, except for Netflix because queue blocking makes you a very valuable customer) if you realize that you’re just not that into that movie at this time and send it back.  Just be aware that the chances that you will ever re-queue (verb) that movie are slim-to-none.

Betrayed by the Queue — This is when the queue lets you down.  You think you’re getting the perfect movie, and you excitedly rip the envelope open only to find that it’s an unwanted one.  How does something so inconceivable happen?  It’s usually because your top choice unexpectedly became a long or short wait title, and you didn’t make the cut.  That hurts.

Do you have anything else to add to this list?

Posted by: Mariela


3 responses to “My Netflix Vocabulary

  1. I totally just binged and went through the Oscar list, queuing everything. I don’t ever feel the need to purge though. I think my queue is around 490 or something.

    There should be a term dealing with Instant Viewing. There are a lot of good movies on there, classics, and ones that I’ve been meaning to check out. But what do I watch instead? Crap TV shows or something along the lines of Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter.

  2. UPDATE: I have purged and feel reborn.

    My husband and I settled into a self-imposed weekend of purging (spring cleaning, raw food herbal cleansing, alcohol abstaining, etc.) and in conjunction with that I instinctively (and I feel somewhat drastically) reduced my queue yesterday. I am most happy to report that I am down from 537 films to 409! A weight has been lifted from the house of Diem.

    I have to admit I am a rabid re-organizer. I spend time every week or two to take a jaunt down the list and re-order up to the first 50 or so slots on my queue, trying to organize it by my present mood which will undoubtedly change by my next visit.

    I also feel that sharing a queue is quite an effort. I do not, repeat, do not allow my husband to ‘man the queue’ but instead ask for his suggestions on a regular basis and try to be fair about the three that are headed our way. Control issues find their way into the damnedest places.

    Great post.

  3. oh…wendy, you mean Impulse Instants. I haven’t experienced these directly but I’ve heard all about them.

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