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I’m pro-choice in just about everything in life, but especially my movie viewing. I was one of the early adopters of the Netflix movie service when they were strictly offering DVD’s by mail. After getting one too many cracked/chewed DVDs I said good-bye years ago. However, with Blockbuster going the way of the two-way pager I bit the bullet and re-upped on the streaming service late last year. Being married with two kids there is never a shortage of need for movies and TV shows to watch so it’s a great deal, but there is a learning curve.

If you are new to Netflix streaming or coming back to the cult, her are five tips for optimizing your experience.

1) Rate What You Watch

With thousands of movies and TV shows to choose from it’s hard to know where to begin, and Netflix doesn’t offer an efficient way to search for your choices beyond the established genres. So they send you suggestions of what to watch based on what you’ve already viewed and rated. If you don’t tell the algorithm what you like or hate it will send you random ass selections like “Spy Kids 3”  instead of “Skyfall.”  So take the few minutes to give star ratings to the flicks you enjoyed so you can find more like them.

Suggested Viewing: “The Last Fall,” “Fresh,” “Chico & Rita”

2) Create Separate Profiles

If you have more than one person using your account you should create separate profiles for personalized viewing. My kids consume a greater volume of movies and TV than I do so in the beginning all I saw in my suggested films were Disney movies and “My Little Pony” episodes. Now that I have our profiles separated I no longer get seizures from the sea of pastel colored ponies that greeted me when I logged in.

Suggested viewing: Kevin Hart’s “Let Me Explain,” “Hulk vs,” “Old Boy”(2003)

3) Create A List

Even following the first two steps it will help to have a list or two created of films and shows that you want to watch. Sometimes you just have an hour or two to kill and you don’t want to waste 10 or 15 minutes scrolling through suggestions deciding on a show or movie.

Suggested viewing: “Arnez J: Racially Motivated, “Transformers (Generation 1)”

4) Get Chromecast or Roker

Watching Netflix on your tablet or laptop is perfectly fine, but to take things to the next level you want a convenient way to watch on your TV.  After drop-kicking old ladies during Black Friday to buy it you might as well put that sucker to good use. People have been streaming Neftlix  from their video game consoles and Blu-Ray players for some time now, but in the last year inexpensive and simple tools like Google’s Chromecast  have made it even easier.  Just plug the $35 adapter into an HDMI port on your TV, set up the chrome cast app on your devices and you can stream right to the TV and use your tablet for important things like Tweeting spoilers to all of your friends.

Suggested Viewing: “Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Archer,” “Ip Man”

5) Get Comfortable

Netflix streaming has given birth to the phenomenon known as “binge watching.” With several seasons of a TV show they’ve never seen at their immediate disposal to watch commercial free, viewers can easily spend an entire day in the same position. When “Breaking Bad” was coming to an end so many of my friends ran to Netflix to play catch up and became human couch burritos in the process.  So have your blanket and snacks within arm’s reach before you press play.

Suggested viewing: “Dr. Who,” “House Of Lies,” “Orange Is The New Black”


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