Letters From the Editor

Queue And Not You

I am a poor manager of my Netflix queue. I realized this yesterday, when I received two emails from Netflix telling me that they’d received the last two films I’d sent back, and that I should go rate them now! What I should have done, however, was check my rental queue on the site and taken the time to reset the order of movies I had. Because now I’ve got two discs of Band of Brothers straight on their way to my mailbox. Ouch. That’s a little too much of that kind of thing.

And it was then that I realized how stupid it was of me to let the queue spin so thoughtlessly out of control. Because there’s only so many movies you can ever watch. After all, I have 87 movies, or thereabouts, in my queue. That’s a lot of movies, I think. So here I’ve got all these movies to watch, and with the rate that I add them into the queue – about two movies for every one I watch – there’s no way I’ll ever, and I mean ever, exhaust my queue. And I was struck with the very obvious outcome of all of this: I will die with movies in that queue. It’s mathematically sound: I will not live to see everything I’d planned on.

Oh, I’m to blame, too. Yes, I kicked Towering Inferno (‘Very Long Wait & Out of Print’) down a few notches to make room for 3 Days of the Condor. Still haven’t seen either, since they both keep getting passed over for the more ‘worthwhile’ stuff. Thus, I’ll probably never see either – especially once the real, quality stuff like Old School and Head of State are released on DVD. And my queue knows that I’m anxiously awaiting those movies’ release, and when they do come out I’ll promptly jog them to the top of the queue, with little regard for The Last Picture Show, which, despite me knowing I should see it, will never. Because, as I said, I’ll have a lot of good movies in that queue when I’m dead, having made sure to watch all of the crap ones before I finally kicked the bucket.

And what’s going to happen to my queue then? Who will it be passed on to? My wife? My children? Can you inherit a Netflix queue? And will they delete my movies and replace them with ones they’d rather have? Of course they will.

So now, every time I look at my queue (about fifty times since yesterday afternoon, when I realized that my queue would survive me), I feel like I’m looking at a gravestone of bad decisions. And right there’s the proof: I’ll have died without ever seeing Alphaville.

So, Netflix, grant me this dying wish: Rid us of that ‘Get Recommendations’ pop-up. I’ll never click on it; it hinders me. Plus, to paraphrase Morgan Freeman from The Shawshank Redemption, I’ve got to get busy living.


Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack

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