As digital natives with lightening fast internet speeds, we are getting consumed by the immersive content produced by Netflix. As I am a Netflix fiend myself, I have some suggestions to make the very best out of your Netflix experience. Believe me, it pays to be scientific about this given the avalanche of choices you are given.
My suggestions are as follows:-
1. Prioritise your genres and interests. Netflix can be overwhelming, the moment you open its main page, an avalanche of content just appears on your screen. Just follow the white headings on the left to browse through genre. Eg. Choose “horror” and then take a look at the trailers and make up what you want to see and bingo! . Make sure you are a follower of Netflix on Facebook, Twitter so that you can see the trailer of their new content.
2.Binge watching lets you leave minor details and repeat watch gives you the whole grasp of the subject. You can look at behind the scenes on youtube. So Netflix has turned viewing upside down because of it gives you access to all episodes of Mini Series (Sacred Games, Ghoul) and TV Shows (Jessica Jones, Stranger Things). Binge watching can be tiring and somewhere in the middle of watching non stop is that you tend to fast forward to get to the end. So, make sure you take one more look at the show/film again in parts to clear your doubts. In this way, you wont lose out on anything critical.
3. Never watch marquee shows on your mobile: A big Netflix film or TV show is as expensive as a big Hollywood film. Don’t spoil its experience by watching it on mobile. If you are waiting for a show or movie for months, please watch it on your Smart TV or Laptop. The clarity of content is mesmerising on a smart TV and it is a true immersive experience. A mobile may be convenient but it kills the spectacle of a great story. So just don’t watch “House Of Cards” on your mobile for the first time!
4. First watch on laptop and then a smart television to appreciate the detailing and clarity.Ok so my personal experience says that in order to appreciate the true quality of viewing, one can do a hit and trial method of first watching on a laptop and then view the same on a Smart TV. For Eg, I was watching “The Crown” and in one scene I could easily see a watch brand very clearly on the wrist of the lead actor. Its these minute details which come alive when you stream Netflix on the SMART TV. This of course was not visible to me on my mobile phone.
5. Read reviews and watch the trailer of the show you are interested in. As I had mentioned earlier, reviews are critical for Netflix watching as both third party content and their own productions (Netflix Originals) are streamed on the site. So its always better to read what people are reviewing. Rotten Tomatoes,Metacritic, imdb etc are fair platforms to research.
6.Make notes of what you watch and make sure to share on Facebook what you are watching. That should help you connect with other viewers of the content and you can exchange your views with others. This is especially useful if you are watching a long TV series. In addition you get to know hidden TV Shows/Films which are very powerful but are not very well known.
7. Content quality is not confined to a geography: As you would know, Netflix is spending billions on creating local content across the globe, it is important to understand that brilliance in creativity is not just confined to Hollywood. One look at Narcos(jointly produced with Gaumont Inc), Sacred Games(produced with Phantom Films), Fauda, Money Heist are all examples of superb content from Spain,France,India and Turkey. So keep an open mind while watching as an Indian viewer. Each show will have English subtitles and all of them have very high quality production value.
8. For a Netflix film, make sure u have popcorn and beer handy with you. Try to feel that you are in a theatre. So create some optics, make sure you watch on a Smart TV with reasonably good sound quality. A group watch party is a great idea to enjoy a brand new Netflix film.
9. All Netflix productions are not brilliant. One can argue that “House Of Cards”, “Stranger Things”, “Black Mirror”,“ Ozark”, “Sacred Games”are all masterpieces. But Netflix has been panned for making some Marvel comic blunders like “Luke Cage”, “Iron Fist”, “Inhumans” which have been shelved permanently. So look for third party content as well. EG, “Designated Survivor”, “Better Call Saul” are favourites amongst Indians which are not produced and owned by Netflix. Also please avoid watching Salman Khan, SRK films on the platform…..i mean come on……
10. When bored switch to Amazon Prime, they too have great content. Amazon Prime too has delivered some cutting edge TV Shows and films like “Transparent”, “Man In the White Castle”, “Inside Edge”, “Jack Ryan”, “The Looming Tower” are all super quality shows and are in no way lesser than Netflix content. You can also find a lot of regional Indian content on Amazon Prime. You can find a huge Satyajit Ray and Bengali films library here.