Saturday, September 18, 2021
How-tos

6 ways to find the perfect TV show or movie on Netflix


Netflix offers an embarrassment of video riches considering its modest monthly price tag, but picking just the right TV show or movie on a given night isn’t the chillaxing experience it should be.

Indeed, the busy Netflix interface frequently pushes the same recommendations over and over, leaving the false impression that instead of having thousands of videos to choose from, you have just a few dozen.

Once you know what you’re doing, though, you can take a deep dive into Netflix’s collection of movies and TV episodes, slicing and dicing its categories to pinpoint the perfect video for the moment. You can also help Netflix make better guesses at what you’ll like. Finally, you can easily save your picks for later, making it easy to fire up a favorite flick with a minimum of fuss.

Note: Because Netflix’s interface varies so much from device to device, we’ve focused our tips on the desktop version of Netflix—and besides, we think you’ll have better success honing in on great Netflix videos on a desktop rather than fiddling with an Apple TV remote or your smartphone. We’ll also show you how to add favorite videos to a list that’s easy to access on other versions of the Netflix app.

Filter by genre

We all know the feeling of scrolling aimlessly through one Netflix category after another, from “Reality TV” and “TV Dramas” to “Thrillers” and “Suspenseful Movies.” If you’d rather not just passively browse through the categories that Netflix chooses to serve up, there’s an easy way to do it.

netflix discovery genre 1 Ben Patterson

You can browse Netflix’s (somewhat broad) categories once you filter its selection by TV shows or movies.

First, click either TV Shows or Movies at the top of the Netflix homepage. Once you do, a Genres pull-down menu will appear.

Click it to reveal a selection of about 20 different genres, from “Action” and “Documentaries” for movies and “Anime” and “Stand-Up & Talk Shows” on the TV side.

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Browse more refined categories

Browsing Netflix’s genres is a good first step toward finding the perfect video, but the categories listed in the genres menu are much more broad than the sliced-and-diced collections listed in the main Netflix interface. What if you’re in the mood for, say, a spy movie, a western, a classic musical, or a sports drama? There’s a way to pick and choose between dozens of niche Netflix categories, but it requires a little legwork.



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