Here's a Simple Way to Make Netflix' New Profiles System Even More Useful

Here's a Simple Way to Make Netflix' New Profiles System Even More Useful

Oct 18, 2013

Netflix recently changed the way it handles its queue system, allowing for multiple family members to create their own streaming profiles. A welcome addition, yes, but here's how you can manipulate the new system to make it even more useful.

My problem started started with R.O.T.O.R., a 1988 no-budget mishmash of concepts stolen from Terminator and RoboCop (a robotic cop goes on a killing spree). It was the best kind of bad movie, so full of ambition and yet so low on the means to actually execute that ambition. I streamed it through Netflix with a couple of friends who also have a soft spot for terrible genre films and we laughed all the way through. When the film ended, I was prompted to give it a one-to-five star rating to help Netflix’ recommendation engine. I froze.

Do I give this admittedly one-star movie a single star? In that case, I’m telling Netflix that I don’t really want recommendations like this. It puts R.O.T.O.R., a total stinker that I enjoyed, on the same level as films that I truly do hate. As a bad movie, it’s a five-star star dud, but giving it five stars equates it with the best movies I’ve ever seen. What’s a fan of cheesy movies to do?

There’s finally a solution! A few weeks ago, Netflix rolled out the ability to create profiles on one account for different users within a household. These profiles also save the ratings that are given by the profile’s owner. Now, when my roommate’s daughter gives The Suite Life with Zack and Cody a five-star rating, my recommendations aren’t filled with other Disney Channel junk. In turn, she isn’t recommended a bunch of R-rated relationship dramas just because I gave Take This Waltz five stars.

The trick is, you don’t have to create profiles for people; you can create profiles for genres.

With the new feature, you can create a profile named “Best Worst Movies” and use that profile to give five-star ratings to your favorite stinkers. When you access that profile, all of the best bad movies should rise to the top of that profile’s recommendations, allowing you to see a slew of other movies that are as gloriously dumb as R.O.T.O.R.

This "life hack" works for other types of things as well. If you’re a true crime junkie, create a “True Crime” profile and five-star your favorite shows and movies. If you want stronger foreign-film recommendations, create a profile for that and five-star any foreign film you’ve ever liked (even if it would normally get three stars on your “real” profile). You’ll soon have Netflix “channels” where you can start to see content that might not be suggested to you otherwise. Grab some popcorn and enjoy!

Oh, and because you know you want to watch it, here's the trailer for R.O.T.O.R.:



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