There are some scenes in movies, be they huge action set pieces or brilliantly-delivered monologues, that deserve a second look. Maybe we didn’t catch everything the first time around, or maybe they’re just so good that we don’t get tired of watching them over and over again. Either way, Netflix appears to be aware of this phenomenon, as it has begun testing a new feature that allows viewers to rewatch a scene with the press of a button.
This might sound harmless enough, but as the users who have been subjected to the test will attest, it seems to be a much better idea in theory than it is in practice. Only a small selection of the streaming service’s library supports this feature, but it apparently takes the form of a distracting pop-up that takes over part of the screen.
“We’re trying out a feature which gives Netflix members the ability to rewatch [their] favorite scenes and memorable moments with the click of a button,” a Netflix spokesperson confirmed to the LA Times. “Right now we’re just looking to learn from it and may or may not roll it out more broadly in the future.”
Netflix frequently tests new features in order to receive feedback before deciding whether or not to roll them out more broadly. This was the case with the “Skip Intro” button that now appears on virtually every TV show on the service, as well as Smart Downloads, which gives the app the ability to delete an episode of a show once a user has watched it and automatically start downloading the next episode.
Hey @netflix, that “watch this scene again” pop-up in the middle of a movie is garbage and you should be ashamed of yourselves.
— Scott Renshaw (@scottrenshaw) December 11, 2018
There’s no telling whether or not this instant replay feature will become a permanent fixture of the service or not, but early reactions (some of which you can see on Reddit) are overwhelmingly negative.