Netflix may be a great streaming service to have around and even pay for despite the inevitable price hikes, but it can also be incredibly annoying at times. The best example is the autoplaying ads on the home page that used to drive me crazy until Netflix finally found it in its heart to give users an option to turn them off for good.
Then there’s the inevitable “what to watch” scroll of death that can go on for minutes without end — that’s a byproduct that we have to live with, however, so I don’t mind it that much. Then there’s the problem with the Continue Watching list: It’s far too difficult to remove content from it. Now, it turns out that Netflix has found a frustrating new way to annoy me. The service has started sending me emails urging me to remember to finish shows and movies that I started and then abandoned.
Netflix subscribers know what kind of emails to expect from Netflix, assuming you want that sort of communication with your streaming provider. It’s usually new arrival emails, as well as warnings that someone may have signed in to your account from an unknown device. The latter is quite useful, as it can help you detect a hack.
But some two weeks ago, Netflix has apparently started sending some people emails titled “Don’t forget to finish [title of TV show].” They start out like this:
The body of the email includes a poster for the movie or TV series in question and shows you the progress you’ve made. It even tells you what episode you watched last, and gives you links to resume watching. The emails also have suggestions of what to watch and rewatch, including content similar to the show you didn’t finish.
This sucks, Netflix. Of course I don’t want to continue watching the shows Netflix is urging me to finish. I’d have finished them. And I’d definitely have removed them from my queue if there was an easy way to do so.
I do tend to start plenty of movies and TV shows that I don’t get around to finishing, so I’d definitely not want to have Netflix tell me to keep watching all of them — hey, at least they count as views if they’re over 2 minutes. And there are many titles that I intend to finish without Netflix nudging me in that direction. Interestingly enough, the emails that I got featured a movie that I’m never going to go back to and a documentary that will put me to sleep some other time. But no content I’m actually tempted to load up and finish.
From what I can tell, this is one of those internal Netflix tests, so if you’re not getting any emails, it’s because you’ve either opted out of getting any Netflix emails or because you’re not included in the test. What I’d welcome is a Netflix email telling me that it is now easier to remove content from the Continue Watching menu.