Netflix has something like 34,257 original shows (with new ones coming every week), not to mention every episode of Friends and The Office and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and SO many movies. It’s a lot. Too much, even! It can be overwhelming trying to decide what to watch. “We’re not so different, you and I,” cable says to its streaming service friend/enemy, fondly reminiscing about the good ol’ days of endless scrolling through channels. Netflix hears your cries for help and has come up with a solution of sorts: a random episode button.
As spotted by Android Police, Netflix’s Android app “offered to randomly select something to watch. And in the playback controls, there’s a shuffle icon with a ‘Random Episode’ label.” MacRumors also noticed a “new feature on mobile that allows select users to ‘Play a Popular Episode’ of certain TV shows, without having to scroll through and pick which one they want to watch.” The function is currently only available for select Android users, but if/when it’s introduced to a wider audience, no longer will subscribers be condemned to a life of choosing which episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or Umbrella Academy to watch.
To paraphrase a great campaign slogan from a show that will be on Netflix’s competitor, Disney+: can’t somebody (an algorithm) else do it?