8 Netflix Hacks to Improve Your Instant-Viewing Experience

A live-chat component, play Flix Roulette, hide naughty movies from you watched queue and more hacks that'll change the way you Netflix.

"We totally  just hacked the shit out of this, and it's amazing!"

“We totally just hacked the shit out of this, and it’s amazing!”

Last week, the good folks at theweek.com gave us a smorgasbord of what they called Netflix hacks to help improve your overall Netflix experience. While we technically wouldn’t call any of these “hacks” exactly, they do work as enhancers, broadening and strengthening your experience on the site. Here’s what they came up with:

1. Netflix Internacional: Perhaps you are a cultured, multi-cultural sort who would enjoy shows and movies from other countries not being shown in the States. This here browser extension, Hola, should have your bases covered. Essentially, it fools Netflix into thinking you’re based in another country, allowing you access to shows and films otherwise unavailable to you. As it’s technically not exactly on the up-and-up (and apparently Netflix doesn’t give this practice any kind of smiley face emoji), you are assuming a bit of a risk, but it’s your call to make.

2. Netflix Personalized: This is one for heavy users who would like more control over their Netflix experience. Brought to us by Lifehacker, the Chrome extension Flix Plus gives you all sorts of say on how the site runs for you: Check the IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes score, rate things by half-star (for extra precision), hide potential spoilers, and, most importantly, it allows you to filter recommendations so you don’t keep getting the same damn ones over and over.

3. Netflix of Mystery: Feel like living a little, maybe taking some daring chances for once? Allow Flix Roulette to take the decision out of your hands. All you do is specify a genre and whether you want to take in a show or a film, then spin the wheel of doom to determine your fate (no, they don’t actually call it that, but wouldn’t it just be so very if they did?).

4. Netflix Breaking News: If you want to stay completely, totally on top of the new content coming to the site on a daily basis, you can consult a few possibilities, such as devoted fan sites like whats-on-netflix.comhackingnetflix.com, or the more coldly assertive instantwatcher.com, which shows you a list of everything available on streaming services (and gives you the option of filtering by the Times Critics’ Pick, if you are of the inclination).

5. Netflix Au Revoir: And then, the sad, flip side to that coin, a site that lets you know what’s leaving Netflix on a week-to-week basis. If nothing else, it could help you keep your priorities in order.

6. Netflix For Two: For many of us, watching a show with our loved one(s) is a small, sweet chance to bond in a world gone Gonzo with distractions and boundlessness. rabb.it understands the importance of this very special connection and offers you and your loved one a chance to watch a show “together,” even if one of you is out of town (or stuck at their parents’ house). The site combines the Netflix video player with a live-chat component so the two of you can experience the episode together while also getting your partner’s reactions to everything as they happen. It might be the only way to watch “Game of Thrones” together while geographically apart without running the risk of spoiling something major.

7. Netflix in Hiding: Like anything else these days, Netflix grants special favors upon those who are in the Know. Among other beauties Lifehacker brings us a handy resource guide of hidden streaming options you can access to better adjust your buffering rate if you’re running into issues, and fix audio/video syncing if it gets displaced.

8. Netflix Cleansed: No one’s judging you over here or anything, but let’s say one night your started binge-watching old episodes of “Hee Haw” (likely not available, but this is a hypothetical), only to regret your decision in the cold light of day. Rather than have that permanently stain your viewing history, you can now easily delete such effrontery by navigating through your account to your “Viewing Activity” window and deleting anything you might be ashamed of later. Also works if you’ve been sneaking episodes of shows that you are meant to only be watching with your dearly beloved.

Piers Marchant is a film critic and writer based in Philly. Find more confounding amusements and diversions at his blog, Sweet Smell of Success, or read his further 142-character rants and ravings at @kafkaesque83.

(h/t The Week)