TV Answer Man, I saw a line on my Netflix page that says Play Something. What is that? I started to click on it, but I was afraid of hitting something wrong. Do you know what it is? — Haley, Dayton, Ohio.
Haley, Netflix’s Play Something is a new feature from the streaming service that tries to take the guesswork out of finding a new show or movie to watch. Here’s how it works.
When you first open the Netflix app, your home page will display a random list of series and movies based on your favorite genres, such as drama, comedy, children’s shows and so on. When you click on the Play Something button, you’ll get a series or movie that Netflix’s database has determined you’ll like based on your previous views.
For instance, let’s say you are a Clint Eastwood fan and you recently watched The Good, the Bad and The Ugly. The Play Something feature might instantly begin streaming Clint’s Oscar-winning 1992 western, The Unforgiven.
You are not required to watch the movie, of course. As you can do with any Netflix title, you can exit out back to the main screen after it begins playing.
Think of the Play Something feature as akin to that friendly video store worker who would come to your rescue with a few recommendations when you use to walk aimlessly through the aisles of Blockbuster.
Netflix says the Play Something titles usually reflect a brand new series or film; a series or movie you’re already watching; a series or film on your Watch List; or an unfinished series or film you may want to resume watching. For example, let’s say you watched the first two episodes of House of Cards a few years ago, but never had time to watch the rest. Netflix’s Play Something might suddenly pop up episode three of the political drama so you can pick up where you left off.
The Play Something feature can be found in three places: Underneath your profile name; on the 10th row of your Netflix home page; and on the navigation menu on the left of the screen.
So give it a try, Haley. You might find yourself watching a new favorite show.
Happy viewing, and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann