Number of Netflix Subgenres Is Baffling, But Even Crazier Are the People Behind It
If you've ever wondered how the world's favorite online movie database groups their movies for your genre-specific viewing pleasure, wonder no longer, as Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic has compiled an exhaustive list of Netflix subgenres, which totals 76,897. So yes, if you're craving a '70s documentary about musicians who exclusively play the banjo in Southern states, worry not, Netflix probably has a place for you and your ridiculously obscure interests, right next to Indian musicals about women with addictions to licking stuff.
What's even more interesting, though, is that Netflix actually hired teams of people to come in and watch movies professionally and tag those flicks to hell and back with all sorts of meta data that makes it possible for us to search for impossibly obscure genres, and find them. Lest you begin thinking to yourself "Why do I even bother doing a regular job when I could be paid to watch movies all the damn time," don't get too jealous, these movie-watchers were given a 36 page guide on how to tag these movies, which is to say they weren't exactly cuddled on the couch watching When Harry Met Sally for the 400th time.
However, how do you get that kind of job? How do you even look for that kind of job? Is there some website hidden somewhere on the vast Internet that serves as the Monster or LinkedIn of movie fanatics? Is there some degree one does in professional movie watching, and if so, where is it taught and how can I get involved? How long do these professional movie watcher sit in one place? Professional movie watchers of the world, where and who are you.
It is one of the world's great mysteries, but we have to imagine Netflix knows what they're looking for in a professional movie watcher, someone qualified, sharp, well versed in movies. Here's what we imagine their job listing looks like:
Wanted: Movie Fanatic With Far Too Much Time On Their Hands
We are looking for someone with in depth movie knowledge who is either unemployed or "freelancing" right now. If you are pale, soft, and the proud owner of bi-focals, you might be right for this job! Must be proficient in Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming, with a background in Friday nights spent alone at the movies. A qualified applicant should have neat handwriting, the ability to stare at a screen for hours, days and weeks on end, and the stomach capacity for ungodly amounts of popcorn. We insist our employees shower at least once every other day, but only because if we didn't, they might not actually shower at all. A prior degree in English Literature, Film Studies, Studio Art, Philosophy or Photography is a plus. Bring your strongest analytical thinking, and please send us your resume, and a cover letter telling us how your career aspirations didn't work out so now you're ready for a life in movie-watching. Salary is competitive, not in terms of money, but we pay very generously in bags of Cheetos, nacho cheese dip, and ice cream. Please apply ASAP, Netflix needs you!
Er, you know, it's sure to look at least something like that.