Noticing more and more Netflix originals are popping up in your streaming queues these days? (There's a reason for that. And we'll get to it.) Ironically, this Netflix easter egg from The Holiday Calendar — as graciously pointed out by Emma Lord, Bustle's lifestyle editor, via Twitter Tuesday morning — actually acknowledges the real-life influx of original titles to the streaming service this past year. Which is extra ironic, since The Holiday Calendar is a Netflix original itself.
But, as most subscribers know, it's also extra appropriate. Those who've witnessed Netflix's noticeable shift in content availability since this time last year will probably appreciate this nugget of pop cultural irony even more, since The Holiday Calendar's fleeting Netflix cameo conceivably references the platform's ongoing push for more original programming.
And Lord's not the only hawk-eyed audience member who noticed. On Monday, Nov. 5, a similar tweet from EW correspondent Dana Schwartz suggests the film's super meta reference caught the attention of at least two of its viewers. (That said, there are lots of excited Holiday Calendar fans on Twitter who'd probably get a hearty, Santa Claus-style kick out of this one, too.) As both tweets noted, there's a scene in The Holiday Calendar, Netflix's new Christmas movie, that sees its main character — Abby, played by Kat Graham — participating in a pretty widely enjoyed holiday-season activity: She's lounging on the couch, flipping through her Netflix library. And what does she find? Netflix originals. Only.
When the camera pans to Abby's fictional queue, nine of the network's actual original titles appear onscreen. Seriously, anyone who's scrolled through their own Netflix libraries recently will probably recognize them. From left to right, the lineup reads: A Christmas Inheritance, The Kissing Booth, Set it Up, Glow, Stranger Things, Bill Nye Saves The World, Ugly Delicious, Like Father, and Last Chance U. And the tenth spot, instead of featuring another original title, the media box simply reads: "Netflix." (In-house advertising for the digital age!)
Just so everyone's clear, each of the titles that crop up in Abby's fictional Netflix queue are films and TV shows in real life, and all were originally created by — yep, you guessed it — Netflix. Clever? Definitely. Aggressive? Yeah, maybe a little bit of that, too. Lord's tweet pretty much nailed it:
"netflix putting a scene in a netflix film where a woman scrolls through her netflix queue and it's only netflix originals is a power move if there ever were one"
Whether it really was a power move, a tech-savvy means of inception, or just a fun little nod to reality remains up for debate. (All three, perhaps?) That said, back in May, Netflix's chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, told Variety that it planned to allocate about 85 percent of its $8 billion budget (the portion of it designated for content spending, at least) exclusively to original programing in 2018. As Sarandos told the publication at the time, Netflix is expecting to house roughly 1,000 original titles before the year is up. Of them, roughly 700 are expected to TV shows, as Variety reported last February.
In light of all that, The Holiday Calendar's amusing, slightly baffling easter egg feels sort of like a sponsorship ad (on Netflix's part, obviously) and sort of like an existential commentary on the not-so-distant future of Netflix queues far and wide. So, who else is re-watching The Holiday Calendar tonight?