pop culture, technology & web

Wintertime Tip: Up Your Netflix Game

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You’ve got Netflix, right? I know I’m not the only one who watches something on there basically every day. I should really offer to pay them more based solely on the number of times I’ve re-watched Buffy. It’s pretty straight-forward and easy to figure out, but there are a few adjustments that might make your viewing experience even better.

First, make sure you’re rating everything you can. That’s pretty obvious and I still forget to do it sometimes, but it really will make a difference and your recommendations will seriously improve. Once you’ve got your ratings situation down, up your game and try out some of the options listed below.

Seven Ways to Improve Your Netflix Experience:

  1. Add IMDB & Rotten Tomatoes ratings to your account with Chrome extension, Netflix Enhancer. In addition to ratings, it’ll link you to the matching page on each site for quickly checking out reviews.
  2. Make sure you’re really watching in HD! Click Your Account, then Playback Settings, then High. Done! (Ah, that’s better!)
  3. Change your subtitle settings if the default yellow ones just aren’t working out. Click Your Account, then Subtitle appearance, then change the color, font, and size to whatever works best for you or what you’re watching at the moment.
  4. Turn your smartphone or tablet into a remote control. If your Playstation & mobile device are both logged into the same WiFi network, many of them (including iPhone and iPad) will let you select something to watch then give you the option to watch through your PS3 or PS4, instead of just on your tiny screen. And if you have a Roku, they have an app that’ll let you play & pause, at least.
  5. Watch with faraway friends using rabb.it. Fire up a room, invite someone to join, and start watching. It’ll play on both ends, so you can watch together and be at the same spot in the video. (They can do more than Netflix too: there’s Hulu, HBOGo, YouTube videos, and more.)
  6. Delete stuff from your history. Go ahead and remove every trace of that time your niece watched Dora the Explorer on your profile constantly and totally ruined your recommendations. (Just me?) Click on Your Account, then Viewing activity, then hit the X next to anything you want to erase. While you’re adjusting settings, add a “Guest” profile for next time, too.
  7. Stop scrolling incessantly through your queue! Get a better grasp of what’s new and/or popular on InstantWatcher, and see what’s going away soon.

Now that your Netflix account is handled, what’re you going to watch?! Might I suggest Gilmore Girls

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…or Friday Night Lights, because:

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pop culture

Awkward Crushes and Amazing TV

Have you seen The Fall? Season two recently popped up on Netflix and OHMYWORD. I spent a day last weekend lounging in bed watching the whole thing. (Hey, it’s only 6 episodes!) It’s great TV. Gillian Anderson plays Stella Gibson beautifully. She’s a fantastic combination of tough and feminine that’s all too rare on television. She doesn’t “man up” to be good police. She wears silk blouses and has great hair, while also being recognized as a skilled detective.


If you’ve never seen any of it, you should watch this simple, intriguing teaser from before the first episode ever aired. And if you’ve seen season one, you should watch this one because season two has arrived and what are you waiting for?!

So what’s The Fall about? According to IMDB, it’s: “A psychological thriller that examines the lives of two hunters. One is a serial killer who stalks his victims in and around Belfast and the other is a talented Detective Superintendent from the MET who is brought in to catch him.” YES! EXACTLY! The show rotates between the view and life of the killer, and the detective tasked with catching him. One thing I love about the show is that the dark and light moments aren’t confined to the obvious sides of the story. The killer has a sweet daughter who allows him to be shown being a loving father, and the detective has her own issues that keep her from being all business.

Also, it’s set in Belfast, so that’s a nice change. Annnnnnnd I accidentally developed a crush on someone who is probably not supposed to be very crushworthy.

Knowing who the murderer is isn’t a spoiler, since the show lets the viewer in on it early on (long before the detectives are clued in), so I’ll just SPOIL IT for you, because the killer is played by Jamie Dornan using his actual Irish accent, and OH! Also, he’s fantastic and believable and just… SO GOOD.

But back to my crush. My BFF hasn’t seen the second season yet, but she totally understood my interested eyeball emoji:

Basically, this is me watching:




And also:


Seriously, he’s wearing all black + gloves + something over his face, so he’s obviously creepy. And yet… shrug. (And I didn’t even include any of the many shirtless gifs available on tumblr dot com, the world’s best source for finding hot people in gif form.)

Anyway! Now that we’ve established my killer-crush, I need to take a moment to acknowledge that one time I said, “He’s Christian Grey?!” like an idiot (and also because I think maybe the business-haircut he has in the Fifty Shades trailer is not his best look). But, pffft. Whatever hair, I’m there. And John Oliver’s #notmychristian is NOT. ACCURATE. (In spite of that, I highly recommend John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight. It’s smart and funny and all-around fantastic, as is he.)

So whether you’re looking for a smart, interesting show with epic darkness and a great representation of a badass, feminine lady-detective or a chance to make eyes at Jamie Dornan, THIS IS IT (and I happily enjoy it for all of the above reasons).

Never forget: