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Netflix is testing an extremely silly instant replay feature

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain (Getty Images)

Have you ever been watching one of your favorite shows when you something happens onscreen that is so unbelievably good that you want to rewind the show by a few minutes and watch it over again? No? Well, Netflix seems to think that this is a thing people would like to do, so it’s testing out a new feature with select users that allows them to instantly replay a scene that was particularly good with just one button. That doesn’t sound bad at all on its own, even if it’s something you’d never use, but Netflix does have a recent habit of fucking up things that should be pretty simple and inoffensive.

In this case, the fucking up comes in the form of an actual onscreen prompt, asking the users if they want to replay a scene right after it ends. It only happens on some titles and only for select (presumably predetermined) scenes, but having something pop up on screen in the middle of a TV show or movie seems completely bizarre. It’s like the “skip intro” button that appears at the beginning of a TV show and allows you to jump past the opening credits, but not only was that already controversial, but the appearance of this new one wouldn’t be a predictable thing that you can anticipate like “skip intro.”


Essentially, Netflix has created an automated system that replicates the experience of watching a TV show or movie with a friend who has already seen it and gives you a nudge after every good joke or cool stunt. “Did you see that? Wasn’t that good? C’mon, it was good. You’re not paying attention! You’ve gotta pay attention! Here, I’ll start it over so you can appreciate it how good it is.” Fun!

This all comes from The Los Angeles Times, which says Netflix wouldn’t offer any other details on the test of this feature, but the streamer did release a statement saying it’s “just looking to learn from it and may or may not roll it out more broadly in the future.”

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