One of the most common experiences when exploring Netflix’s content vault is falling into the search equivalent of a K-hole. You find yourself sitting down to pick a movie, only to end up spending the better part of an hour endlessly scrolling through categories and titles. The sheer tonnage of options overwhelming your decision-making neurons, Netflix traps you in a spiral of indeterminacy and toggling among lists of potential titles seemingly doomed to remain forever out of reach, a self-made Tantalus of indecision. Indeed, many an evening ends with the realization you’ve burned most of your viewing time with simply perusing options, which is why you’ll end up watching the TV-centric episode of Rick And Morty for possibly the 30th time.
Those burnt out from wading through the hundreds of subpar but cheap-to-acquire films and shows are precisely the people to whom Tribeca Shortlist is hoping to appeal. The new subscription video service offers on-demand content selected by human curators trying to steer you toward good and interesting stuff you might have missed. Each month brings a selection of roughly 150 films, from foreign-language award-winners to under-appreciated indies to classics. It’s $4.99/month for the rest of the year (and only goes up a dollar starting in 2016), and seems like a good companion to Shudder, the all-horror streaming service we’ve been enjoying lately.
More than a third of the titles will be refreshed each month, with curators organizing films into detailed lists like “Cult Films 101” or “Zero To Hero: Transformative Stories.” October’s Shortlisters include actors John Leguizamo and Matthew Modine, director Morgan Spurlock (who’s probably filming a documentary about his curated lists as he makes them), producer Jason Blum, and actor-model Yaya DaCosta. The service can be accessed online or downloaded via the App Store; no word yet on whether Tribeca’s Robert De Niro will sit on your couch and drive you crazy as part of the deal, but one can hope.