Adultery. Lies. Alcoholism. Neglect. Sexual Problems. Irreconcilable differences. All of these factors can destroy a happy marriage. But there is perhaps no greater threat to marital bliss than the love-killer known as the Netflix Queue.
The New York Times explores the effect that shared Netflix queues are having on happy couples, noting that the recession has led many couples to drop their movie-going nights in favor of cozy nights at home, spent in front of the DVD player, with a Netflix film.
However, many couples just can't agree on what movies to watch. Heavens to Betsy! How will love survive such a terrible obstacle? Everyone knows that the secret to a happy marriage is to have the exact same taste in everything! So when Louis Marino rented "The English Patient," he expected his wife, Trente Miller, who agreed to add it to their shared queue, to be willing to watch it with him. Turns out Miller wasn't interested once the disc actually arrived, much to Marino's dismay. "I had ‘English Patient' for more than six months,"Marino tells the Times "It was an insane amount of time. "Do you want to watch this? Do you want to watch this? Do you want to watch ‘English Patient?" Miller repeatedly said no, and the disc was sent back without either of them watching it.
Here's a thought, Louis: if your wife doesn't want to watch a film, but you do, THEN GO AHEAD AND WATCH IT. Nobody is stopping you from experiencing "The English Patient." Nearly every computer has a DVD player included: if your wife monopolizes the television, watch the stupid movie on your laptop. Or, perhaps, just tell your wife that you'd like to watch "The English Patient," and need the television for a few hours. She can stay if she wants, but she doesn't have to. This is called "compromise."
Yet the simple notion of perhaps watching movies on one's own time doesn't help many couples who are seeking a mutual viewing experience. Apparently, the Netflix Queue has been so detrimental to some relationships that the company had to create the Profiles tool, which the Times describes as "sort of like a therapist for the queue. Each partner gets his or her own profile, and an allotment of discs, so that films from each list come and go and no one party takes over."
My fiance and I have a Netflix account that's mostly filled with films he's been dying to see. And normally, the movies will come, he'll watch them, and send them back. There are times when we both agree on a series or a film together, but for the most part, our queue is a jumble of randomness, and we watch things as they come in. If something comes in that I'm not interested in, I just don't watch it. And if we're having a night in together, and all we have from Netflix are a couple of "his" films that I'm not into, or vice versa, we'll just flip around until we see something we're both into. I know, right? We each have our own opinions and tastes, we communicate this openly, and we compromise to meet a common goal. Mindblowing. Now give me $500, as I just saved your marriage with common bloody sense.
Please tune in next week, when we'll be discussing the challenges couples face when one prefers chunky peanut butter, and one prefers creamy peanut butter. HOW WILL LOVE SURVIVE?!
Hey, Who Ordered Gigli? [NYTimes]