Exploring Netflix is all but impossible. It feels a bit like walking into a shopping mall that you know has thousands of shops but only being able to walk into the ones the mall wants to promote and a few they “think you might like,” despite the fact that you’ve never given them any indication that you would go into Perfumania or that store that only sells socks. If there’s one thing that unites Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services, it’s that browsing any of them is a nightmare. For Netflix, that’s where Flixable comes in.
Flixable, built over the course of a few weeks, was created by Ville Salminen after he realized what a tough time his parents were having finding something to watch.
Flixable is a search engine specifically for Netflix. It includes all of the movies and TV shows on Netflix, and can be filtered by release year, genre and IMDb rating, as well as sorted by things like its title and when the movie or show was added to Netflix, in addition to the standard keyword search. If you want to remember how great 80s movies were (and can’t wait for Ready Player One to come out), you can filter your list down to movies released between 1980 and 1989 and end up watching Hellraiser, Lethal Weapon, and Batman.
The caveat here is that Flixable doesn’t hook directly into Netflix. You’ll need to have your phone or laptop open alongside your television, searching for an item on Flixable’s friendlier interface and then searching for it in Netflix’s internal search. There’s no way to add things to your queue from the site, either. A quick look at Salminen’s Reddit post announcing the site suggests that there’s a clear desire for a something like this. As it is, though, Netflix’s interface is heavily dependent on internal curation and algorithms.
Hopefully, Netflix will see the response to what Salminen is doing and work with him to make it even better, bring him in to build it internally, or at least just let it sit and do its thing. With services like Netflix increasingly interested in creating and serving up their own content, though, it seems likely that the interfaces are as clunky as they are for a reason. Make your shop look inviting, but make your house brand easier to find, and many of us will just go for the house brand. Especially if it’s pretty good, as is the case with so many Netflix shows.
But hey, did you know The Godfather is on Netflix? I didn’t. I guess I’m out of excuses to have never seen it.