It was recently announced that the SoapNet channel is going away at the end of the year. I haven’t watched any real soap operas for a long time, but they have blocks of reruns of Veronica Mars, Gilmore Girls, and One Tree Hill which I will often watch if I happen to turn the TV on when they’re airing. It got me thinking about how much I enjoy serendipitously coming across my pop culture.

Even though I own every season of Gilmore Girls on DVD and One Tree Hill is streaming on Netflix I’m not very likely to put an episode of them on on my own. Partly I think because it’s too overwhelming to choose which one, but also I just like the happiness of turning on the TV and finding out that one of my favorite episodes is on.

It’s the same way for hearing a song I love on the radio. I may own that song and can listen to it any time I want, but somehow it’s better when I hear it without choosing to play it myself. I guess it’s a bit of validation that someone else likes the song enough to play it.

Ditto for coming across a movie I like on TV and stopping to watch it. I have a bunch of movies on DVD that I would never sit down and put in my DVD player at this point, but if I happened to turn on the TV and one of those same movies was playing I would stop and watch it.

Some programmer at Netflix really needs to take advantage this phenomenon and make it so that I can tell it to shuffle me up an episode of a specific TV show or an episode from a queue of TV shows that I have already watched. Ditto for my movie queue. I would love to for Netflix to randomly throw an episode of one of the TV shows I’m inclined to rewatch at me. As it is I leave them in my Instant queue and then never watch them because I feel overwhelmed at the thought of choosing which one to watch. Get on it Netflix.

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