How did Netflix know I liked Happy!?


As previously advertised, today’s the day Netflix made Syfy (US)’s Happy! available to stream for UK viewers. And this morning, I got an email from Netflix to let me know this fact, entitled “Rob, we just added a TV programme you might like”.


Let’s read how they describe Happy!

Netflix Happy

A boozy ex-cop turned hit man thinks he’s losing his marbles when a cartoon unicorn only he can see urges him to rescue a girl kidnapped by Santa

All accurate – although arguably Happy himself is a uni-donkey, not a unicorn, even if he claims to be a horse (of course). The question is: why did Netflix think I would like Happy!?

I mean they’re not wrong. By the end, I liked it very much. But they can’t have read this ‘ere blog or else they’d have known I’d already seen it, which means some algorithm deep in the bowels of Netflix has worked this out for itself, presumably based on my past viewing choices, shows I’ve browsed and the list of shows I’ve flagged to watch.

Now have a look at the description again. I wonder what I’ve been watching that made the algorithm think that.

And if you can work it out, I believe Cambridge Analytica would like to offer you a job.

Trailer trash

PS I’ve watched Netflix’s trailer for Happy! Largely it’s the same as Syfy’s except it’s been edited somewhat. Now, I can understand why they might edit the trailer since anyone can view it, I presume, and there were one or two things in the original trailer that would probably be a bit much for kids – who might be inclined to watch it because of the delightful Happy (unicorns are so hot right now).

However, Netflix has also rated the show a 15. I think that’s possibly a bit of a stretch, given some of the content, but it’s possible. Yet I’m still worried that they might have edited it from an 18 to make it that lower certificate. I’ve no idea why they’d want a lower certificate, but I’m worried.

So let me know if you spot some edits. How will you know? Well, if you get through episode seven and still want to know the answer to that, I’ll have my answer for sure.