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.

Tim Robbins and Holly Hunter in Here and Now

Here and Now cancelled; Danny John-Jules leaves Death in Paradise; Danny Pudi – baseball translator; + more

Internet TV

  • Trailer for season 2 of Netflix’s Dear White People
  • Danny Pudi and Sung Kang to star, Virginia Williams, Bruce McGill and Mircea Monroe join YouTube Red’s baseball translation comedy High & Tight



New US TV shows

New US TV show casting


What have you been watching? Including Westworld and The Looming Tower

It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend anything you’ve been watching this week

This week’s review count has been pretty low, with just a few movies in Movie Monday and the whole of The Terror (US: AMC; UK: AMC UK) to TMINE’s name. Nevertheless, I am a bit behind schedule, after having watched all of that. Still, it could be worse – Harrow is still in the viewing queue, as is Legion, so they’ll have to wait, but I’ll be doing a third-episode verdict on Killing Eve (US: BBC America; UK: BBC One/BBC Three) later in the week and because there haven’t been any other new shows, I’ve caught up with everything else.

So after the jump, with SEAL Team on holiday yet again, a look at an otherwise remarkably full list of the latest episodes of the regulars: The Americans, The Good Fight, Krypton, Silicon Valley and Timeless, as well as the final episode of The Looming Tower. And, oh look – Westworld is back.

Will I ever get round to reviewing Trust? You never know…

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Westworld and The Looming Tower”

Jack Ryan

Jack Ryan, The Oath renewed; The Path cancelled; Tales of the City sequel green lit; + more

Internet TV

  • Amazon renews: Jack Ryan
  • developing: adaptation of Amy Stewart’s Girl Waits With Gun
  • Netflix green lights: sequel to Armistead Maupin’s Tales of The City, with Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis, Babara Garrick and Ellen Page

International TV


  • Channel 4 green lights: one-off Tony Martin drama The Interrogation, with Steve Pemberton, Daniel Mays and Stuart Graham


New US TV shows

  • A24 green lights: series of sub-par moon astronauts comedy Moonbase 8, with Fred Armisen, Tim Heidecker and John C Reilly
  • Crackle developing: sci-fi reimagining of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

New US TV show casting

  • Georgia Flood, Lucas Neff, Rory O’Malley et al to star in Lifetime’s American Princess
The cast of The Terror

Boxset Tuesday: The Terror (season one) (US: AMC; UK: AMC UK)

In the US: Mondays, 9/8c, AMC
In the UK: Tuesdays, 9pm, AMC Global. Starts today

Some things just seem to be cursed. The British expedition in 1845 to find the fabled northwest passage didn’t really stand a chance, given the two ships sent were the HMS Terror and HMS Erebus. Sure, they were technologically advanced for their time, with hardened hulls to brace against the ice and carrying railway steam engines to power propellers. But those names? ‘Terror’ and ‘Erebus’, Greek myth’s darkness beneath the world? That was just courting disaster.

Both ships disappeared and later expeditions were unable to find them, although ultimately, it seems like the crews abandoned their vessels after they had become stuck in the ice, after which they tried to make the trek over ice and land to an outpost hundreds of miles away. Ill and running out of food, they might even have resorted to cannibalism to try to survive.

When Dan Simmons wrote his best-selling novel about the expedition in 2007, he must have thought he was on relatively easy territory. The ships had been missing for nearly a century and a half – surely he can write about them safely, imagining whatever he wanted. Yet oddly enough, in September 2014, the wreck of the Erebus was found, submerged in what is now known as Terror Bay in Newfoundland, Canada. The Terror itself remained unfound, however, despite further investigations.

When a TV adaptation was announced in March 2016, that must have kicked the curse back into life because just a few months later, the Terror was found on an island in the middle of Terror Bay – 100km from where historians had previously thought it had wound up. How did it get there? No one’s sure…

Who knows what will turn up, now we have the TV series itself airing.

The Terror and the Erebus
The Terror and the Erebus

The Terror

For the most part, The Terror is simple conjecture about what might have happened to the crews of both ships, based on the evidence available. It sees Ciáran Hinds (Rome) playing the lead captain of the expedition, Sir John Franklin, while Jared Harris (Mad Men) plays the captain of The Terror, Francis Crozier. Also aboard are Ian Hart and Tobias Menzies (Outlander). Initial episodes focus on the ships’ stranding in the ice, with subsequent episodes showing the events that lead to the abandoning of the ships and then the trek itself, as well as the rescue missions mounted back at home by loved ones, including Greta Scacchi.

However, seemingly just to gee things along a bit, there’s also something out there in the icy wastes of the Arctic. Stronger and bigger than a polar bear and as smart as a man, it’s invisible against the icy tundra and in the eternal night of the Arctic winter. It’s also extremely murderous. But what is it?

Two ships of sailors are about to find out…

Continue reading “Boxset Tuesday: The Terror (season one) (US: AMC; UK: AMC UK)”