Netflix is a magnificent thing - if some sort of unexpected but powerful law was suddenly handed down decreeing that you had to choose between your house having Netflix and, say, running water, you’d give pretty strong consideration to cleansing yourself in Volvic.
Its weakest element, though, by a country mile, is the search function. It auto-completes titles that it doesn’t have, giving you a few seconds of false optimism before presenting you with ‘titles related to’ what you were searching for. It doesn’t tell you if something you’re searching for was just taken off, or is about to be added. It’s just… not there.
In Netflix’s defence, that isn’t really what it’s for - it’s more about grazing and stumbling across great stuff, going on a journey after you’ve watched something and seeing where you end up, than it is about really specific I-want-this-now. The page you’re greeted with then you fire it up does loads and loads of the heavy lifting.
But! If that won’t do for you, and you just want a really clear, searchable, no-nonsense guide to what’s on there, what’s not on there, and how good or rubbish all of it is, Flixable is your new best friend.
Updated daily with additions, removals and imminent changes, it’s an almost-too-comprehensive, completely unofficial encyclopedia of everything on there. Today - this very, actual, real day - a Nicolas Cage movie from 2015 called Pay the Ghost, also starring Sarah Wayne Callies from Prison Break, is on there. THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN SO EASY TO MISS.
The series Jail: Las Vegas was only added at the beginning of the year, and is leaving the streaming service on 28 February. Without Flixable, you might have discovered it on 26 February, got really into it and immediately felt bereft. Now you know, you’re going to have to call in sick and binge through all 22 episodes.
Plus, the search parameters are great. Want to see comedies released between 1988 and 1991? You can do that! Want to see documentaries with at least a 9/10 rating released in the calendar year 2015? You’re in luck! Want a strictly alphabetised list of romantic films from the first half of the 1980s? Magnificent.