Apparently, Netflix went a little overboard with categorizing genres of movies and TV shows, resulting in what can only be called micro-genres.
Just recently, the popular video streaming service expanded to 130 countries across the globe, including South Korea and India. However, it failed to reach China because of the country's heavy censorship practices.
Nevertheless, the latest development will definitely give Netflix more and more subscribers, and those viewers who are relatively new to the service will probably want to know how to navigate through its massive content library.
First things first, there's a little well-known trick to unlock the hidden genres: by fiddling with the end number of the Netflix URL (e.g., www.netflix.com/browse/genre/1234), viewers will be able to access genres that are not exactly "readily available."
An unofficial list of number combinations has been published online. In the same vein, a Google spreadsheet also has a ton of these codes, but at the time of this writing, it has gone down – this could just be a bug, but it could also mean that the owner has deleted it.
As everyone can see, the list on the working link has genres that range from Action & Adventure to TV Shows with sub-genres from Asian Action Movies to Super Natural Thrillers. More to the point, it has Movies for ages 0 to 2 (6796) that goes all the way to Satanic Stories (6998). Well, that escalated quickly.
If a number combination doesn't work, don't be surprised. To begin with, this isn't really an official Netflix feature or anything of the sort. It's more like a workaround to efficiently explore the whopping 76,897 – count 'em – micro-genres in the depths of the streaming service's cavernous library.
Alexis Madrigal of Atlantic first chanced upon this "feature" back in January 2014, where he painstakingly scrutinized every corner of Netflix with the help of Georgia Tech professor and Atlantic contributor Ian Bogost.
"Through a combination of elbow grease and spam-level repetition, we discovered that Netflix possesses not several hundred genres, or even several thousand, but 76,897 unique ways to describe types of movies," he said.
He even figured out a basic formula to scour every possible genre:
Region + Adjectives + Noun Genre + Based On . . . + Set In . . . + From the . . . + About . . . + For Age X to Y.
At any rate, this method can effectively help viewers discover a ton of TV shows and movies. Also, if they have a lot of time on their hands, it could be fun to go ahead and tinker with the end numbers of the Netflix URL and maybe build lists of their own.
On that note, Netflix constantly adds new titles to its already enormous library on a monthly basis. The company is also renowned to make original series, including "The Crown" and "The Get Down," two new shows that were unveiled at CES 2016.
To sum things up, 76,897 micro-genres seem a little too much, but the fact that they're there and the figures can potentially keep growing means that subscribers can pinpoint specific titles, not to mention it could create bands of genre sleuths.
While it's not a feature per se, it's certainly a special attraction.