An Exclusive Interview with the Guy Who Writes All The Netflix Descriptions
His secret? He’s never watched more than five minutes of anything.
I think it’s safe to say we’ve all struggled with choosing a TV show or movie to watch on Netflix which is exactly why each selection has its own unique description. But who exactly is writing these loglines to guide us helpless viewers? The Salmon Pages recently had the chance to sit down with the man behind it all.
SALMON PAGES: So what exactly is your title at Netflix?
I’m the Senior Vice President of Synopsal Analyses.
SP: How did you get involved with Netflix in the first place?
Well, I used to write abstract haikus for Xanga. Ya know, I’d basically peak out the window for a second and then write “the trees sway like drunken children”, stuff like that. My theory is that things are best described when you just catch a tiny glimpse of it.
Then I started as a janitor at the Netflix building and one day was like, “House of Cards is about the sinister underbelly of Washington politics” just kinda to myself, practicing my craft. But it turns out this executive was walking by and thought that I had really done a good job of encapsulating the show in such a short amount of words. Next thing I know, they’ve got me writing descriptions for damn near everything.
SP: How did you apply this theory when you started writing loglines?
I watch as little of a movie or show as possible. Never more than five minutes. Otherwise I have way too many details to work with and it hurts my head.
SP: One might say that this approach is incredibly lazy.
One might. But one might also say that I’m a master of efficiency and an artist. I’m kind of the Andy Serkis of Netflix descriptions.
SP: How do you respond to critics who claim that your descriptions are ‘less helpful than being blindfolded and picking a show at random’?
Sounds like they’re dead inside and should check out Fuller House: “When a pair of twins go missing, one family must laugh through the pain.”
SP: Is it true you’re also responsible for the controversial ‘Because you watched…’ section that recommends a confusing batch of programs you’ll supposedly enjoy because of one show you watched?
Yup, that’s me too. Executive Scrambler of the Because You Watched Department. My philosophy there is that people don’t understand why they really liked a particular film, and need me to help draw comparisons that they otherwise wouldn’t have considered. Anyone can search for another children’s movie, but I look at the real heart of the movie and realize that someone who watched My Little Pony might also enjoy Reservoir Dogs. They’re both about friendship.
SP: Wow. That’s pretty depressing to hear about but it does add up. You aren’t going to take any more jobs on, are you? Please don’t.
Oh, too late, man. I’m actually about to take over the Thumbnail Selections Branch. Basically I’m just gonna upload impressionist paintings that represent the true essence of the show. I think it’ll really streamline things for viewers.