Streaming services have revolutionized the way we watch TV, but Netflix is looking backward with its latest update.
The company is reportedly beta testing “Random Episode” and “Popular Episode” options for select users of its Android app, taking some of the stress of decision making out of viewers’ hands.
This feature harkens back to the days when you just had to watch whatever was on TV, but with a little more selection power.
However, some viewers were definitely asking for this option, and it seems Netflix is listening. The beta test is currently available only through the Android app, and only for certain users. It’s targeting select shows like The Office, Our Planet, Arrested Development and more.
If you’re one of the lucky few to get this beta feature, you’ll notice a new shuffle icon in the bottom right corner when you’re watching one of the eligible shows. It reads “Random Episode” and will, appropriately, instantly start playing a random episode of the series.
Netflix is also beta testing a “Popular Episode” feature. You’ll notice it as a new category on the main page, and it offers a selection of curated episodes. Clicking a tile will send you to a random, popular episode from the series.
There’s no word yet on if these features will become permanent, or when they will come to platforms other than Android. It’s also unclear if these options will be compatible with all shows, or just a select few. But it’ll probably be the latter. It’s hard to imagine watching something heavily serialized like Breaking Bad out of order, for instance.
Hopefully, we’ll get more information about these new features in the coming weeks and months.
Deals on Smart TVs
While you can stream Netflix on any number of devices, it’s hard to argue against a TV as the most enjoyable viewing experience. And a compatible Smart TV makes things even easier.
Slickdeals regularly sees offers for streaming-compatible Smart TVs, like this 39″ Insignia Fire TV from Best Buy for $129.99 or this 40″ Samsung 4K UHD TV available at Walmart and Best Buy for around $230.
Of course, if you subscribe to the idea that bigger is always better when it comes to TVs — which is true to a point — this 65″ Vizio 4K UHD HDR Smart TV for $1,400 from Costco is also popular among Slickdealers.
Remember, you can always set a Slickdeals Deal Alert and get instantly notified when your preferred brand of Smart TV goes on sale.
And who knows? Maybe you’ll be able to watch a random episode of The Office on your new Smart TV by then.