You know the drill: You have no idea what to watch, so you scroll and scroll and scroll through some streamer’s endless wares, and minutes later you’re nowhere closer to an answer than you were before. Last year Netflix had a solution that seemed at once useful and kind of surreal: They added a shuffle option. You click on the button — if you’re one of the subscribers who even has it — and voilá! An algorithim picks something, anything for you to watch, based on your perhaps questionable viewing history.
Now Amazon Prime has basically the same idea. As per /Film, the streaming wing of the commerce behemoth is testing out a similar function on their Android app. One major difference: It only pertains to TV shows. So you have to find a TV show you want to watch and then let fate, or some brainiac computer that knows you better than you know yourself, do the rest.
It’s not a terrible idea, though it really only helps if said show is either a particularly episodic comedy or a drama pre-today’s Golden Age. You probably don’t want to jump into a random point in some ongoing story. That said, it’s perfect if it’s, say, Columbo (which Prime does have, with ads), where each episode is a self-contained masterpiece with a different guest killer each go. Maybe you’ll wind up with the one where Peter Falk’s nosy lieutenant squares off against Johnny Cash. Or we could recommend the British cult show Peep Show, which is pretty much uniformly excellent and therefore a great way to kill time that could always be better off reading some enormous doorstop.