Dialing it back some, the generator also provides more plausible — though still fictional — Netflix categories, such as "Road Trip Courtroom Movies For Hopeless Romantics" and "Prison Slapstick Satires." (The real Netflix, Madrigal writes, employs no more than five descriptors in any category, as a general rule.)
I was on my seventh or eighth category before I realized something interesting. Stick a number in front of the category title and you wind up with a BuzzFeed headline. Try it: 4 Talking-Animal Spiritual Slashers From the 1940s. 15 Rogue-Cop Thrillers About Fame. 101 Disney Sexual-Awakening Animations From the 1960s.
Netflix's actual categories are far more tame. But as Madrigal points out, the craziest ones the generator comes up with ("Gonzo") are essentially begging to be made and shared.
The second you read one, don't you just want that movie to exist? Can't you just imagine it? All that to say, Gonzo, for me, is films that should exist but won't. Or at least pitches that should exist and might soon.
This exercise may actually reveal less about Netflix than it does about BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed is the king of viral headlines (perhaps second only to Upworthy), so it's only natural that its signature way of promoting things might spread to other content peddlers. More interesting, though, is what specificity does. The more specific a headline or category tag, the more likely it is you'll find exactly the sort of person who's interested in it — and roping them in like that is a surefire way of getting them to come back.
It also suggests that the use of data almost automatically drives us toward BuzzFeed-style headlines as companies try to micro-target customers as specifically as they can, packing more and more descriptors into their attempts to reach just the right audience at the right time. Netflix prevents this only because of its artificial cap on the number of descriptors it's allowed to use. But in a world unshackled by rules, it's easy to see how we wind up at "Space-Travel Tearjerkers Set in Biblical Times From the 1920s About Couples."