‘Unique Joy’: Netflix, Pleasure and the Shaping of Queer Taste

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2 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses the ‘Netflix imaginary’ and how it shapes our understanding of queer taste and legibility in contemporary visual culture. While Netflix has promoted itself as a bastion of LGBTQ inclusivity and other forms of ‘diversity’, this article considers the platform not on the basis of celebrated LGBTQ ‘Netflix Originals’ such as Sex Education or Queer Eye but rather on how our navigations of the platform’s content throw our queer attachments and recommendations into pleasurable chaos. If the ‘Netflix imaginary’ is built around personalisation–that is, the promise of knowledge and insight–it more often generates bewilderment and surprise. But the article argues that this uncanny algorithmic meddling also has the potential to generate its own source of fun, entertainment and queer pleasure. By analysing what consumers are led to understand of the site’s dependence on and commitment to collaborative filtering, algorithmic signposting and customer agency and choice, I consider how we might employ a queer method for engaging subversively with Netflix’s representational inconsistencies and inadequacies–how we might see Netflix itself as a queer method for reconfiguring queer taste.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-157
Number of pages25
JournalNew Review of Film and Television Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2023


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