Netflix Party: A ‘home’ theatre

With the shift to online schooling, and with adults who are not essential workers also continuing to fulfil job requirements from home for the next month, our tendency to binge Netflix shows and movies is stronger than ever. Still, the fascination with the friends getting together and having shared experiences of TV viewing has been eradicated under social isolation. And, no, the running meme of Netflix & Chill is… well.. out of the question. We’ll call this new trend: Netflix and be lonely.

Well, it doesn’t have to be all bad. There is a way to binge your favorite shows and still engage and interact with your friends. Netflix Party is a great tool that helps to let you and others help cut the distance between you and your loved ones and also stay engaged with one another.

Netflix party extension (source)

Netflix Party is an app that allows you to stream shows and movies at the same time as the people you’re watching with. It allows you to start, stop and pause at any given time so that you can watch it at the same time as a group of friends or family without worrying about synchronizing as the app will do it for you. Basically, it’s similar to sitting on a couch but without actually psychically being there.

“Netflix party with my friends is always the best part of my day. It’s good that we get to talk to one another and discuss what we like about the show.”

Audrey, a Polytechnic student who is currently quarantined

The only downside is that you don’t have full control over your Netflix surfing experience. For example, you’re not able to skip through multiple episodes at a time, change shows, or go back to a previous episode; this causes the “party” to stop. You’ll need to end and re-start a new party around the desired episode. Other than this little limitation, the plugin is straight-forward; the extension takes less than 5 minutes to download and installs in seconds.

Follow these few steps to download the extension..

  1. Log into your own individual Netflix accounts.
  2. Another way is to search ‘netflixparty.com’ in chrome and click on ‘get Netflix party for free’, which will then direct you to the chrome web store.
Example of how it should look like

3. Click on ‘add to chrome’, which will then direct you to a pop-up screen and click on ‘add extension. Once you download the extension, it should appear on the top right corner of your screen as ‘NP’ in grey.

The extension NP (netflix party)

To watch shows with others..

  1. Open the show you’d like to watch on Netflix
  2. The Netflix party extension on the address bar should be in red instead of grey now. Click on it.
  3. A small screen should pop up asking if you would like to “create a Netflix party”. Click on ‘start the party’ which will then make you the host, giving you the option to either be the only one who has controls to the playback, or have everyone have access to it.
Example

4. Once you click on it, another screen will appear with a URL that you can then share with your friends so they can join. If you ever need the link again, you just have to re-click on the Netflix party icon for this screen to appear again.

Example

To join someone’s party…

  1. Click on the link they sent you.
It should look something like this

2. Once you open up the link, it’ll appear as a normal Netflix show which you then have to click the ‘Netflix party’ icon to join. A chat box will appear at the side.

It’ll look like this with the chat box on the side

I am currently watching “Too hot to Handle” with my friends right now and it has continued to be the highlights of my day. We would watch the show together and share our comments and reactions, which makes the show 10 times more enjoyable. Not only that, Netflix party syncs perfectly and there was never any delay. It is a great way to find some joy during our socially distanced lives. So if you haven’t joined the party, install the extension, choose a common entry on your must-watch lists, and stay connected with your friends while watching favorite shows together!

Author: Hyun Ju

Hyun Ju Lee is currently a senior and this is her second year being part of The Eye. She is a Korean that was born in Boston, but raised in Singapore since she was two years old. She can be contacted at lee46856@sas.edu.sg

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