Netflix considering interactive films and TV shows

Emmett Rice
October 2, 2018

But the Black Mirror episode will reportedly be the streamer's first experiment in live-action, grown-up interactive TV.

Netflix already has experimented with choose-your-own-adventure children's TV, including an animated special a year ago called Puss in Book where viewers could decide where the character Puss in Boots went next. Kids are stupid, after all, and while adults are sometimes equally dumb they're a lot harder to please.

As if there weren't already enough twists in a typical Black Mirror episode, the anthology series' upcoming fifth season is rumored to include an interactive, Choose Your Own Adventure-style installment.

And for a show that pretty much deals with the horrific implications that modern technology can have on the human race, the whole thing would be about as meta as it can get. At the very least, it's not like Black Mirror needs a gimmick to stay popular, so I'm curious to see what the show does with it. It made Netflix one of the largest media companies to test the waters of interactive TV, a format that has held promise for years as television migrated to internet-based streaming but nevertheless remains niche.

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"Choose Your Own Adventure" movies are nothing new. Netflix is planning a choose-your-own-adventure for an upcoming episode of Black Mirror.

But is this a good idea? As Netflix expands around the world, it's looking for new ways to lure customers. The hope is to "blend elements of video games with traditional television", and that could certainly appeal to many viewers. The original lineup of interactive programing on the platform was announced in June of this year and included the children's programing titles, Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale, Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile, and Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout.

No details on the cast, directors, or episodes for Season 5 have been released yet, but fingers crossed we hear something soon.

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