So this is how you “Netflix and chill” in the age of social distancing…
While I’m a firm believer in solo cinema trips (as soon as me and my popcorn sit down in front of a big screen, we don’t want to be disturbed by anyone), I’m a creature of contradiction. As such, I 100% believe that, when it comes to watching TV shows and films at home, it’s 100% better when you have people with you. Fact.
Unfortunately, thanks to Boris Johnson’s new coronavirus guidelines, having your mates over for a Netflix binge-watching session is pretty much out of the question. But there is a way to recreate the experience in our new age of social distancing.
I’m talking, of course, about the Netflix Party extension.
That’s right: while the tool was created long before the Covid-19 outbreak, it’s proven itself to be pretty perfect in a pandemic. Because it means that, without breaking your coronavirus quarantine, you and your friends can stream the same shows and movies in perfect sync. And you can even talk about what you’re watching using the ‘chat’ function, too.
As the overview for the Google Chrome extension reads: “Watch Netflix remotely with friends. Netflix Party is a chrome extension for watching Netflix remotely with friends, e.g. for movie nights with that long distance special someone.
“It synchronises video playback and adds group chat.”
So how do we go about getting Netflix Party in our lives?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
How to get Netflix Party:
• Go to the Google Chrome store and search ‘Netflix Party’
• Add the Google Chrome extension to your Chrome
• Select the show you want to watch, click on the extension and select “start party”
• You will be sent a URL which you can share with your friends
Once you’ve all clicked the URL, you’ll all be shown the same screen with a group chat running down the side. But be warned: once you’ve committed to Netflix Party, you are bound together until the credits roll (or you opt out early, we guess).
This means that, if someone in your group is prone to multiple toilet breaks/tea runs, you need to prepare for some stopping and starting: whenever they pause the show, it will be paused for everyone.
Still up for it? Great. If you need some inspiration, check out our list of must-see Netflix shows, critically-acclaimed horrors available for streaming or our pick of the best feel-good shows you can watch in 30 minutes or less.
Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.