Emflix – Part 20 – Hybrid Consistency

Note: this is originally an excerpt from Part 12 – Action and Adventure, but I figured it ought to be cross posted into the ‘Rules’ section of my index.

I noticed that Netflix had many “hybrid subgenres” e.g. Action Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Indie Romance, Sci-Fi Thrillers, etc. The odd thing to me is that only some of these hybrid subgenres would appear under both of their ‘parent’ genres.

That is, in Netflix’s listings ‘Action Thrillers’ is listed under both ‘Action & Adventure’ and ‘Thrillers’, whereas ‘Action Comedies’ is listed only under ‘Action & Adventure’ and not under Comedies. Weird, right?

That kind of inconsistency is this cataloger’s bane. So my first rule was, if a subgenre is ‘hybrid’ (as judged by its name being made up of two different genres) it belongs under both genres.

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Emflix – Part 19 – Subgenres – Drama

Link to Part 18 – Subgenres – Documentary

Here’s “Drama”

Compare again Netflix’s listing of genres to mine.

I struggled with a problem with the category.

Some of the subgenres really are not limited to Drama and yet only appeared under Drama in the hierarchy.

Consider ‘Period Pieces’

While most period pieces tend to be dramas, sure — what about all those Jane Austen/Oscar Wilde adaptations? Hilarious period pieces (your mileage may vary on the hilarity) What about Topsy Turvy, Clue, or half of Mel Brook’s movies? Comedic period pieces! Perhaps I should’ve added ‘Comedy Period Piece’ to my hierarchy, but I didn’t.


Here are my subgenres for said category with asterisks for ones I’ll be discussing below, either because they’re not on Netflix’s list, or they were changed from Netflix’s for some reason

  • African-American Dramas
  • Asian-American Dramas*
  • Classic Dramas
  • Courtroom Dramas
  • Crime Dramas
  • Dramas Based on Real Life
    • Biographies*
  • Dramas Based on the Book
    • Dramas Based on Bestsellers
    • Dramas Based on Classic Literature
    • Dramas Based on Contemporary Literature
  • Epics*
  • Family Dramas
  • Foreign Dramas
  • Gambling Dramas
  • Indie Dramas*
  • LGBTQ Dramas*
  • Latino/a Dramas*
  • Medical Dramas
  • Military and War Dramas
  • Period Pieces
    • 20th Century Period Pieces
    • Pre-20th Century Period Pieces
  • Political Dramas
  • Religious and Spiritual Dramas*
  • Romantic Dramas
  • Sci-Fi Dramas
  • Showbiz Dramas
  • Social Issue Dramas
  • Sports Dramas
  • Tearjerkers
  • Teen Dramas*

 

  • Asian-American Dramas
    • Netflix doesn’t have this category despite many films potentially being able to fulfill it, so I added it
  • Biographies
    • Netflix places ‘Biographies’ as it’s own subgenre under Drama, whereas I placed it as a sub-Subgenre of ‘Dramas Based on Real Life’. While I am aware of the existence of fictional biographies (consider the Chuck Barris biopic, ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’) because the vast majority of such films would fulfill ‘Dramas based on Real Life’ I decided to have that category absorb ‘Biographies’
  • Epics
  • Indie Drama
  • LGBTQ Dramas
    • Changed for inclusionary reasons, see my full write-up on the LGBTQ genre, when I get there
  • Latino/a Dramas
    • See the People-Genre rule
  • Religious and Spiritual Dramas
    • Added for hybrid consistency
  • Teen Dramas
    • Added for hybrid consistency

 

Link to Part 21 – Subgenres – Faith and Spirituality

Emflix – Part 18 – Subgenres – Documentary

Link to Part 17 – Subgenres – Comedy

Here’s “Documentary”

Compare again Netflix’s listing of genres to mine.

 

Here are my subgenres for said category with asterisks for ones I’ll be discussing below

  • African-American Documentaries
  • Biographical Documentaries
  • Crime Documentaries
  • Faith and Spirituality Documentaries
  • Foreign Documentaries
  • Historical Documentaries
  • Indie Documentaries
  • Military Documentaries
  • Mockumentaries
  • Musical Documentaries*
  • Political Documentaries
  • Science and Nature Documentaries
  • Social and Cultural Documentaries
  • Sports Documentaries

 

  • Musical Documentaries
    • On the Netflix listing, this is called ‘Rockumentaries’. I changed it to ‘Musical Documentaries’ because there were a bunch of films under this subGenre which aren’t documenting rock music but rather, jazz, hip-hop, etc. I figured ‘Musical Documentaries’ would cover all those bases.

 

Not present on my list, but present on Netflix’s

  • The three subSubGenres of Faith and Spirituality Documentaries
    • Inspirational Biographies
    • Religion and Mythology Documentaries
    • Spiritual Mysteries
  • HBO Documentaries
  • Miscellaneous Documentaries
  • PBS Documentaries
  • Travel and Adventure Documentaries

 

  • Inspirational Biographies, Religion and Mythology Documentaries, Spiritual Mysteries, Travel and Adventure Documentaries
  • HBO Documentaries, PBS Documentaries
    • As per Disney/Nickelodeon in ‘Children and Family‘ I didn’t consider the television network to be a genre, that’s descriptive metadata, not genre/form
  • Miscellaneous Documentaries
    • I just didn’t like this category. It’s useless, it says, “well it’s a documentary, but doesn’t fit into any other category”. Frankly, any time I encountered it in the Netflix database, I found the film was a decent enough fit with one of the existing categories as to render this catch-all moot.

 

Link to Part 19 – Subgenres – Drama

Emflix – Part 17 – Subgenres – Comedy

Link to Part 16 – Subgenres – Classics

Here’s “Comedy”

Compare again Netflix’s listing of genres to mine.

 

Here are my subgenres for said category with asterisks for ones I’ll be discussing below

  • Action Comedies*
  • African-American Comedies
  • Asian-American Comedies
  • Classic Comedies*
  • Cult Comedies
  • Dark Humor and Black Comedies
  • Family Comedies*
  • Foreign Comedies
  • Indie Comedies*
  • LGBTQ Comedies*
  • Late Night Comedies
  • Mockumentaries
  • Political Comedies
  • Romantic Comedies
  • Screwball
  • Showbiz Comedies
  • Slapstick
  • Spoofs and Satire
  • Sports Comedies
  • Teen Comedies*

 

 

Not present on my list, but present on Netflix’s

  • Best of British Humor
  • Latino Comedies
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Stand-Up

 

  • Best of British Humor
    • This is one of the oddest Netflix categories. It’s a mix of tv/movies and I guess curated? I don’t have the skills to perform an exhaustive analysis if it’s actually everything Netflix has that is both ‘British’ and ‘Comedy’ — but even if it were, it seemed odd to me to single out a single country of production when they also have ‘Foreign Comedies’.
  • Latino Comedies
  • Saturday Night Live
    • If you’ve noticed a theme…Netflix isn’t great at separating out TV and Movies. In their defense, this category isn’t entirely collections of the tv series, it’s also any movie based on or or somehow otherwise produced by the SNL machine. For those reasons, I kept it, but then Rule of 5 eliminated it anyway.
  • Stand-Up
    • Rule of 5 eliminated it.

 

Bonus weirdness — why do Mockumentaries and Showbiz Comedies not file correctly (alphabetically) on Netflix?

Link to Part 18 – Subgenres – Documentary

Emflix – Part 16 – Subgenres – Classics

Link to Part 15 – Subgenres – Children and Family

Onto Classics!

Compare again Netflix’s listing of genres to mine.

Overall…’Classics’ was a tough one for me. While genre analysis is an inherently subjective task, and there’s room for disagreement in any category, ‘Classics’ are even more so because its not describing a film’s content (like Action films may contain high-octane explosions or car chases, or fight sequences), or mood (like a Thriller may evoke tension and danger to characters) — rather it’s a film’s reception. A film is a ‘Classic’ if a buncha people get together and say, “oh yeah that one’s a classic’.

I guess — I imagine a person on a desert island. You give her a complex compendium of all film genre tropes, styles, and identifiable characteristics. She could watch movies all day and then assign them genres based on these definitions. But unless she had other people around, she could never really say a film was a ‘Classic.’

But on the other hand — in actual practice, I found that the vast vast majorities of films placed into the ‘Classic’ genre by Netflix were really just “old exemplars”. Here’s how to be a Horror Classic — be a Horror film from a long time ago. So is the ‘Classic’ genre really just functioning as a limiting the films by year? Maybe…


 

Here are my subgenres for said category with asterisks for ones I’ll be discussing below

  • Action Classics*
  • Classic Comedies
  • Classic Dramas
  • Classic Epics*
  • Classic Movie Musicals*
  • Classic Sci-Fi and Fantasy
  • Classic Thrillers
  • Classic War Stories
  • Classic Westerns
  • Family Classics*
  • Film Noir
  • Foreign Classics
    • Foreign Classic Comedies
    • Foreign Classic Dramas
    • Foreign Silent Films
  • Horror Classics*
  • Indie Classics*
  • Romance Classics*
  • Silent Films

 

 

Changes:

  • Action Classics, Classic Movie Musicals, Family Classics, Horror Classics, Indie Classics, and Romance Classics
    • Added for hybrid consistency — I was really surprised by how many terms are in the Netflix hierarchy that should be cross listed, but weren’t. Well I wouldn’t be doing that. The only exception was the subgenre, ‘Sci-Fi Cult Classics’ because I determined that that was just their term for ‘cult films’ — there was no distinction being made between a ‘regular cult film’ and a ‘classic cult film’, so I reflected that in my mapping.
  • Classic Epics
    • This was the only one requiring substantive thought from me. You’ll notice that while Netflix has ‘Epics’ as a subgenre under ‘Classics’, I have ‘Epics’ as a subgenre of ‘Drama’ and ‘Classic Epics’ as a subgenre of ‘Classics’. The problem was that not every epic is a classic epic! Their genrification has nowhere to place these non-classic epics. While I give you that epics were more popular back in the day, and Cecil B. DeMille isn’t making movies anymore — Lord of the Rings is definitely an epic, but I’ve not seen it on any Classics lists.

Link to Part 17 – Subgenres – Comedy

Emflix – Part 15 – Subgenres – Children and Family

Link to Part 14 – Subgenres – Anime and Animation

Here’s “Children and Family”

Compare again Netflix’s listing of genres to mine.

 

Here are my subgenres for said category with asterisks for ones I’ll be discussing below

  • Animal Tales
  • Book Characters
  • Disney*
  • Family Adventures
  • Family Animation
  • Family Classics
  • Family Comedies
  • Family Dramas
  • Family Sci-Fi and Fantasy
  • Teen Comedies
  • Teen Dramas

 

  • Disney
    • I waffled on this one. I didn’t like the idea of recording something which is so clearly descriptive metadata and not subject metadata. This is a production company! But I ended up conceding because of how much people consider ‘Disney’ its own thing.

 

Not present on my list, but present on Netflix’s

  • Ages 0-2
  • Ages 2-4
  • Ages 5-7
  • Ages 8-10
  • Ages 11-12
  • Cartoons
  • Coming of Age
  • Dinosaurs
  • Education & Guidance
  • Kids’ Music
  • Kids’ TV
  • Nickelodeon
  • Teen Romance

 

  • Age groupings
    • Frankly our collection isn’t exactly intended for children so I didn’t feel a need to differentiate between the age groupings at that micro-level.
  • Cartoons
    • I was unable to satisfactorily separate this category from “Family Animation” and so decided to eliminate it entirely as they almost entirely overlapped.
  • Coming of Age
  • Dinosaurs
    • Never came up in our collection
  • Education and Guidance
    • Never came up in our collection
  • Kids’ Music
    • Never came up in our collection
  • Kids’ TV
    • As I said in the last post re: Anime Series — I was attempting to treat movies and TV shows separately with greater consistency than Netflix was
  • Nickelodeon
    • Never came up in our collection — but I may’ve dismissed it even if it had, I made an exception for Disney above, but probably wouldn’t’ve for Nickelodeon…sorry Nickelodeon.
  • Teen Romance
    • Rule of 5 eliminated it

Link to Part 16 – Subgenres – Classics

Emflix – Index

Here’s a (growing) index of all my Emflix posts for both you and me!

Here’s a link to the project preserved in amber forever

Background and Beginnings

XML Structure

Genres and subgenres and subsubgenres

Rules

Emflix – Part 14 – Subgenres – Anime and Animation

Link to Part 13 – Rule of 5

Continuing with the subgenres now, I’ll move to “Anime and Animation”

Compare again Netflix’s listing of genres to mine.

 

Here are my subgenres for said category with asterisks for ones to be discussed (i.e. the ones which are absent or different from Netflix’s)
Animation for Grown-ups
Anime*
Family Animation*

Changes:

  • Anime
    • Due to the Rule  of 5, all of the Anime ____ subgenres were consolidated into one. There just wasn’t enough Anime in the Emerson collection to justify subdividing them.
    • Also note that Netflix has “Anime Series”as a subgenre under ‘Anime & Animation’…but there’s a separate genre for ‘TV Shows’ in which it doesn’t appear! What’s going on there? (there are other seemingly TV genres which only appear under a film genre and not the TV one. Netflix, you a mess.
  • Family Animation
    • Added for hybrid consistency

I went back and forth several times on trying to decide on distinguishing between “family friendly” animation and…less family friendly. I ended up keeping that distinction, because every animation thing I read seemed to differentiate them, though they disagreed on terminology.

 

Link to Part 15 – Subgenres – Children and Family

Emflix – Part 13 – Rule of 5

Link to Part 12 – SubGenres – Action and Adventure

Sure, you know the Rule of 3. Some of the coolest of you even know the Rule of 4.

But who knows the Rule of 5? No one, because I made it up. My rule is one higher than the most rule LC has. So does that makes me one higher? I don’t know, I’m just a simple cataloger doing his best. You decide.


As I’ve said a million times, (and will say it more…) Emflix was a lot smaller than Netflix. That is, whereas the Emerson Library had some 3000+ DVDs, Netflix has some 93,000+ (according to them). One of the things that means is that while it can populate its numerous genres and categories, Emflix struggled to catch up. I started noticing subsubgenres which had a single item and I thought it would be disappointing to users to click through  to a subsubgenre  only to discover that their options were nearly non-existent.

So I instigated the Rule of 5. Unless a subsubgenre had 5 or more films in that category, it wouldn’t be used. This first meant running a quick little count on number of films per subsubgenre.

I commented out all the subsubgenres which had fewer than 5 films so they wouldn’t be taken into account during the transformation into the interface.

Trying to think ahead for once, I realized that as movies were added to the Emerson collection, some of these commented out subsubgenres may make it up to the required 5.

Thus, I continued to record the subsubgenres which i’d commented out when I encountered them in new films while also implementing a count on the commented out subsubgenres. When they hit 5, ta-da! Un-commented and returned to production.

(The Rule of 5 also applies to non english languages, but we’ll get to those later…)

 

Emflix – Part 12 – Subgenres – Action and Adventure

Link to Part 11

As discussed last time, there were 19 primary genres. Each of those had many possible values for subgenres.

Compare again Netflix’s listing of genres to mine.

Before discussing specific changes I made, a comment:

I noticed that Netflix had many “hybrid subgenres” e.g. Action Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Indie Romance, Sci-Fi Thrillers, etc. The odd thing to me is that only some of these hybrid subgenres would appear under both of their ‘parent’ genres.

That is, in Netflix’s listings ‘Action Thrillers’ is listed under both ‘Action & Adventure’ and ‘Thrillers’, whereas ‘Action Comedies’ is listed only under ‘Action & Adventure’ and not under Comedies. Weird, right?

That kind of inconsistency is this cataloger’s bane. So my first rule was, if a subgenre is ‘hybrid’ (as judged by its name being made up of two different genres) it belongs under both genres.

got it? okay, onto Action and Adventure!

Here are my subgenres for said category with asterisks for ones to be discussed (i.e. the ones which are absent or different from Netflix’s)
Action Classics
Action Comedies
Action Sci-Fi and Fantasy*
Action Thrillers
Adventure Sci-Fi and Fantasy*
Adventures
African-American Action
Blaxploitation
Comic Books and Superheroes
Crime Action
Deadly Disasters
Espionage Action
Family Adventures*
Foreign Action and Adventure
Heist Films
Indie Action*
Martial Arts
Military and War Action
Super Swashbucklers
Westerns

Changes:

  1. Action Sci-Fi and Fantasy
    1. Added for hybrid consistency
  2. Adventure Sci-Fi and Fantasy
    1. While this one was still added for hybrid consistency, notice that I inverted it and added ‘ and Fantasy’. Netflix has this as ‘Sci-fi Adventures’. I think I did this because I wanted the parallelism between ‘Action Sci-Fi and Fantasy’. I don’t rightly remember though. #GoodJobGanin
  3. Blockbusters
    1. I chose not to use ‘Blockbusters’ because I felt it didn’t really capture a ‘genre’ of film but was rather a comment on the film’s reception or box-office.
  4. Family Adventures
    1. Added for hybrid consistency
  5. Indie Action
    1. Added for hybrid consistency

 

Tune in for Part 13 where I remember to tell you about the Rule of 5!