Don’t like how that show ends? Netflix is ushering in ‘choose your own adventure’ TV

Black Mirror is the first adult title in Netflix’s “choose your own adventure” experiment.
Black Mirror is the first adult title in Netflix’s “choose your own adventure” experiment. Video screenshot

It’s your favorite show, right? So why shouldn’t you be the one to decide how it ends?

That’s the idea behind Netflix’s latest ripple of disruption through the world of television, according to Bloomberg.

It’s akin to the idea behind those fiction books that told you to turn to page 47 if you wanted the hero of the story to take on four dragons with just a shield and a rock, or to page 121 if you wanted the hero to take the pitch-dark cave detour to avoid the dragons.

“Viewers will be able to choose their own storylines in one episode of the upcoming season of “Black Mirror,” the Emmy-Award winning sci-fi show, Bloomberg reported.

“Black Mirror” showrunner Annabel Jones told The Hollywood Reporter in August that the show was “experimenting with new genres.”

For a show as out-there as “Black Mirror,” genre bending doesn’t register as out of the realm of possibility. Giving the audience the power to decide the characters’ on-screen fates seems an innovation just twisted enough to fit in with the show’s often subversive undertones.

The fifth season of “Black Mirror” is due out in December.

But before “Black Mirror,” Netflix started the interactive experiment with kids’ shows like “Puss in Book,” “Buddy Thunderstruck,” and “Stretch Armstrong.” If it offers any clues, the “Puss in Book” episode allows viewers 13 different opportunities to shape the plot, and “Buddy Thunderstruck” allowed viewers to play director eight times throughout the episode., according to Wired.

The “Black Mirror” episode will bring the experiment to a more adult audience for the first time, but Bloomberg reported the company has already acquired the rights to one more “choose your own ending” TV show and is in negotiations for more such content.

It is important to note that, according to the Netflix Help website, neither Chromecast nor Apple TV supports interactive content at this time.

Netflix is under increased pressure to innovate in streaming content, The Motley Fool reported, as Amazon has upped its video game recently, and as Disney and Apple release competitive streaming options.