Horatio Erasmus McAemelianus, the 512 year old man behind every genre/category on Netflix, is a difficult man to get an interview with. Even after confirming the meeting over email, I was stopped at the entrance of Netflix’s Los Gatos headquarters by two armed security guards. Checking –and rechecking– my press pass, they finally directed me to an elevator which had far too many buttons. They scanned their fingerprints and the elevator plummeted to the lowest basement level (I was later told that this was 20 miles underground).
The steel doors opening, I was hit with a very strong whiff of old-person smell. At the center of the room, a cluster of Netflix executives with legal pads huddled around a hospital bed, and making my way closer, I saw the man himself, bedridden and aptly wrinkled. McAemelianus was hooked up to multiple beeping medical things, and every few minutes, he would croak a random collection of nouns and genres such as “East… Indie… Comedy… Musical”. In response, the executives simultaneously flipped to the next page on their legal pads and furiously transcribed the hallowed words. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings turned to one of his underlings and said, “That one was good. I really liked that one.” Thirty minutes later, “East Indie Comedy Musical” was a genre where one could inexplicably find all 3 seasons of H2O.
McAemelianus’s new book, My Life: A Memoir, hits shelves this February.