...sometimes it feels like Netflix is doing the selecting for us.
There is a need for more powerful search on netflix.
Why don't you try metataste.com btw. It has a more in-depth search for movies. can search by feel, plot elements, year range apart from other common factors.
What more would you like in the search? By feel, year range, plot elements?
A site like Jinni may be of use for you as a complementary source to use Netflix.It can even be connected to your Netflix account.For example, a search of "Offbeat Antihero" brings up 249 results on Jinni under the movie tab.
As for the search on Netflix, it may just purely be something they may not have the time or the knowledge to expand on.Since as well as working on the code for the search, they would have to add the necessary tags to every single movie/show as well.Then the customers would also have to know what keywords to search to bring up what movie.
I noticed that when I browsed on NF and by putting in certain keywords in the search function they will show a list of films with that word or words in bold print, as they described a certain movie. Unfortunately this is not really that effective as I am sure there are many movies that contains the desired topic but since it is not mentioned as such in their description that movie will, of course, be overlooked. I did succeed in finding a few movies this way but, as I said, not that much.
I think more importantly you should be able to search/sort your suggestions by your predicted ratings. So far you can only do this within a single genre. I know third party websites like Feedflix give you a top 100 list based on your predicted ratings but it only updates once a week and I'm not paying for that service on top of my Netflix subscription just to have it update more frequently. Its Ironic how Netflix totes how good their recommendation engine is yet they limit its functionality/useability.
Stuie. You should try metataste.com It is a new website and so far the best I have found in terms of search and discovery on top of netflix catalog.
Thanks for the suggestion. I just signed up and look forward to using it.