So there you are, watching your favorite show when a beloved character makes a terrible decision, sending the plot spiraling in the wrong direction.

What can you do but yell at the screen, fire off an angry tweet, or shut off the TV? If you're a Netflix subscriber, you can go back and change their choice.

The streaming service announced an ambitious experiment in interactive storytelling today with the children's programs Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale and Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile.

The shows, which offer thousands of permutations, bring the "choose your own adventure" format to internet TV and make every one of Netflix's 100 million subscribers the director. (Puss in Book is available today, while Buddy lands on July 14th.)

Books and videogames have done this for years, but achieving good results with video has proved difficult.

Beyond making the technology work, open-ended storytelling doesn't make much sense from a business standpoint if you're a conventional studio or TV network.

“Truthfully, this was not something that could really be implemented on a broad scale until digital video came along,” says Glenn Hower, a senior digital media analyst with research firm Parks Associates.
“实际上在数字视频出现之前,我们是无法大范围地实施这一做法的,” 市场调研公司Parks Associates的资深数字媒体分析员格伦•豪尔说。

“Not only does Netflix have this communication capability being a digitalon-demand service, but it has a huge subscriber base to leverage.”