With the addition of so many streaming shows this season, it feels impossible to keep up with everything. I so wish we could choose shows “a la carte”. This is not a new thought, but this year especially, it feels like there is a feast of great programming out there. The Man in the High Castle, Red Oaks, and Transparent on Amazon, Casual and The Mindy Project on Hulu, Daredevil and Master of None on Netflix. Most viewers can’t afford multiple platforms and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to know which one is the best choice. If you have cable, is it worth adding on Hulu, Amazon or Netflix? Or all three? And if you give up cable in favor of just streaming services, are you ending up with the same price once you piece together all of the shows you want from all three companies? And what about premium channels, whether you add them on to cable or Hulu? The possibilities are exhausting and endless.
Netflix still has a great DVD service for new movies, but unless you are specifically using the streaming version to catch up on older TV shows and previous seasons of current ones, it lacks a decent new film selection. I’ve also noticed that Redbox seems to get new titles earlier than Netflix’s DVD service on occasion, so that adds to the frustration. Or you have a ridiculous wait time on a show through the DVD service. (“Very long wait” stayed beside House of Cards for two months!)
Hulu is a great way to get the major network shows and bypass cable all together, if you don’t mind waiting a day for shows and don’t need to watch them live. (This must be for non-Tweeters.) Now that there’s an option for add-ons like Showtime, or limiting the ads, you can customize all day long.
Amazon is a bit more confusing to me–some shows seem to be available for free if you have Amazon Prime, but more popular selections are still at a cost through Amazon Video. Their movie selection is dated for Prime, as well, but you can rent/buy new titles. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like it’s the least user-friendly and intuitive of the three. It may be the closest to the “a la carte” idea, but at a huge price tag. (Roughly $40/a season for one show or about $2/per episode!)
Adding to the impossible task of keeping up, are the premium cable channels that now seem to keep a steady stream of “must see” shows. HBO and Showtime always have something great on, but now Cinemax has The Knick and Starz has Outlander. I love Outlander, but I can’t justify paying for Starz for just one show.
What’s a girl to do with so many channels and services?! It’s daunting. So let’s add a little more to it…
The Vampire Diaries (8/7c The CW) – I’m still not sure how this show will work without Nina Dobrev, but if Beverly Hills, 90210 taught us anything, it’s that a show can survive without an original lead.
The Originals (9/8c The CW)
Reign (8/7c The CW)
Undateable (8/7c NBC)
New shows Friday:
Red Oaks (streaming on Amazon) – According to EW, “It’s a throwback to Harold Ramis, John Hughes, and the ’80s coming-of-age movie – particularly the ones with gratuitous nudity.” They said it better than I ever could.
New shows Saturday:
The Last Kingdom (10/9c BBC America) – Battles, history, Vikings, England, blah blah blah.
*The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story (8/7c Lifetime) – Yeeessssssssssssssssssssss! (Technically not a show, but I had to bring it to everyone’s attention.)
America’s Funniest Home Videos (7/6c ABC) – Season 26!? Alfonso Ribeiro replaces Tom Bergeron as host.
The Walking Dead (9/8c AMC) – The first three seasons were sensational, but I’ve found it hard to stay interested since then. I’m a few seasons behind and it keeps getting shuffled to the bottom of my list, despite having a cast I really enjoy. I wish I was related to Rick Grimes.