Streaming Services: Discussion and Power Rankings

I think it fell victim to what I call the Prime template. There seems to be this writing template that all Prime shows follow. I have mentioned this before but I'll run it down.
  1. 3 episode season kickstart arc. Usually the very best content of the season. Sets everything up and is paced well.
  2. 4 episodes of utter wheel spinning. Will he, or wont he??? I love exposition so these middle episodes dont bother me in theory, but the Prime template makes these utter filler. Nothing is moved forward, the game is never changed, its just 4 hours of setting up a finale that is too small to deliver what it needs to. (for great examples see Billions and/or Black Sails)
  3. The Finale. At this point 7 episodes have been building to this finale. However, there is not enough time in the final episode to deal with everything. So, you get massive plot build ups completed in a matter of mins, sometimes seconds, in very anti-dramatic ways. There is just no room to breath and let happen in these finale episodes.
I find most shows follow that arc, or my interest in those shows follows that arc, or most likely shows and movies I would like to be interested in but am ultimately disappointed by follow that arc. However I would describe as:

1. Ooo, mysterious, I wonder what’s going on, very spooky.
2. Ok I know enough about what’s going on to know it’s not really wondrous, or if it is wondrous, it’s stupid too. Since the writers are also aware of this they do a bunch of character development and tail chasing and loudly proclaim I should still be interested. I’m not, but I’m far enough in so ok, maybe I’ll get lucky.
3. Not dramatic and overly long fight and action scenes. Someone dies, you should care. I don’t, but at least it’s not on my continue watching list.

I much prefer the X-Files model.

1. Ooo, mysterious, I wonder what’s going on, very spooky.
2. Meandering but engaging pursuit and debate of the subject at hand, is it aliens, or are people idiots. Monster or deformed man. Telekinesis or magic show charlatanry. Thing from a 1934 newspaper article Mulder knows about because he’s read every newspaper ever, or regular serial killer.
3. It’s both, or neither, not really clear, but watch the next episode because surely it will be Proof that Chupacabras are REAL.

Netflix is great for the ease of deleting things from my continue watching queue. First place for that. Sadly pretty mediocre shovelware shows they keep making because for some they believe if people start watching something means they liked it, lol.

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We use Netflix and Disney+. Currently free trial to Amazon well pay for a month and cancel. It doesn't have to content in terms of new shows.

One think you Americans don't get is tvnz+. The app is crap but it's free.

It has most ilof the new Star Treks, Halo, Dr Who, Orville, Taskmaster and it's free. Has a decent back catalog. It's the best sci Fi service;). Also has some older shows like BSG, Continuum and Dark Matter.

Disney+ also has Star here think it has Hulu shows on it. Netflix throws out the occasional sleeper hit.


Hmm, don't know all about the Ranking, but here are some thoughts.

#1. Amazon Prime - You can get a LOT of the other streaming options directly from them. Want Showtime, Starz, Paramount+, and others. You can get the subscription on Prime and have it as your One Stop Shop. It's not just Prime they have, they have a LOT of options beyond Prime. I use it primarily to watch other subscription channels, and I don't have to worry about paying everyone at various other places, I just have one stop to pay the subscription fees. [PS: If you want channels from other nations, register an account as being from another nation and you probably (not guaranteed) get the channels from that nation as available. I do this when I travel to Europe and still get my American channels there)].

#2. Roku - Roku Channel is actually pretty awesome, and not only has a LOT of content, but also does a thing similar to Prime. In addition, they somehow cut a deal where it seems 75% or more of smart TV's being released today have the Roku app or work exclusively through Roku. I'd say these guys appear to be KILLING it and seem to have almost a virtual monopoly on the Smart TV market right now, which means they are getting a TON of streamers through them.

3. Pluto TV - Mostly getting it through advertisers. You know what came on my phone as an app already installed...Pluto TV (also apple TV...but Pluto was one that automatically works with no more money making it an easy choice when stuck on a train for hours). It also has move selection and other items. All seemingly paid through for the majority of users via ads.

4. YouTube. I don't like YouTube Red or the constant reminders of subscription. With their ads interferring with every video, and how prolific they are through the internet, I'd be betting these are other BIG players right now in the streaming space.

I'd probably put the above streaming services over the ones that regularly make the news. That said...

A. HBO Max was probably one of the BEST paid for service around. It had a terrible search function and if your movie started in the middle of the alphabet it could take a while to find it, but it had a great selection. It came probably at a cost of being more expensive than how much money it was bringing in.

With the current statement made by the new Discovery Warner, I expect HBOmax to be dead really soon, and what comes after it to be a shell of it's former self.

B. Netflix. They've made what appear to be some really dumb decisions recently. Not as stupid as HBO max has announced (who are going to try to copy Netflix's disastrous announcement of how they are pricing with advertising in their stuff...and you STILL PAY for the service with ads), but pretty dumb. They have almost nothing I am interested in, and most of their series they start...they cancel. They are dying the death of a thousand cuts. Sure, maybe that one series doesn't bring in all the viewers, and this other series doesn't, but when they ALL add up, they bring in a lot of veiwers together. When you cancel those series mid plot, you make all those people upset, and those people leaving slowly adds up to the death of a thousand cuts.

C. Apple TV - How big are they really. Not that apple needs to have a big percentage share. Apple itself only had like 14% of the PC market (if that) and less than 30% of the phone market, and yet are extremely successful. Still, I haven't heard many exclamations of excitement about Apple TV in general.


Netflix. I recently saw an interesting article about the future of Netflix. It was always considered by Wall Street to be a tech company but when compared to Apple, Google and Amazon, all of which have multiple tentacles, I mean services and products, Netflix only has one. It was never a tech company in the traditional way, other than being at the forefront of streaming, and now it's transitioning into what it kind of always was - a multimedia company. I think Netflix will level out and be in for the long haul but lose it dominance as the largest. It's still my go to when just browsing for something new and I have found the influx of foreign material to be a draw.

Prime. It's been putting out better stuff recently and I will always love it for giving me three more years of The Expanse. The Boys is amazing, I enjoyed the Wheel of Time and am looking forward to the Lord of the Rings show but I only go to Prime when looking for a specific show, I rarely to just browse it for something new. My personal viewing habits aside, Amazon does seem to be focusing on Prime more so I see it being on the upswing, especially since Prime really includes multiple services.

Apple TV+. I don't pay for it and have very little awareness of what's on it, I just sign up for a free trial membership to watch the few shows I want. That said For All Mankind and Severance are amazing shows and I enjoyed Foundation's first season. At this point they really have nowhere to go but up; they have a limited back catalog and tons of money to spend.

Disney+. Disney is a huge company with a giant back catalog and has all of the Marvel and Star Wars stuff (I assume there is other original content but I'm not aware of it). I assume they will be, if they aren't already, the largest streaming service. Even if people get tired of Marvel and Star Wars, if there is child in the house then this is probably a must have. Luckily, it's free with my Verizon cellular plan.

HBO Max. Never paid for it (I'm only willing to pay for a couple services) so I'm also not really aware of what was on it other than some DC stuff I would like to watch more of (Young Justice, Titans and Doom Patrol). That said, the new ownership has made it pretty clear they are killing off scripted programming for it so unless they are ensuring HBO still has quality programming and using the Discovery+/HBO Max app to watch it with this service is on the decline.

Hulu. After Netflix it's the second most likely place for me to browse for new content but Disney seems to have no idea what to do with it. I assume it will be shuttered once Comcast is bought out. Too bad, I remember when Hulu was free and had tons of content from several networks. Like Disney+, it's also free with my cellular plan.

Paramount+ I'm rating it steady only because I have no idea what the draw is outside of Star Trek but my mom seems to watch a lot of it. I know they have a big back catalog, but Star Trek can't sustain them forever.

Peacock. What? Is that still a thing?

Edited to add Shudder. It seems like this service is doing ok for a small niche streaming service. I've been considering signing up for it
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Yeah ... I hate to break the news to you, but here are two of the ideas that the new brain trust (and I use the term sarcastically, since I do believe that they actually say "LIGHT BULB!!!!!" when they have ideas) has:

1. Cut the animation. Because animation is for kids, and boys. And it's not like the WB animation people have every made anything good that anyone likes.
I'm still hoping that he was just giving the high level executive summary for idiot investors because even after nearly 50 years on this planet I hold out some hope that high level executives are not as ignorant of their own companies as they always seem to be when they're out there doing their trained monkey dance for the Wall Street crowd.

What can I say? I guess I'm an incurable optimist. Like Charlie Brown and that football...

2. Switch Cartoon Network to live-action. Because that's never been tried before ... and is sure to be a success!

I just ... I really can't. It is rare that someone manages to come up with so many bad ideas so quickly. The literally said that they have three franchises ... Harry Potter, the DC Superheroes .... and the "NINETY DAY FIANCEE UNIVERSE."
And the thing is - the DC superhero stuff plays really well animated if you can get it in front of the audience for it. My 14 year old devoured Young Justice and is now working their way through the back catalog of DC animated series.

The thing I worry about is that the fool thinks that the DC Universe is some kind of premium brand to make big budget movies around and otherwise it should be put into a vault and locked away where nobody can do any damage to it. That's just so stupid and completely misunderstands both what makes superhero characters and narratives work for people and how Disney has been successful at it (let's just say that Disney+ has a ton of animated Marvel content on it that my 14 year old is also devouring).

I'm just waiting for them to say, "After reviewing everything, we've decided to pivot HBO to blockchain technology. And become more NFT-forward."
I put the laugh emoji on your post because there's no "I have to laugh or else I'll cry" emoji.

I do think that the AT&T regime was kind of dumb in taking HBO and moving it from being the "premium brand" and into it being their dumping ground for everything they make. They should have come up with a different brand for their streaming service. But his proposed solution to that misstep just sound so dumb that I have to believe that they're after-the-fact justifications for ways to try to save money to try to quickly recover the money they spent on Warner buying it from AT&T (which, BTW, is what I suspect really drove all of the cancellations they did the other week - the fact that they could save 3/4 of a billion dollars in tax write-offs by cancelling the work instead of finishing it. A scramble to find as much money as they could make in as short a time possible rather than any actual judgment of its creative merit).


He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
Peacock. What? Is that still a thing?
It is, and mostly the offerings are entirely forgettable. Though, they are pushing more and more theatrical releases to it. Right now Peacock has Northman, Ambulance, and Cop Shop. Riveting, I know.

I popped on Ambulance over the weekend and Michael Bay has out done himself. He name drops at least four or five of his own movies within this movie.

Northman was average. If the Viking stories of raiding villages and killing each other sounds about feature picture length worthy to you, see Northman. If you cant get enough of this stuff, go with Vikings instead and all its many seasons and now spin off.

Cop Shop turned out to be a pretty decent contemporary noir film. Clearly influenced by Assault on Precinct 13 this film sits back, doesn't take it self too seriously, and is filled with outlandish characters. Worthy of the 90 min run time.


Peacock. What? Is that still a thing?
Hey now. I will not stand for this badmouthing of the one streaming service that is keeping both Murder She Wrote and Columbo available to those of us who were old before we got old.

(I do seriously keep the Peacock app installed on my Roku for those two shows, as well as Psych and Monk. It's a real wasteland on TV for folks who want American mystery shows that aren't Law and Order or CSI and almost all of them are old and on Peacock. At least we have Only Murders in the Building for now, otherwise I have to go off and find British shows to watch)


He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
Hey now. I will not stand for this badmouthing of the one streaming service that is keeping both Murder She Wrote and Columbo available to those of us who were old before we got old.

(I do seriously keep the Peacock app installed on my Roku for those two shows, as well as Psych and Monk. It's a real wasteland on TV for folks who want American mystery shows that aren't Law and Order or CSI and almost all of them are old and on Peacock. At least we have Only Murders in the Building for now, otherwise I have to go off and find British shows to watch)
university memory GIF


The streaming marketplace is somewhat different in the UK.

I'm currently subscribed to three. Of these, Disney+ is far and away the best, for all the reasons previously mentioned. Then Prime, though that is mostly an adjunct to all the other benefits (it does seem to be getting better, but we still don't watch much on it). And Netflix was great, but is painfully diminished - there's a good chance we'll drop that in favour of either Paramount+ or NOW (which has HBO built in) for at least a few months.


I'm in the US. Right now I have Prime. It's unlikely that I'd get rid of it as the ancillary benefits are (for me) too valuable. I also have the BritBox add-on so my mom can watch her British mysteries. I also have the Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+ bundle. Mainly, this is for Disney+. I use ESPN+ more than Hulu. I think the last time I used Hulu was when they were showing the Face Off competition reality show which I enjoyed. I had Netflix for a very long time but when it got to the point that I wasn't even logging in every month, I just dropped it. Occassionaly, I'll get the desire to watch some anime and I'll pull up a 1-month subscription to Crunchyroll or The Anime Network, but it's rare that I hand onto it for more than a month or two.

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