Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Streaming Video Power Rankings: Week 7

1) Hulu Plus: You knew it would take a big week for Hulu to get the top spot in a week in which GRACE AND FRANKIE returned, but the announcement that Hulu will get the Ron Howard Beatles documentary did it. The Hulu Documentaries line seems to be a nice step towards bolstering Plus after the Criterion Collection leaves in the fall. Plus Hulu is putting together some kind of cord-cutter-friendly live TV package. Overall, a positive week, indeed.

2) Netflix: After much dismay over "Scrubs" leaving in early May..."Scrubs" returned. Hey, that's good when a long-running series like that is renewed. Now how about "MASH," "Leave It to Beaver," "Magnum PI," "Quincy"....

Oh, but "Grace and Frankie" is back. How we can stay mad at you, Netflix?

3) Amazon Prime: Well, Amazon has been making a lot of noise lately, but as far as its main Prime Video service, not much going on apart from a bunch of martial arts movies (which may be great, but I have no idea), a lot of short-ish clips that look like they belong on free YouTube channels, and "Hot Pursuit," which is also on Hulu (and which, God forbid, I may watch at some point just because of Sofia Vergara). None of these new adds are "Grace and Frankie."

4) Shout Factory TV: Usually Shout adds new content the first day of the month, but it surprised me by sprinkling in some movies in its VHS Vault line, including "Streetwalkin'" with a young Melissa Leo--not even "Streetwalking," mind you, but "Stretwalkin'." After a good binge of "Grace and Frankie," enjoy some 80s/90s shlock on this service.

4) YouTube: Do you know anyone who subscribes to YouTube Red? Neither do I. Until it gets that big "Grace and Frankie" kind of hit, it will struggle for buzz. In the meantime, I am rather enjoying my journey through a short-lived series I won't mention yet because it's uploaded by an individual and not the rights holder and I am paranoid it will be removed.

5) Seeso: The technical issues are getting much better, and I expect to explore this one much more in coming weeks.

6) MLB.TV: Sent me a pretty great offer for being a "free game of the day" watcher. I'll  probably remain a cheapskate for now, but I appreciated the deal.

7) Pub-D-Hub: It added about 3 or 4 things I want to see this week, including a cheesy British sci-fi movie with Rod Cameron. Hey, that's how they roll at Pub-D-Hub.

8) My Retro Flix: A free Roku channel that somehow adds some interesting major titles to a mix of public domain movies. Check this out because the number of classic movies way exceeds, say, Netflix. Not sure if this is on the up and up, actually.

9) Pluto TV: I just discovered this oddball assortment of live stream "channels" with ads. There are some great options, like the Shout channels (one shows Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes all day), and another one shows a ton of "Route 66." The thing about this is the website offers tons more channels, and a lot of the good ones aren't available on the Roku version.

10) CON TV: This outfit sent me an intriguing offer to "go VIP" at a discount, but there isn't really that much on there I want to pay to see. They need to give more than a reality series about a former Power Ranger (that seems to be the flagship series).

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