Friday, July 1, 2016
Streaming Video Power Rankings: Week 14
A little late again this week to cover July 1 adds, so in the words of Arsenio Hall (where's his Netflix project?) let's get busy!
1) Netflix: We all hate the price increase, but this was an exciting week for Netflix: "Orange Is the New Black" is still in the consciousness, "Marco Polo" returned today, the trailers for the upcoming "Stranger Things" look interesting, hype is generating for "Luke Cage," and catalog titles appearing include the "Lethal Weapon" movies, the "Back to the Future" trilogy, and "Mean Girls." Yeah, those have been around a while, but I guarantee you America is going to stream the hell out of "Back to the Future" this weekend.
It also unveiled a short promo clip with Albert Brooks announcing his movies were coming to Netflix. Now, on one hand, there are only 7 of them--not a huge treasure trove of material, and several of them aren't great--but still, it's Albert Brooks. Wouldn't it be great if Netflix threw a pile of money at HIM and let him do something new?
The announcement of a "Lost in Space" reboot? Eh, that could go either way. I have no quarrel with that. It would be an interesting sign if Netflix got the original series (already on Hulu).
2) Shout Factory TV: One of the best new content drops in recent memory: "The Decline of Western Civilization" trilogy, a batch of vintage Cavett shows with the theme of "baseball," and, yes, those Glen Campbell Goodtime Hours I was looking for are here--and there are a bunch of them. Plius "Black Omnibus" is back and with (I think) more episodes. It's all free, too. Great week and looks like a great month for this one.
3) Hulu: I have yet to explore this new "Watchlist" feature Hulu is touting, but it sounds like a good idea to me. Hulu is announcing more and more original series, some of which might be intriguing, but not abandoning its bread and butter--off-network reruns and older programming. I love that season 5 of "Family Affair" just premiered.
But WHERE is that ESPN OJ documentary? Don't make me watch it on demand, Hulu!
4) YouTube: I finally got to see an episode of short-lived disco sitcom "Makin' It" because of some generous uploader. Life is good.
5) Highspots TV: Final shout to this quality service which gave me great value for my free trial. Believe it or not, some channels aren't even worth free, so that's not a meaningless statement. This week I enjoyed a documentary and a batch of St. Louis wrestling, plus someone gave me great customer service when I asked a question. When my budget allows, I will check out this service again, and I recommend fans of classic pro wrestling, current indie wrestling, or shoot interviews check this out.
6) HBO Now: I should have ranked NOW (the standalone) instead of GO (the add-on for cable subscribers) last week. I don't think I will rank it all next week. After the "Thrones," "Veep," and "Silicon Valley" finales, it might be quiet for a bit.
7) Pub-D-Hub: Added some interesting films, and you can't sneeze at "Eddie Fisher's Coke Time," though too much "Coke Time" might give you the sniffles.
8) Warner Archive Instant: Oh, how frustrating this outfit is. I had several technical issues that prevented service at different times, and I heard nothing from customer service. It's unreal how half-assed WAI is sometimes. Yet how can I not rank a channel that gives me Neville Brand on "The Lieutenant" and Murray Hamilton (Well, he's not exactly the draw, but it's an interesting episode) on "Dr. Kildare"?
9) Dailymotion: The Roku channel is lame, but at least it's there as an alternative when you're looking for things that have been yanked from YouTube.
10) WWE Network: Completed uploading the entire run of "Monday Nitro" and is generally offering more content than last year. I'm still waiting for 1970s and 1980s material, but maybe that will come later. This will surely drop out of the rankings next week.