Saturday, September 3, 2016

Streaming Video Power Rankings: Week 23

As Earth Wind and Fire sang, "September..." Uh, I don't actually remember any of the other words to that song. It is a new month, though, and that means new content for many streaming sites.

1) Netflix: Even though the big monthly catalog drop is a thing of the past, you usually get a few interesting nuggets--the "Jaws" movies and "Saving Private Ryan" are examples this month--but this is still the kind of week that reminds you why Netflix is top dog: It's spending a ton of money and has no problem getting people to hype it.

This week brings season 2 of "Narcos," more teaser footage for "Luke Cage," and an official announcement "Stranger Things" is coming. Plus a new Christopher Guest film is scheduled for next month. It is kind of weird that "Everybody Loves Raymond" leaves (was this another short licensing deal like "MASH"?) and that a mere weeks after trumpeting the presence of all Albert Brooks' films, "Defending Your Life" is already gone, but Netflix generates so much buzz with all its news that I think most people forget (or get over) that sort of thing.

Really, though, I just wasted a lot of words because as soon as I read that Alison Brie was attached to the upcoming GLOW series, I knew Netflix was gonna be number 1. God help the other streaming services' chances when this show actually debuts.

2) YouTube: I had about 3 moments this week of, "Hey, I wonder if that's on YouT--Cool! It is!"

3) MLB TV: On one hand, I saw a lot of exciting, close baseball. OTOH, the Pirates lost 4 games in a row.

4) Shout! Factory TV: My first thought was to chide Shout! for adding nothing this year apart from Dick Cavett and "Mystery Science Theater." Then I thought, hey, those are good things to add, and besides, Shout! is not removing other content (that I have noticed).  Sometimes you have to give the free services a little slack.

5) Hulu: Very little of interest in the September 1 movie drop--mostly the same modern MGM movies being rotated through all the streaming services.

6) Pub-D-Hub: Don't sleep on a channel that uploads a "Richard Diamond" and a "I Led Three Lives" in the same update.

7) Dumont Days: I said I'd watch more of this channel this week, and by Philo, I did. "Rocky King, Detective" is no Martin Kane, but I'm glad to give this a spot for another week.

8) SeeSo: Still under the radar, this second-tier service quietly keeps adding original content like standup exclusives and a series called "Take My Wife" that has generated some positive attention.

9) WWE Network: After a big SummerSlam, an even better-received NXT Takeover, and increasing buzz for its weekly Cruiserweight series, one might think WWE Network has some momentum, but what really makes me think about re-upping is all the 1988 and 1989 NWA/WCW it's adding.

(EDIT: After I posted this, WWE circulated a list of "Hidden Gems" coming to the Network Tuesday, one of which is a Holy Grail match long thought never taped. Gonna be a huge deal if it's legit)

10) Crackle: The more you use Crackle, the more its flaws become apparent. It takes longer to load than anything else on my Roku, the ads are aggravating, and it's unpredictable (The list of shows leaving Crackle in September that has circulated includes several shows that aren't even on Crackle right now, like "Hart to Hart" and "My Two Dads").

The main reason this is sliding out of the top 10, though, is one I hate to admit: After the first couple episodes, "Grady" ain't that great, and "Fantasy Island" is dull without better guest stars. Give me a Bert Convy guest shot in October, Crackle.

No comments: