Saturday, September 17, 2016

Streaming Video Power Rankings: Week 25

25 is a nice milestone number. To commemorate it, I am considering starting a weekly power ranking of weekly power rankings. Until then, let's take a look at the latest top 10:

1) Hulu: A mere one week after I say Netflix is pretty much default number one, Hulu gets the top spot/ What happened? The Beatles happened, that's what. Much respect to Hulu for debuting the brand-new Ron Howard documentary "Eight Days a Week" this weekend.  I haven't seen it yet, but just the fact that it IS excites me.

I have made no secret of  the lackluster state of Hulu in recent weeks, but I made an effort this week to check out some of the older shows I hadn't watched for a while.  Plus new fall TV is starting to show up, and it's just nice to be able to catch the new "South Park" the next day. This is a good time for Hulu Appreciation Week.

2) Netflix: And yet Netflix has another big week news-wise, what with announcing original series, acquiring movies, getting sued by 20th Century Fox...OK, so it wasn't all good, but I did check out a movie on Netflix this week. The bad news is, I watched it because it was set to expire this weekend--another reminder of the aggravation of constant catalog churn.

3) YouTube: I would gladly make this deal with YT, and you can tell me if you're with me: Anything post-2000 could be removed and never allowed on there. In exchange, YT and various rights holders agree not to remove anything PRE-2000 once it us uploaded.

4) WWE Network: Indulge me one more week, non-fans: Current WWE is a lot of crap, but it just finished an acclaimed run of the network-exclusive "Cruiserweight Classic" tournament, and people who watched raved about it, so let's give it a good ranking for one more week. It continues to tempt me to re-up.

5) Pub-D-Hub: Two reminders:1) I rate the Gold version, which costs a few bucks a year, so while I think of it as "free," it really isn't.  2) It does not have ad breaks. The other day, I was checking out one of the myriad Roku channels that offers public domain content and found an interesting movie. Then I remembered, hey, that might be on Pub-D-Hub. So the choice is to watch it on this other channel with frequent interruption or watch it on Pub-D-Hub without.

6) Watch TCM: Some of what you could have watched here last week: Casablanca, the Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,Wheeler and Woolsey, and Attack of the 50-Foot Woman. It's why I keep violating my informal "don't rank things that require authentication and aren't on Roku" rule with this one.

7) MLB.TV: I'm not taking out the Pirates' losses on MLB TV, as I said last week. Hey, this week I got to see a near no-hitter end in spectacular fashion as well as action from a couple Yankees/Red Sox games.  You know, 'cause you NEVER see the Yankees/Red Sox on regular TV.

8) Shout! Factory TV: As I did with Hulu, I stopped worrying about new adds and went aback and enjoyed something that's been on for a while: "Dobie Gillis."

9) MyRetroFlix: Added a few new titles, but, man, I watched an old episode of "This Is Your Life" (a young--no, really young at the time--Dick Clark), and the commercial load was almost soul-crushing: Several minutes before the program began, then multiple ad breaks throughout.

10) Crackle: I half-heartedly give Crackle credit for debuting a new series with Martin Freeman  ("Start Up"), but it's been a slow month, and today the website isn't even loading for me.

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