Saturday, November 5, 2016

Streaming Video Power Rankings: Week 32

The only thing scarier than some of what I saw on Halloween would be another Netflix price increase. Fortunately that didn't happen this week. We DID see a host of new titles arrive with the first of the month.

1) Netflix: This week's first-of-the month update was lame, but that is standard procedure these days. The thing is, even with a weak catalog drop, there is so much else going on that Netflix still gets the top spot.

For one thing, the mega-expensive original series The Crown dropped this weekend. Is it any good? I have no idea (though the reviews I saw were positive), but did I mention it's mega-expensive? Anything with that kind of production cost MUST be good, right? Gee, 140 million. That could have bought another few years of Quincy and Leave It to Beaver, I'd bet.

Other new premieres include a Dana Carvey special, some documentary action--Really this week seemed like something for everyone. Today a smattering of Disney movies "premiered," but this isn't a big deal because they were on Netflix before and never should have been removed in the first place.

2) Hulu: The only good thing about this interminable election season is the fact that new Triumph the Insult Comic Dog specials keep popping up and surprising me. Also, a lot of kid/tween movies showed up lately from both Nickelodeon AND Disney (insert my usual remark about the odd nature of that Disney/Netflix deal). All this plus ongoing fall TV, some MTV Networks series added, and a decent selection of catalog titles arriving at the beginning of the month.

3) Shout! Factory TV: The monthly update is in a real rut: Dick Cavett episodes, two MST3K movies, a new addition to the Backlot series of extras culled from Shout! DVD releases, maybe a random special (this month, another one from the makers of last month's Witch's Night Out), and maybe an update to a variety series (this month, an addition to the Jerry Lewis telethon compilation category). Where are the movies and the old sitcoms?

That said, I had a blast watching a few things on Shout!, one of which I may write about more soon. Stay tuned. And unlike Shout!, I won't make you sit through 3 minutes of ads!

4) Pub-D-Hub: A nice final Halloween weekend, with radio shows, TV episodes, movies, and more tied into the season, elevated Pub-D-Hub this week even though I didn't get to watch anything on it.

5) YouTube: I had a great viewing week on here, catching several rarities, but then I noticed YT yanked several channels I subscribed to, including one on which I was in the middle of something. Boo! I have to admit, I figured the uploader was toast when he put up a whole batch, I'd rather not say. The moral is: If you see something you want to watch, watch it.

6) The CW: I am trying to catch up on several series at once, and I really appreciate the CW channel, but unlike when I first tried this, it's not resuming videos where I left off, and that I do NOT appreciate.

7) Tubi TV: Respectable assortment of titles added to this free service this month, but I am mostly happy I got to see the two 1980s animated Blondie specials. Seriously, folks, dig around here a while and you find all kinds of goofy stuff.

8) Amazon Prime: I forgot to mention new original series Good Girls Revolt last week, mainly because I knew nothing about it.

I still don't. but it's there!

So is The Night Manager, which kind of irritates me because I wanted to see it, and I hoped it would go to Netflix or Hulu.

9) Warner Archive Instant: In my free trial of the beta (It IS still beta, right? Even though they are taking paid customers?) relaunch, I find there is great content, but not enough of it, website functionality isn't there yet (Where is a newly added section?), and the buffering is often maddening. I still rank it because where else are you gonna stream Dr. Kildare and The George Raft Story?  I really, really hope they start putting more new-to-streaming movies in the mix soon, or no one's gonna be paying for more than a month at a time of this.

10) Filmstruck: Hey, it debuted! I have to say, it looks great for what it is. Perhaps after my free trial of WAI ends, I will look at this one. For now, the 6.99 version looks pretty good, and I imagine the 10.99 one will make a lot of people happy. Let's just hope its makers don't abandon it the way they did WAI.

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