Saturday, December 3, 2016

Streaming Video Power Rankings: Week 36 (special post-Thanksgiving edition)

What's so special about this post-Thankgiving edition? Well, it was Thanksgiving, and now it isn't. That's pretty special, isn't it?

1) Netflix: Another big week for the industry leader, which seems to get credit even when it's being a follower. Example: the rapturous response to the announcement subscribers could download material for offline viewing. Would Netflix have done this if Amazon hadn't offered the option? Well, either way, it's value added for customers.

Me, I'm more concerned with what there IS to see, not how to see it (as long as it's on my Roku), and the December 1 content drop wasn't impressive, but there was a new Leonard Nimoy documentary, a movie called Ghost Team that appears semi-newish, some new cartoon called Pacific Heat (Archer ripoff?), The Angry Birds Movie, and The Jungle Book, which Netflix can point to and say, "See? We DO get big movies!"

I'm still not watching Gilmore Girls, but that is a huge hit for Netflix. I think the only reason less people are talking about it right now is because everyone burned through it the first weekend.

2) PIX11: Remember last week when I said it might be the first and last week this channel from New York's channel 11 was on the chart? Once again I must quote the Fonz and say I was wr...I was wr....I was wr...

Much to my surprise, this new Roku  channel IS adding archive content. In the past few days, it debuted clips of the Yule Log tradition, old promos, some Yankee baseball clips, and best of all, a documentary about the classic Henry Tilllman promo campaign. If you know who Henry Tillman is, you need to add and watch this channel right now. As for me, yeah, #2 might sound high, but just wait and see how high I rank this after I get a chance to watch all these clips.

3) Pub-D-Hub: Debuted its annual Christmas section this past week, chock  full of old cartoons, TV shows, movies, and even Old-Time Radio shows suitable for the season. I think all of it is was on last year, but even if nothing new appears, it's great to see it in one place like this.

4) Hulu: Every few months, Hulu adds a whole mess of original Dark Shadows episodes out of nowhere. Hulu also gives us a bunch of James Bond movies (they weren't all already on there? They rotate all over the place, it seems like), some British shows, and The Shield  (wait, THAT wasn't already on there?), so it was a welcome up week for the service ahead of its premiere of new original series Shuteye  next week. All the Friday the 13th films aren't quite enough to make up for all those Criterions that left last month, though.

5) Days of Dumont: My favorite obscure Roku channel brought more Dumont Network goodness just after the holiday. The School House episode alone merits a high ranking. What's not to like about a variety show set in a classroom setting and starring Wally Cox and Arnold Stang with Kenny Delmar as the teacher?

6) YouTube: Got my music fix off YT this week. Why is it so many of the official videos have garbage sound quality while the unofficial ones are the ones with the great sound quality? You'd think the record companies don't want us to enjoy free music on You--oh.

7) Shout! Factory TV: Added MDA telethon compilations dedicated to magicians and ventriloquists, plus a pair of Xmas specials of the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.   Only problem, is, not all of  this has reached the Roku yet. watch for a big leap for Shout! when it does.

8) The CW: So Legends of Tomorrow did a Civil War/Zombies episode? That show is just letting it all hang out this season.

9) TubiTV: Don't ask me why I decided to watch the pilot of Love & War this week, but I did, and the commercial load wasn't totally obnoxious, and the streaming was as smooth as the earthy charm of Jay Thomas was rough. Tubi added a bunch of movies this month, including many holiday titles, so it's worth a look.

10) Warner Archive Instant: I severed my ties with this SVOD after my free trial expired, but there is potential here. If you  look around, they are offering a discounted month, too, so that gives them one more week in the top 10 even without adding anything.


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