Saturday, December 31, 2016

Streaming Video Power Rankings: Week 40 (Special Happy New Year Edition)

As we approach a new year, we approach a full year of doing this every week. Well, we still have about 3 months to go, but 40 sounds close to 52, right? I'd like to thank all of you who read the blog in 2016 and made these power ranking posts the most popular ones on the site almost every single week. Happy New Year, and I will see you in 2017!

1) Hulu: I'm irritated that Miami Vice is leaving. I still don't see any real buzz for Chance and Shut Eye. OK, now for the good stuff: Hulu is adding more Disney catalog movies, and there is a chance that come this time next week, it will have more high-profile Disney classics than Netflix.

Furthermore, the entire series of Blackish is now on Hulu, and recent docuseries Soundbreaking is another nice add. Hulu deserves the top spot as we head into 2017.

2) YouTube: Ah, the joy of finding a new channel run by an uploader who has a big collection of goofy old TV he is willing to share. It's like opening a package on Christmas Day...with the difference being you're afraid that at any minute Santa could come back down the chimney and take it back.

3) PIX11: Besides the great Magic Garden episode uploaded last weekend, PIX11 also offered a contemporary look back at 1984, which I consider the most 1980s of all years. Also added: a 1987 news story on the death of Jackie Gleason. Hey, I enjoyed watching it, but at this point, do we really need to dig into the archives for MORE celebrity deaths?

4) Shout! Factory TV: I'm still loving the Dick Cavett shows and the Best of the MDA compilations, but it's time again for my regular plea to Shout! to add just one more classic series next month.

5) Amazon Prime: Just added the acclaimed Gleason doc about ex-NFL'er Steve Gleason and his battle with ALS. I have been enjoying Yancy Derringer this week.

6) Netflix: I won't deny it: I have beef with Netflix. The positive way of spinning it is, hey, I had a great time watching all the Columbos and 30 for 30s I saw the past few weeks. Here's the realistic way of looking at it: It sucks that I had to cram as many as I could into a two-week period because Netflix is losing them.

Sometimes Netflix doesn't have any choice in the matter, and I won't be surprised if we see Universal SyFy and Sleuth SVOD channels with a lot of the content that is disappearing from Netflix at the end of the month. The fact remains that Netflix is amping up its original content at the expense of its catalog material, and while the original programs draw the most eyeballs pound for pound, the broad array of library content is why many if not most of us signed up in the first place. The shrinking catalog is a big concern.

That said, let's face it: Netflix still offers good value for its price as long as you aren't looking for something made before this century, and I did enjoy Columbo, which, to be fair, had a nice long run. It wasn't a great week for the standard bearer of SVOD, though.

7) Days of Dumont: I'd love to see some more content added, but it's not like there is a ton of unseen Dumont sitting around on tape. In the meantime, I enjoyed the roller derby and an episode of Follow That Man.

8) The CW: I appreciate the channel making the Heroes vs. Aliens invasion crossover available in one easy-to-access section, but, boy, as a big event, it was a dud.

9) TuneIn: Farewell, Christmas stations. Welcome back (to my rotation), Alan Haber's Power Pop.

10) Crackle: It makes the top 10 because I opened it one day and saw, much to my surprise, there was nothing on auto-play! I was so stunned that I forgot why I had opened Crackle in the first place. I ended up seeing an episode of That's My Mama.

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