Saturday, January 7, 2017

Streaming Video Power Rankings: Week 41 (Special Is It Too Late to Still Say Happy New Year? Edition)

I'm just getting back into the groove of watching streaming video instead of party-heartying, being festive, and traveling, but don't worry. I always have plenty to complain about with regards to TV even when I am not watching a lot of TV.

1) Hulu: Good week for Hulu, which added the Indiana Jones movies (a nice surprise since no one had expected that) and got back in my good graces by re-adding Miami Vice after a few days. Of course, Hulu being Hulu, the fifth season is inexplicably missing--what does Hulu have against complete series?--but let's look at the positives.

Also, Hulu announced its pending "we don't suck as much as your cable company--honest" live TV package will include CBS, which is a fairly big deal. I still don't know of anyone who is actually watching Hulu originals Chance or Shut Eye, but network TV is coming back and that's still the bread and butter of this service, so it deserves the top spot again.

2) Netflix: Many would rate Netflix numero uno in a week in which it premieres a ton of kids programming and gets some buzz for its One Day at a Time reboot. But I am still stinging over the loss of hundreds of hours of classic TV in January. Also, where is the original One Day at a Time? The fact that Netflix (I assume) didn't bother to add the original to debut alongside the new version is another indication of how little it cares about catalog programming as its library shrinks each month.

However, the Chris Reeve Superman movies and some token but legit classics (The Day the Earth Stood Still) showed up as part of the January 1 drop, so it's not all bad!

3) YouTube: My favorite thing I watched on here this week? During a 1987 episode of AWA Championship Wrestling, a list of birthday wishes appeared on screen after the instant replay of a match finish. At the bottom of the list of otherwise nondescript names was "Oliver North" and "Jack O. Lantern"

4) Amazon Prime: Prime got some of the same movies Hulu did, including the Indiana Jones flicks. As for the rest, well, I'm not gonna blame Prime for me deciding it would be a good idea to watch an old TV pilot of Hacksaw Jim Duggan presiding over Bikers' Court.

5) Days of Dumont: I dislike the new category that looks like a new category but is actually a prompt to sign up for another Roku channel. However, the proprietors added a bunch of new episodes of the likes of Front Page Detective, Ellery Queen, and more. With its regular updates, this channel was the biggest and most pleasant surprise of 2016.

6) PIX11: New this week: vintage news clips of Menudo, 1979 raw footage of buses in the streets of New York City (?), and a January 1, 1980 newscast. In the latter, I particularly enjoyed the musical montage looking back at the 1970s, but I think they could have muted the disco soundtrack during the footage of natural disasters, fires, and airplane crashes.

7) NBC: I just discovered that this free (requiring authentication, though) Roku channel has a "Throwback" section featuring Miami Vice (including that fifth season!) and Battlestar Galactica among others. No muss, no fuss, no $4.99 a month (cough CBS cough). Well done.

8) Acorn TV: I wonder about the future of Acorn given the upcoming BBC/itv "BritBox" project, but it looks like a strong month ahead, with several exclusives, an original adaptation of Witness for the Prosecution, and a 1980s sketch comedy series.

9) SeeSo: The comedy SVOD is unveiling new standup specials (of course) and also introducing some old series this month. I have to give props for adding Rik Mayall and Viv Edmonson in Bottom.

10) Pub-D-Hub: An unspectacular update last weekend, but it's good Pub-D-Hub has returned from its holiday break. I'm hoping for a nice, fat content drop tomorrow.

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