Saturday, February 4, 2017

Streaming Video Power Rankings Week 45 (Special "It's not the Big Game, it's the SUPER BOWL" edition)

While we all sit down to watch commercials on Sunday, let's remember that one of the reasons we fled to streaming video was to flee all the ads on broadcast and cable television.

1) Netflix: Just on additions alone, Netflix is standing tall this week: A new Drew Barrymore series, Finding Dory, The People vs. O.J. Simpson... An intriguing new title is Pioneers of African-American Cinema, a version of the DVD release from Kino spotlighting all sorts of films, including genre efforts and short subjects, from the 1920s to the 1950s. Given the steady decline of archival material on Netflix, this is a welcome surprise.

2) YouTube: It's nice for a grieving Steelers fan to discover someone has uploaded random 1980s game broadcasts this week. Combine one of those with some great 1970s/80s promos and commercials from various channels, and I might have my alternative "Big Game" celebration. By the way, it detracts from the game experience, perhaps, but it's nice to be able to see all the Super Bowl ads here before the game. That way, we can just grab food during the breaks in the game, the way the Lord intended.

3) Amazon Prime: The footage of Joe Frazier singing "Proud Mary" at the beginning of his Greatest Sports Legends episode was almost enough to justify my Prime fee this month. Yet I also enjoyed The Man in the High Castle, and while I did not enjoy Woody Allen's Crisis in Six Scenes, it was my own fault for watching all 6 episodes. I am saying farewell to Prime after this weekend, so it may not place as high for a while, but the arrow is up on this one overall.

4) Hulu: These guys have to be disappointed at the lack of talk about Chance and Shut Eye, right? However, Hulu is making a big push for upcoming A Handmaid's Tale, including a Super Bowl commercial.

5) Shout! Factory TV: Another routine update--a little Jerry Lewis, a little Cavett, a little MST3K--but it remains free, like I say just about each week. Plus this week I enjoyed a show with Cavett interviewing Ted, er, ah, Kennedy.

6) Pub-D-Hub: This week, the Pub added a few episodes of series that I don't see floating around as much: The Americans (a young Robert Culp in this one) and Michael Shayne

7) TuneIn: I heard way more Air Supply this week than any man should in a short period of time. I won't tell you how many songs that is and if it's more than 1.

8) PBS: Quietly offers a solid experience, adding shows shortly after air, then giving you a few weeks to watch them before yanking them or moving them behind their paywall. I enjoyed two solid documentaries this week. Only quibble: The continue watching function doesn't work for me anymore.

9) TubiTV: Another quirky (Quigley Down Under) batch of additions for February, including True Confessions, a movie I think I have intended to watch on 3 different SVODs and probably 4 different times on Netflix alone. Maybe this time I'll actually see it!

10) The CW: My superhero shows are back, and I'm already hopelessly behind again. I will be watching a lot of CW once I lose Prime.

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