Saturday, March 4, 2017

Streaming Video Power Rankings: Week 49 (Special, hey, next week is #50! edition)

1) Hulu: I am seeing good reviews, if relatively low buzz, for new original series National Treasure with the great Robbie Coltrane. Plus I am still enjoying commercial-free Golden Girls. My favorite Hulu thing this week, though, was being able to see The Oscars after the fact with a hand poised on the fast-forward button! By the way, you can see the Oscar-winning O.J. documentary here, too.

2) Amazon Prime: Slow going for new material, but let's give them credit for the awards won by Manchester in the Sea. That's a pretty big deal. Unfortunately, I think people are gonna be disappointed when they find out it isn't actually on Amazon until  May 5.

3) Netflix: The March 1 adds weren't so great, though props are in order for popular movies like Blazing Saddles and This is Spinal Tap. This week, Netflix seemingly dropped about a hundred teases and trailers, though--a clever way to keep people excited.

I did enjoy some sitcom watching on Netflix, though, and it DID win an Oscar, too, so it was a solid week even if it was upstaged a but by Amazon. You have to give them credit for cranking out all this hype, though. I'm really looking forward to Five Came Back, a docuseries based on Mark harris' book about Hollywood and World War II, and I'm stunned by the news that Netflix plans to stream the vintage documentaries referenced in the series. Actual old movies coming to Netflix! Amazing! (So where is the original One Day at a Time?)

4) YouTube: The new YouTube TV service looks fairly impressive. More importantly, when I read that Judge Wapner had died, it took about a minute to find this great clip with Wapner, Johnny, and Dave.

5) Warner Archive Instant: That's right, they got me back! WAI still has many issues, but I said I would consider re-upping if they added more Dr. Kildare, and whaddya know, seasons 3, 4, and 5 are finally available, and there are lots of deals if you look around. I look forward to a month of Kildare.

6) Shout! Factory TV: The March add list disappointed me, but I enjoyed Bob Newhart and Johnny Cash on Glen Campbell and Paul Newman on Dick Cavett. Dadgummit, it's pretty tough for Newman to NOT be charming.

7) TubiTV: Some interesting new titles arrive in March, and I am intrigued by Pop Quest with Mark Hamill, in which the star interviews people about their collecting passions. Oh, and his co-host is a puppet. Hamill is an engaging and accessible host, and the first episode has glimpses of all sorts of cool stuff at DC Comics' corporate offices. I believe this 2016 series aired originally on Comic Con's paid streaming service. My only complaint is that there are only 4 short episodes.

8) The CW: The "continue watching" feature started working again for me, which makes it easier to catch up on Legends of Tomorrow.

9) Pizza Flix: I was skeptical that this service would add new movies and TV every week like it promised, but lo and behold, the free channel is indeed doing so--well, not so much on the TV, but movies, yeah. The likes of Caltiki the Immortal Monster are new right now.

10) Highspots TV: This pro wrestling on demand service is often overshadowed by WWE Network and now even FloSlam, but it did a classy thing by offering an Ivan Koloff documentary for free after the all-time great's death last week.

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