Saturday, March 18, 2017

Streaming Video Power Rankings: Week 51 (Special, hey, some of us had to work and didn't get to take advantage of the crummy weather edition)

1) PIX11: The 40th Anniversary Special was real, and it was spectacular. Tony Randall hosted a warm look back, focusing on the original programming of the New York station. Oh, yeah, and he did an embarrassing rap song near the end. Plus PIX posted an original newscast from the blizzard of 1993 (that was the good old days when they didn't name snowstorms). I'd love to see more of the big legacy stations from around the country make interesting Roku channels and use their archives like this.

2) Netflix: Just misses the top spot with an impressive list of things that interest me (and really, isn't that the bottom line): Lucha Underground, Mystery Science Theater, The BFG, Pete's Dragon, and Iron Fist. Plus, friends, I may have become a little misty-eyed when watching an episode of Friends this week. Even the disastrous reviews of the new Amy Schumer special (seriously, I think 5 sites ran articles just to point out how bad user reviews were) kind of make me curious about watching it.

But why is Netflix screwing around with its rating system? I don't recall anyone clamoring for this.

3) Hulu: It's been OJ and the Golden Girls this week for me. Hey, you don't suppose there could be a crossov--no, no. Forget I said anything. Also, Hulu got Everybody Wants Some, one of my most-wanted-to-see movies of last year. Now it becomes one of my most-want-to-see-but-keep-watching-old-sitcoms-instead movies of this year!

4) YouTube: True story: A spontaneous conversation about Conway Twitty breaks out (really, why shouldn't it?), I remember an old commercial of a duets album (with Loretta Lynn) I used to see all the time, BAM, it's on YouTube!

5) Warner Archive Instant: I didn't watch as much WAI as I intended this week, but the service added several seasons of The FBI this weekend.

6) Shout! Factory TV: I really enjoyed an awkward interview Dick Cavett conducted in the 90s with Ben "Hey Now" Kingsley. Cavett asks about a comment Kingsley had made about Gandhi years earlier when he was promoting the film, and Kingsley shuts him down, saying he ain't gonna talk about it now and the junket was years ago.

7) TuneIn: You know a good way to appreciate the stations on here? Try others. I just got DirectTV (formerly FIOS) and sampled some of the audio stations. For one thing, it's  irritating that many of them are part of some add-on package. More to the point, there just isn't the variety and depth you can find by looking around on Roku.

8) The CW: I'm tempted to include NBC, too, even though I didn't watch anything on it, just to spite CBS All Access for being such a ripoff (I may have also become a little misty-eyed when watching The Flash this week).

9) Pluto TV: This free, ad-supported aggregator, ad-supported "channels" is making strides and adding new content, so it deserves a thumbs up this week. Sure, a lot of the content is ehhh, but it's a fun option if you're looking to just channel surf.

10) MLB.TV: Almost there! In the meantime, have you caught World Baseball Classic fever? Well, even if not, MLB.TV has the WBC, so that's some extra value this year.

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