Saturday, May 27, 2017

Streaming Video Power Rankings Week #61 (Special Happy Memorial Day edition)

1) Netflix: Memorial Day is a good time to remind ourselves of the recent Five Came Back docuseries streaming on Netflix. Oh, and of course, the sacrifices of our nation's servicemembers, but I was hoping that was a given.

Premiering this week on the 'Flix: New season of Bloodline, one of the quieter series returns in recent memory (a nice way of saying, who is watching this show?) and off-network reruns of Bunk'd. Sadly, I know what I'm gonna be watching when the kids come over for the holiday.

And what about Brad Pitt in War Machine? A big movie with a big star and maybe some big ambitions. Is it any good? Shh! You're not supposed to care about that. I do think it's kind of odd, though--when this was announced, it seemed like a huge deal, yet scores of other announcements and premiering Netflix original feature films have kind of taken the shine off this debut.

2) Hulu: Added several seasons of Power, which doesn't really thrill me, but I think anytime episodes of a series only available on a premium pay network (Starz in this case) migrates here, that's a good thing. Also, Hulu remains the go-to source for next-day TV events, including the Billboard awards and the Dirty Dancing remake (I didn't say good next-day TV events). And, hey, House Hunters International, or at least a big batch of it, is now here as well. Casual  eason 3 is also new.

3) Warner Archive Instant: I'm supposed to be angry about WAI for not adding new content regularly--though a big assortment of Hawaiian Eye episodes just returned--but how can I stay mad at my one source for the adventures of the Bradford family? Also, kudos to WAI for putting together a Memorial Day showcase for the weekend.

4) Shout! Factory TV: They made it harder to find by eliminating a category and throwing it into the "Standup Showcase" category, but the Dick Cavett selection is still available, and I saw a  few remarkable episodes this week--one with Robin Williams being typically Robin Williams and one with Eddie Murphy being surprisingly low-key despite Cavett flailing with cringeworthy attempts at racial humor. It's a must-see piece of the archives.

5) Pub-D-Hub: A solid update week, and I checked out some of an old Australian rock and roll program. Yes, they did have rock and roll in Australia. It's what Sandy Olsson listened to, remember?

6) YouTube: It's been slow going for some of my favorite YouTube uploaders lately, and I hope they get back into it soon.

7) CW Seed: Added Dynasty and Everwood. It's impressive that this under-the-radar free service slowly keeps adding material. Part of me thinks it would be great if it could combine with the "regular" CW, but I guess  anything pre-2015 is "off brand" and possibly "icky."

8) TuneIn: Am I just listening to Deep Oldies at a certain time, or is there a reason I hear so much Dave Mason on there lately? Not that I am complaining, mind you.

9) HBO: It may have disappointed some by announcing the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones would be only 6 episodes, but it also teased possible prequel ideas. I mean, HBO seems committed to finding any angle it can on any possible spinoff whatever. So fear not, fans, the network is on its way to providing you more of the franchise than you really need and running it into the ground. But it's all in service to you, the fans.

10) MLB.TV: Mixed week for the Pirates, but a good week for MLB.TV  The option to grab radio feeds of the games is a nice, perhaps underappreciated touch.

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