With so many streaming services already here and Disney+ and Apple’s unfortunately named TV+ on the way, how many subscription services does it take before streaming stops being cheaper than simply watching cable TV?
You cut the cord. I cut the cord. My best friend’s cousins’ grandma cut the cord. Well, not really. But it seems plausible. After all, we now live in the post-cable TV era. Take your AT&T’s, DirectTVs, Comcasts, and Charter Communications and throw them the heck out of your house. No longer will we pay for channels we never watch and don’t even know exist. No longer will we stand for mysterious fees popping up on our monthly cable bill. And no longer will we sit through commercials.
You can pry my internet subscription from my cold, dead hands, but my cable box? Take it. I won’t miss it. I’ll be Netflix and chilling my nights away.
I hear ya, but just Netflix? Good Omens, Carnival Row, and The Boys all look stupid awesome on Amazon. You might as well sign up for Amazon Prime as well. In fact, I bet you already have and didn’t even realize it. Easy way to figure that out: do you pay $80 a year to get free shipping from Amazon? Yes? Cool. You already have an Amazon Prime subscription.
So, Netflix and Amazon have everything I could eve….
Hold on. It’s about time you finally watched The Handmaid’s Tale. It won all those awards. Trump administration protestors repeatedly dress up as characters from the show. Plus, Elisabeth Moss. That should be all you need, really. To take in all of that apparent greatness – as well as the joys of other critically-adored shows like Pen15 and Rami – you need Hulu.
Fair. So, Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu have everything I could eve…
Oh, come on!
Tell me you are watching Succession on HBO Now.
You know I’m not.
Well, you should be. Everyone you follow on Twitter won’t shut up about it, and The Ringer podcast network is doing everything it can to will the show into becoming the new Mad Men/Breaking Bad. You owe it to yourself to watch this. Life. Changer. That’s all I’m saying.
So, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HB…
Also, Righteous Gemstones, Los Espookys, Oscar-caliber documentaries on a weekly basis, a steady supply of blockbuster movies, and a back catalog of TV classics – like The Wire and The Leftovers – you’ve already been pretending to have seen for years now. Do the right thing and sign up for HBO Now. Your friends will think that instantly makes you seem 10x smarter. I swear.
My friends think I’m stupid?
Stupid for not inviting the joy of HBO Now into your life.
So – I pause hoping you won’t interrupt me again – Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and HBO Now…
You know what’s coming next month, right?
That Joker movie?
Well, yes, but also Halloween, and you’re going to need to see what Shudder has in store this October. They have a new Creepshow series, the best and latest in obscure and indie horror, and you just know that “special Halloween treat on Friday 10/25 that you’ll want to stay up late for” is going to be another Joe Bob Briggs marathon. Come on. Just subscribe. It’s only $6 a month.
You know what, I think I actually already have two separate Shudder subscriptions, one through Amazon’s “channels” feature and another directly through Shudder. Wow. I really need to cancel one of those.
That’s great because with the money you’ll save from that you can subscribe to DC Universe just in time for the debut of the animated Harley Quinn TV series. Sure, it has Kaley Cuoco has the voice of ole Harley, and she’s not even attempting to sound like anyone other than herself, but, come on, it’s Harley Quinn. You’ll want to check that out. Plus, it comes with an unlimited supply of free digital comic books.
How much are we up to at this point, the combined cost of these streaming services? I feel like I really need to add all of these up to see how much of my monthly bill is going toward streaming sub…
Don’t even get me started on CBS All Access.
WTF. I didn’t even mention CBS All Access.
Not so much with your heart, but your soul is crying out for it. Trekkie, heal thyself and binge the shit out of Star Trek: Discovery. It is what I believe the kids of the 90s called “the bomb.” The new Twilight Zone is, um, well the theme song is always great. The Good Fight is the show your parent wants to watch – a Good Wife spin-off! – if only they knew it existed. And Why Ladies Kill? More like Why You Can’t Go One Minute Longer Without CBS All Access in Your Life, amiright?
First of all, terrible title. Secondly, I already have CBS All Access. In fact, I already subscribe to everything you’ve mentioned. God, why do I still have DC Universe? They done Swamp Thing dirty. I hate them for that.
Well, drop the hate and preach the good word of Disney, my friend, because Disney+ is just around the corner. The Mandalorian. You. The Mandalorian. You. You. The Mandalorian. These things, they go together. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.
How dare you paraphrase Star Wars at me! Must. Resist. Brand. Loyalty!
One of us, one of us, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar. One of us, one of us, an awful-looking Lady and the Tramp live-action movie. Gooble gobble, gooble gobble, your niece and nephew will have to watch everything on there.
You all think I’m licked. Well, I’m…no, I totally am. Disney+, I shall love you forever and ever and ever.
Hold on there, Randy Travis. Save room in your heart for TV+. Steve Jobs died promising that he’d figured out how to master TV the way he mastered music with the iPod. Now his underlings have finally realized his dream, and it’s mostly as some weird TV-specific version of iTunes that will have movies and TVs for rent as well as a motley collection of originals starring seriously overpaid movie stars. Sounds completely inessential, but, eh, it’s only $5, Apple is handing out a free 1-year subscription with most new Apple devices, and it drops November 1st. You’ll probably get this whether you want to or not.
I’m jack’s complete lack of excitement.
What, you have something against Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston in a show about the behind the scenes world of morning television?
I mean, kinda. First, the trailer looks like a low rent Newsroom, and I didn’t even like the high rent Newsroom. Also, Reese and Jennifer are great and all but I’m not buying a subscription just to see them. I can always see them together in that Friends season 6 two-parter.
Not for much longer. Remember, Friends is heading to HBO Max, which is like HBO Now but to the max! No, seriously, it’s an awful title, but you’ll have to subscribe to it if you want to watch Friends once it leaves Netflix.
No more “I’ll Be There For You” on a loop? No more “cultural norms sure were different back in the 90s” think pieces from people who can’t stop complaining about how poorly Friends has aged? No more contests to see who can binge more Friends episodes at work? More importantly, no more Joey and the Chan-Chan man?
Not even a little.
I am Jack’s overwhelming urge to cry.
Awww. You like Friends that much?
No, I finally added all of my streaming subscriptions up in my head. It’s just as much as my old cable bill! Streaming services were supposed to save the Jedi, not destroy them!
Translation: streaming was supposed to save us from the tyranny of overpriced, bundled cable subscriptions which exist to subsidize countless channels we don’t even watch. The great democratization of entertainment choices meant we could finally pick individual streaming services in a way we never really could with cable. However, now there are so damn many of them it feels like we’re inevitably heading to cable 2.0, a time when all the streaming services will simply end up as bundles hawked to us by large conglomerates.
I bet you one thing: come what may from all of that, Netflix still won’t turn a profit.
Yeah, they drowning in debt.
Now wrap this up and get back to binging, um, Dark Crystal?
No. Not yet at least.
Tried it. Not my thing. Falls on just the wrong side of ridiculous. Appreciate what they’re going for, but it’s about as obvious with its metaphors as Bright and that’s a bad, bad thing.
On Becoming a God in Central Florida on Showtime?
That would require another streaming or cable TV subscription, but I hear Kirsten Dunst is so good they might as well just give her the Emmy right now.
You’re just going to re-watch Friends again, aren’t you?
No. I’m not “going to re-watch Friends again.” Been there. Done that. No, the first thing I’m going to do is cancel all of my streaming subscriptions, head into the wilderness to get in touch with nature, maybe rent a cabin and grow a beard and write one of those “sad guy in a cabin” albums like Bon Iver circa 2007. It’ll be my magnum opus, with a series of breakup songs serving as metaphors for me breaking up with technology. I’ll call it “For Netflix, Forever Ago.”
Cool. Cool, cool, cool. Quick question: do you know how to play a single musical instrument?
Well, I have a guitar, and I don’t mean to brag but I can play several Pearl Jam songs.
I assure you, that was not a brag. Why not just drop all that nonsense and binge Good Omens on Amazon Prime? You know you want to.
What’s this now?
Good Omens? It’s a Neil Gaiman show starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen. Premiered several weeks ago. Oddly, no one seems to be talking about it. It’s jolly good, I swear. Ticks all of your boxes.
Fine, almighty streaming gods. You have won. I must return to the never-ending churn of new content and never again question just how many subscription services I can truly afford. Ours is not to reason why; ours is to binge and never cancel.