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    • How many streaming services do you currently subscribe to?

      What shows are “must watch” for you?—meaning you’d quit the service if not for ________. (Game of Thrones was why I kept the marginally useful HBO)

      We’ve had several great discussions on new shows, from @Ravi ’s conversation of The Mandalorian on Disney+ to Netflix’s Lost in Space reboot to @JazliAziz ’s episode reviews of HBO’s Game of Thrones.  But as the streaming options increase, it’s becoming more and more expensive to watch popular and innovative shows including

      Hulu: Handmaid’s Tale, Castle Rock

      Amazon Prime: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Fleabag

      Netflix: Stranger Things, Lost in Space, Black Mirror

      There was an interesting article on the prediction that piracy of content will be on the rise soon: when Disney announced its removal of its Disney and Marvel movies from Netflix, Netflix suddenly became less valuable for the twelve bucks a month I’m charged.  In fact, Netflix seems to have very few great movies available if I search for films with a famous actor in it.

      By contrast, Amazon Prime has a ton of free movies listed when you search by an Oscar winning actor. The movies they try to push on you from the home screen, however, are a mixed bag.

      Wired magazine did an interview with the visionary behind the widely panned choose-your-own-adventure interactive “Bandersnatch” episode of Black Mirror on Netflix.

      If you’ve ever read one of those kid’s books where you’re told to turn to page 38 if you decide to fight the dragon or to turn to page 17 if you choose to go into real estate, you’ve got the general idea of this experimental tv format.

      I tried to watch “Bandersnatch,” but every few minutes the screen would pop up with decisions to make on behalf of the character:

      “Talk to Jade” or “Eat lunch alone in quiet despair.”

      I’m not a child so I lost interest and couldn’t bring myself to finish it.  But apparently Netflix has had a lot of success with this format with kid’s programming, including You vs Wild, “a reality show in which you try to keep professional adventurer Bear Grylls alive.”

      Anyone with kids or grandkids finding that they enjoy this interactive format?

      (@Keenan , @kwthom , @Chris , @lidja , @MountainMom , @amacbean16 )

      Other interactive titles on Netflix include Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile; Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale.

    • Streaming service subscriptions? Zero.

      Roughly a year ago, my son gave me his Roku hardware. I set up an account, played around for a couple of hours...then understood the issues he was having with buffering problems. I have upgraded the DSL service available here, but don't think it's enough to resolve prime time viewing issues with buffering.

      My wife has the Amazon Prime account in the household, and I did set it up on the Roku, but I don't believe we have actually tried to watch anything.

      Neither one of us are movie viewers, and most of my television viewing these days is sports-based. I suppose this is reason number one why I've not (yet) dumped DirecTV.

      So, to answer the question - are audiences suffering? Content providers may be the ones suffering in a few years, once the purge begins. Some services will be winners, and some will be losers.

    • My media choices are radio and print—I usually average less than five hours of TV a month—so I can’t really make an intelligent comment on this topic.

      As to the interactive question, my six-year-old grandson used to love watching the interactive Minecraft movie when he lived with me last year. But he couldn’t read the choices, so he’d yell for me to quickly come read them to him before he’d make his choice. Oy.

    • Netflix is our only service, and for now at least we're unlikely to switch. Once we've watched all we want to see on Netflix, maybe we'll change, but we're unlikely to go for two services at once. A television commentator that was interviewed on the radio foresaw a time when streaming services would be available in 'bundles', similar to cable channels, where you could get a few options for your subscription.

      As for 'must watch' TV? I don't think there's any such thing. I really dislike the modern media cliche of telling you about things you 'must' do or see. The people who write those columns obviously have no idea what I 'must' do. And I similarly have no idea what you 'must' do, so I'm not going to. I'd suggest reading over watching TV any day, in any case.

      That said, I'm really impressed by the quality of shows available these days, so I don't mind recommending a few that are on Netflix:

      Happy Valley is an excellent British cop series - probably everyone already knows it.

      The Bridge is a Danish/Swedish crime drama, also very good.

      Fargo blew me away in all three seasons. I thought the first and third were the best, but all are good. You can watch the seasons in any order.

      Trapped is a wonderfully filmed Icelandic cop show. It mainly takes place is a small town on the north coast, and the filming and scenery are spectacular. The acting is also good - the writing is decent (but not top quality).

      Rectify tells us the story of an ex-con (convicted for murder as a teen) who is released from prison after his conviction is overturned and returns to his family and small town. But neither the town nor the family (which has changed in the intervening decades) is quite ready for his return. This show seemed a little slow to start, but I discovered it not only has superb acting, but possibly the best writing I've ever seen in a television show.

      I don't now where you'll find these (we borrowed them from our library) but we really enjoyed Borgen (Danish political drama), Engrenages (French law and order type show, especially interesting to see their approach to the law). We also really liked The Man in the High Castle, which is on Amazon Prime - though I very much recommend you read the Philip K. Dick novel that it's based on first.

    • Welp, it's getting pretty crazy in this space, that's for sure. I think it's a win for content creators right now. The spend on new content is unreal. Netflix's spend for 2019 is something like $15 billion. Amazon $6 billion, Apple $6 billion, HBO $14 billion, Hulu $2.5 billion, and Disney is going to $2.4 billion on streaming original content by 2024.

      Anyone want to collaborate on a script?

      We killed the cable in 2013 and went with Roku and Netflix which was fine because we weren't watching much TV anyway. Recently, we went back to cable and I use the recording feature for other programs as commercials are pretty much unbearable for me anymore. Netflix will probably always have plenty for me to choose from so I can't see getting anything else anytime soon. Has anyone seen "The Irishman" yet? Wow, was it long. Scorsese gonna Scorsese.

    • I wrote a similar piece earlier in the year as well. I too think that having too many streaming services will just be a burden to consumers, and piracy will in fact become more rampant.

      In Malaysia we really only have Netflix, so there's less of a "war" here. Those who can afford it subscribe to Netflix (which is now more affordable with mobile-only plans which are really cheap), and we mostly pirate everything else out of necessity.

    • We cut the cord last year since I hardly used to watch TV at home. I upgraded my father to a smartphone and now he just watches the regional news on YouTube instead.

      I do have an Amazon Prime subscription because it is very cheaply priced in India and bundles Prime Video and Amazon Music (which I don;t really use that much) as well. Unlike Netflix, Prime Video has no cap on the number of devices, so it's easy to share my password with someone and let them watch what they want.

      I don't want to opt for another streaming service because I have very fickle choices that way. There are very few TV shows that I am intrigued to watch nowadays. And as I grow older, I have found that I gravitate to stuff that is less serious and more leisurely. It feels like there's enough to bog you down in real life as it is, so I definitely don't want to watch Black Mirror and get more depressed even though it may be an excellent series.

    • My wife has the Amazon Prime account in the household, and I did set it up on the Roku, but I don't believe we have actually tried to watch anything. Most of my television viewing these days is sports-based. I suppose this is reason number one why I've not (yet) dumped DirecTV.

      Hmm, perhaps you may want to check out the free sports programming on Amazon Prime. As well as some of the paid channels—they may have MLB packages cheaper than on DirectTV.

    • I do have an Amazon Prime subscription because it is very cheaply priced in India and bundles Prime Video and Amazon Music

      What shows on Prime are you currently a fan of? Did you watch the first season of Jack Ryan? (I have yet to start season 2, so no spoilers!)

    • The Prime India library does not have all the shows and movies that the US library does, I assume due to some issues with rights. We do have Jack Ryan since its an Amazon original but I haven't seen it yet. Amazon is doing a great job of developing local content using actors based here, plus their social media team (at least on Instagram) know how to keep themselves part of the conversation.

      They reached out to a lot of stand up comedians from the local scene and gave them their own 1 hour specials. I enjoyed a couple of those. Currently, I am halfway through Modern Love and I am absolutely loving it. The episodes are short and sweet and they have done a brilliant job of portraying the different kinds of love that people can feel for each other. I binged through four episodes on a Saturday and I might just finish the rest of the episodes tomorrow!

      You can have a look at the trailer below and decide if it's intriguing enough for you. 📺

    • How many streaming services do you currently subscribe to?

      Nil.

      We have Cable which my wife watches significantly more than me. I often go for days without turning it on. When I do it's 90% to watch sport.

      But as the landscape changes and the price of the cable subscription keeps going up, the number of channels keeps decreasing and the movie content keeps looping in ever decreasing circles - the time for ditching it is fast approaching.

      Maybe a NBA league pass might be in order but I spend most of my viewing time watching hokey old stuff on You Tube anyway.

    • Welp, it's getting pretty crazy in this space, that's for sure. I think it's a win for content creators right now. The spend on new content is unreal. Netflix's spend for 2019 is something like $15 billion. Amazon $6 billion, Apple $6 billion, HBO $14 billion, Hulu $2.5 billion, and Disney is going to $2.4 billion on streaming original content by 2024.

      Anyone want to collaborate on a script?

      I once collaborated on a short film script experiment with a UCLA film school professor and another screenwriter. A different person wrote the tag line, outline and script. We did three scripts that way so that each person contributed a different piece to each project. It was amazing to see how my tagline would be transformed into an outline very different from how I envisioned the film and then it was transformed again by the designated writer of the script. Collaboration is a powerful thing and one of the best products of putting a dozen comedy writers in a room is the 2000s movie Rat Race. Watch for five minutes at any point in the film and you realize how much effort goes into writing and rewriting and rewriting a comedy movie like that.

      Hmm ... according to @Shewmaker , Scrivener has a scriptwriting feature set.

      😏