Streaming – The New Normal

I think it’s safe for me to say that 95% of those who read this are now streaming movies and/or television shows via their mobile device or Smart TV. And that’s only because the remaining 5% are either computer illiterates or simply don’t watch the squawk box. And it’s so convenient and easy for us to do nowadays, right? Just sign up for Netflix or one of the other streaming companies that are popping up like dandelions on a Spring lawn.

Or maybe you opt for Prime if you have an Amazon account; it’s only another 5 bucks a month. And there’s Crave for those of you who subscribe to Bell. That’s only 5 bucks too but if you want to watch anything good you need to drop another fiver (each) to get HBO, Showtime, Starz or the Super Channel. Apple TV is another conglomerate that is free, until you find you have to pay for Netflix or Crave or anything else under their umbrella.

Then there’s Gem, CBS All Access, CTV, Tubi, Global, Ted, A & E, Sundance or Sundance Plus if you want to watch anything decent. And I forgot You Tube, which is still free if you can figure out how to navigate the gazillions of videos that everyone with an iPhone has posted. I’ve recently seen Paramount Plus advertised, apparently one of the new ways the company can release movies without having to sell them to Netflix or Prime.

So, what does all this streaming really cost? My wife and I have taken to listing dollar amounts and effective dates on our calendar to keep track. Many say it’s cheaper than going to the movies. Really? Take your $100 to $150 basic cable or satellite bill, then add another $10 a month for one of the big shots like Netflix. But then add another $5 a month so you can binge on one of your favorite TV shows. Then a couple more fives here and there for whatever others you’ve forgotten to cancel, and remember that you’re paying this each and every month!

I know some who are paying $200 a month to watch television. That’s quite a few trips to the movie theater. I don’t know about you but I’m finding it more frustrating every day when I see a new show or movie that’s about to be released, but I have to subscribe to another provider to watch it. If this is the new normal I don’t like it.

The Grand Tour – Netflix

I’d seen previews of this show while watching other things on Netflix but never really understood what it was all about until Cathryn and I watched an episode. Making that decision proved to be a good choice.

It’s called a British television series about cars but The Grand Tour is much more than that. You don’t have to know anything about cars or be a motorhead to appreciated the show. Granted, they talk a lot about cars – mostly sports cars, but they produce the show in a tent while they travel around the world to different locations.

Using the car theme, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May discuss everything from engine size to comfort levels, making fun of each other and some of the vehicles they are describing. They build, compare, race, and even destroy cars across the world.

Although the show is presented from a tent, it’s recorded in front of a live audience. Cathryn and I both get a kick out of the show and neither of us are car buffs. If you’re looking for something different on Netflix, take forty-five minutes and give it a try. It’s a fun show.

Halt & Catch Fire – Netflix

imagesWith everyone spending more time at home the last six months, I’ve been seeing lots of posts for recommendations of what to watch on Netflix. I don’t know about you but sometimes I spend more time searching for something decent or different than I actually do watching a show or movie. There is a ton of crap out there.

If you’re looking for an interesting series that is binge-worthy and runs more than one season, try Halt & Catch Fire. I know, it’s the stupidest name I’ve ever heard for a show but it was a nice break from all the psycho and serial killer shows. It’s an American AMC series that runs four seasons and showed from 2014 to 2017.

The show is set in the early 80’s when the computer industry was in its infancy, and it follows a mis-matched group of entrepreneurs who want to create the next best product that will change the world. The main actors have been around some but there are no big names to recognize.

Cathryn and I both found the show likeable, her more so because she didn’t have to keep track of a body count or close her eyes during gory scenes. It was cool to see old computers with dial-up modems that some of you other old folks should remember working on. You’ll recognize some big names like IBM, Atari, and even Yahoo. Check it out if you’re looking for something different.