Television has transformed into a mere monitor for streaming services rich with programming for almost every fan. In other words, TV has come a long way in the last 50 years. We have gone from black and white, low resolution and limited programming on channels 2 through 13. We have evolved into color, remote controls, VCRs, cable, flat screens, high definition, DVRs and satellite. And now streaming and possibly cutting that(cable) cord. Since streaming essentially means you can watch what you want, when you want, often times in “bulk” series, it is the new wave of TV viewing that we can’t get enough of. What to know if you’re going to be streaming it all in.
No more Cable
Boomers and Gen Xers alike take comfort in cable or satellite subscriptions. There are hundreds of channels of news, sitcoms, drama, history, sci-fi, sports and so on. But is it worth the cost to access all of those channels when you may only watch a handful of shows? Plus, you need to be tied to that pesky cable box. Gen Z is all about streaming. And they may be onto something.
Streaming allows users to watch on any device, anywhere. The slew of programming seems endless. It is filled with beloved series and movies as well as original programming with both new faces and A-list celebrities. Some of the channels have fees associated while others are either free. Some are an added bonus to some other service you may already be paying for. Definitely something to consider. It seems like almost daily, another new streaming service surfaces. Here, a list of some you’ve likely heard of and some that may be news to you. And what you and your family may be watching on them.
is a behemoth and you can stream an amazing list of original content—both series and feature films—for less than$20/month. They also have a brilliant lineup of curated favorites like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Arrested Development, Friends,Twin Peaks and more. You won’t go wrong bingingGossip Girl (the original, although there is talk of a reboot but on HBO) with your teenager and digging into the lives and drama of the one-percenters in their Upper East Side private school. When the kids are out of the house or all tucked in and you want to enjoy a glass of wine and practice your British accent, follow QueenElizabeth’s rise to power and all the royal history in the first three seasons of the historical and relatively accurate drama,The Crown.
is the streaming service(included, for now) with Amazon Prime. If you haven’t yet splurged for Amazon Prime, the service is about $10/month.APV also has a very deep bench of classic shows (Downton Abbey, Veep, Cheers, Frasier) as well as critically acclaimed, original content likeFleabag, A Very English Scandal, The Man in the High Castle and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which received20 Emmy nominations in 2019. All very worthwhile commitments.Before we binged TV, we binged on books and many of us followed Jack Ryan as the hero in Tom Clancy’s famous CIA thrillers. Amazon has produced an original story about this spy legend in two short seasons of the series bearing his name.However, be warned: You can binge the two seasons in a weekend and be stuck waiting another year for season three to drop!
recently jumped into the streaming pool with a huge splash. With more than 600 series, movies (the whole Disney and Marvel catalogues) and the recently purchasedStar Wars franchise, their library is enormous and a game changer for parents who might even decide to lose the VCR/DVD. If your kids(and not so secretly, you) loved watching Troy (Zac Efron) and the gang in theHigh School Musical movies, you will also love there boot with a twist:High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.If the first blockbuster you remember seeing wasStar Wars in 1977, and the force has been with you ever since, then get the popcorn and Jujubes out for the Jon Favreau-directed series,The Mandalorian.
Consider these new streaming services that offer free trials so you can test out by binging some of their most popular shows:
You The Morning Show
With Your Kids The Elephant Queen
You The Handmaid’s Tale
With Your KidsParty of Five
QUIBI (SPRING 2020)
5-10 minute original “chapters”to be watched on mobile devices\
PEACOCK (SPRING 2020) NBC Universal
HBOMAX (SPRING 2020) WarnerMedia
There are also other streaming services that work more like traditional cable, including YouTube TV, Sling TV and AT&T TVNow, as well as more specific sports-only services like Fubo TV and ESPN+.It all can get rather confusing but might be a great way to connect with your kids as they try to explain it all to you—that is, if you can deal with the heavy sighs and eye-rolls, and possibly an under-the-breath “Okay Boomer!”