Remember the good ole days when Netflix first came out and how an apparent monopoly on everything streaming-wise? I miss those days. I missed the days when I didn’t need 20 different subscription services to keep up with all of the new shows that kept coming out. It’s probably now cheaper to have cable than to have all of the different subscription services out there right now.
Like Anakin, streaming was supposed to save us from the oppressive cable companies by cutting them out of our lives, but like the fallen hero, streaming has lived long enough to see itself become the new villain. But what makes or breaks a good streaming service?
Best Streaming Subscriptions (Worst to Best)
9. Apple TV
Coming in last place, Apple TV is the worst streaming service out right now. And it’s not because it’s bad. I want to preface this by saying that I love Apple TV, but it is not a streaming subscription you keep year long. It just lacks enough content to warrant a permanent place on my bank statement. It’s like an on-again/off-again relationship. It has its moments but lacks the depth to keep you around for good. HOWEVER, it has arguably the best tv show ever, Ted Lasso. The other shows on the service are good but don’t draw your attention like the others.
Next on the list is Amazon Prime Video, and my biggest issue with Amazon is a lack of original content. But things will be changing for them soon. Amazon has slowly been upping their game the last few years, which has been a nice change of pace. With shows like The Boys, Invincible, The Expanse, Reacher, and The Marvelous Mrs. Masiel, Amazon has been carving its name in the category of the original title. And with the new Lord of the Rings shows on the horizon, Amazon may very well be on the verge of having more sway on which subscription you have.
But if I am completely honest, Amazon is so low for me because they canceled the most perfectly written show ever. The Last Tycoon deserves a second season, and I won’t stop complaining about it getting canceled until my dying day.
Yeah, Netflix being number seven on my list is not a mistake. I don’t know what it is about Netflix lately, but it just seems, to me, that there is nothing worth watching on there. Out of all the streaming services, I spend more time endless scrolling through Netflix’s catalog only to give up and watch TikTok in bed than any other service. Maybe it’s the way their UI looks, or maybe I have some weird mental block with Netflix, but nothing on there seems enjoyable to me. (The exception of Sweet Magnolias because I’m a sucker for shows that take place in small towns.)
Also, they keep raising the prices for what feels like nothing new is being added blows. I know I’m just complaining, and I have no real ideas on how they can fix it, but Netflix sucks.
Although the episode of Murderville with Marshawn Lynch is the funniest thing I’ve watched in a long time.)
I know that Peacock is relatively new in the streaming world, but there are a few reasons they are number six on my list. First, you can watch a lot of the shows for ‘free’ with ads on the app, which is nice. Second, they have the best sitcoms and workplace tv show lineup in existence. You could get rid of everything else on the service and keep Psych, The Office, Brooklyn 99, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, and Law and Order.
Third, all of the shows mentioned have a borderline cult following that will keep the service up and running. The true beauty of Peacock isn’t just that you can watch great shows from the past, but they are also releasing new content. HOT TAKE! Bel-Air, the new retelling of the Fresh Prince, is a great show and people are just mad for no reason other than nostalgia blinds them.
5. YouTube TV
YouTube TV is so freaking expensive and not something you keep year-round. It sort of falls into the same category as Apple Tv. The big difference is that YouTube TV has one purpose: to let people like me, who don’t have cable, watch sports. Watching live sports at home in the age of streaming subscriptions is next to impossible unless you go to a bar to watch the game. And I love nothing more than to have a baseball game on while I work. (Dear MLB, please agree to the player union so the lockout can be over and spring rain can start. -Sincerely, A baseball fan.)
Hulu at number four is where things start to get dicey on my list. It can go any way on any given day between fourth and third. Hulu has great shows and original content that people love, but I find that most of them aren’t for me. I fall outside the demographic to enjoy the shows on Hulu to no one’s fault but my own. I’m just a hater.
Even with that said the reason Hulu is so high up on my list, as a self-proclaimed hater, is because it’s so versatile. They have many old hit tv shows great new originals, and they have a live television plan for those who might want to watch sports. (Hulu is sort of like Mario in the Mario Olympic Wii games, just a straight-up all-arounder.)
Honestly, I’m so surprised that it took Disney as long as it did to come out with its streaming service. They own everything. Pixar has made and will continue to make banger movies. Marvel swept the world by storm over a decade and is now the peak movie-going experience. But the real reason Disney+ is number three is Star Wars. Say what you want about the new trilogy or the prequels, but the quality in the shows we are getting in Star Wars now is amazing.
The final season of the Clone Wars, The Book of Boba Fett, and The Mandalorian are just the icebreaker. In addition, the Obi-Wan series and the Ahsoka series are due to come out soon, and those will only open up the expansive Star Wars universe even more. No longer are we tied to the Skywalker storyline, thankfully.
This one might be controversial to those who don’t watch anime, but I genuinely don’t care. If you don’t watch anime, you are missing out on the best visual storytelling medium right now. And now, with the two anime powerhouse services merging under one roof, the world of anime-watching got all the better.
We are in an anime revival right now. The Big Three got my generation into anime. Still, nothing lived up to the hype afterward, so we suffered with okay shows for a while, but with Jujutsu Kaisen, Demon Slayer, Attack on Titan, and My Hero Academia hitting big success with amazing animation, there has never been a better time to start getting into anime. (Outside of Naruto, Bleach, One Piece)
1. HBO Max
There is not a single doubt in my mind that HBO Max is the single greatest streaming subscription service out right now. You want to talk about the versatility of choice. Then this should be the standard. HBO has THE BEST originals on the market. (Game of Thrones, Euphoria, Succession, Peacemaker, and Curb Your Enthusiasm).
They also have the best selection of third-party media companies. (DC, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Studio Ghibli). Not only that, but they also have some of the best movies to select from, especially current blockbusters that are following the trend of going on streaming services the same day they open in theaters.
And I remember all the jokes people had when they rebranded to HBO Max, but I guess HBO got the last laugh.