It’s no secret that network and cable television is on the decline. According to Zippia.com, over 25 million Americans have “cut the cord” with cable since 2012. The numbers are even smaller when looking at the younger generation. In 2021, only 34% of 18-29 year olds received cable or satellite television. There is much to say about how this change in how we consume entertainment will affect our culture and our pocketbooks. But let’s take a lighter look at the platforms that have replaced network and cable TV. Here is my (very unofficial) ranking of the top 5 stream platforms available today.
5. Amazon Prime
In past years, Amazon Prime has had success with shows such as Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Recent winners for the network are the Reacher series and a tv adaptation of A League of Their Own. This past year, after a strong run of The Boys, Prime has had little to offer as it put most of its eggs into basket of a flagship program, Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. All of these shows are worth watching with Rings being an exceptional tv adaptation.
Disney+ tv series are riding the waves of two entertainment monsters, Star Wars and Marvel. Some of the shows have been great like The Mandalorian and Loki. Others have become a sort of mandated, but less exhilarating, watch for hard core fans like Kenobi and Ms. Marvel. Still the content that Disney decides on is usually worth the time for fans and sometimes crosses over into the general public. Don’t miss out on the show Andor! It is a great watch even for the casual or non-Star Wars fan.
Netflix mantra is content, content, and more content. There is always something new to peruse in both the tv and film categories. They throw many darts. Some miss the board entirely, some are decent, and others are bullseyes. The Crown and Bridgerton scratch that drama itch. Outer Banks and Stranger Things hit the teenage drama/action category. Feel good comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is hilarious. Cobra Kai lets parents share their love of Karate Kid with their offspring. Most recently, Squid Game and Wednesday burst on the scene. Personal favorites of mine through Netflix’s run are still Money Heist and the Canadian Kim’s Convenience. There is something for everyone on the streamer that started it all.
2. Apple TV+
Perhaps their marketing is lackluster because I still don’t understand how most people can ignore the many decent shows on Apple TV+ that live in the shadows of the streaming world. In the feel-good comedy genre, we have Loot and Shrinking. There are dark dramas like Black Bird and Finding Jacob. Even the original films like CODA and Finch are worth a watch. Other successes are The Morning Show, Severance, and The Patient. See, The Afterparty, Mythic Quest and The Servant all are above average shows. And that is not to mention the best currently running TV show out there, Ted Lasso. Many are sleeping on Apple TV+ and it’s time to wake up to their great catalog and low price tag.
1. HBO Max
To borrow from network counterpart, NBC, HBO Max keeps churning out must-see TV. Appointment television hit its peak with Game of Thrones. Current hits are The Last of Us, The White Lotus, Succession, Hacks, and Euphoria. What is great about a subscription to HBO Max is that you also have access to a catalog of some of the greatest shows of all time: The Sopranos, The Wire, The Leftovers, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Veep, and the list goes on and on. The deep collection of all-time greats mixed with some of the best current series makes HBO Max unbeatable in the streaming world.