Low Section Of Woman With Popcorns Watching Television While Sitting On Sofa At Home. Photo: Regis Lagrange / EyeEm (Getty)
We all know you don’t need cable anymore, but now that streaming services have gotten so out of hand, it seems channel surfing has just adapted into a bunch of apps we need to cancel.
Pluto TV, Playstation Vue and FuboTV get the unhonorable mentions, but the eight services below are becoming less and less necessary (though, all for different reasons). Basically, it’s Netflix or bust, and here’s why.
It’s not going to crack(le) your bank account, but it may damage your self-esteem if Crackle is your primary form of binging. For awhile, they had Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, but that’s all over now thanks to Netflix). Unless you have a penchant for Walker, Texas Ranger, it’s not worth your time.
2. YouTube TV
If you pay for YouTube, you are the biggest sucker of all mankind. YouTube is for only good for cat videos and Marvel spoilers. If you watch movies on YouTube, you need a better job; watching TV alone in bed on your computer quit being cool when Obama got into the White House.
I tried it for an hour, then immediately cancelled. Starz has the market cornered on a few movies, which aren’t available even on iTunes until their contracts expire. Outside of the two or three films they have at high demand, they’ve got nothing. It’s like a bad poker hand: a pair of fours with a Queen high.
4. Sling TV
We didn’t know about Sling — whatever the hell it is — until we looked it up. Turns out they have ESPN, AMC, CNN, TBS, Lifetime AND The Food Network (plus more) for only $25 per month. That’d be a great deal if I wanted cable in my house and wasn’t stealing my parents’ password to watch Lifetime Christmas movies in July. Just kidding (but still, a lot of people do that).
If you have Prime, sure, the subpar movie selection and couple original TV shows pair nicely with free two-day shipping. Otherwise, don’t waste your money if there’s a lot of crossover with Netflix. Most of the other good stuff on Amazon can be rented cheap on iTunes. If you really love Transparent that much, just buy the frickin’ season.
You don’t need Showtime in the summer (we have a Summer TV Guide for that). You could use it in the fall, especially those of you who fear the cold, but you could also just wait until January and binge all the good stuff in a couple weekends to save yourself some dough.
Well, at least they got rid of The Path. As Hulu slowly continues getting worse, they’re grasping at straws with useless Spotify discount bundles as the Disney-Fox deal turns their world upside down. Our advice: Watch what’s good (basically last season of Casual and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) then bounce.
If you’re addicted to Showtime, get the Hulu bundle for a month and binge like you’ve never binged. After that, quit sucking the teet and double-bounce, cold turkey.
HBO is the best streaming service outside of Netflix. Of course, it’s also twice as expensive with a fraction of the options (albeit, higher caliber). The anxiety to immediately watch something the second I walk in the door is too much. I’ll catch up on Veep and binge (again) Curb Your Enthusiasm on my deathbed. Aside from the Alien and Fast & Furious franchises and live-action Disney remakes, we’re all good on movies. We’d recommend Nocturnal Animals, but they probably already got rid of it. Nothing good ever stays.