Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I tried to avoid this subject for awhile, 'cause I really don't think I have anything of particular importance to say on it, but lately, due to some financial situations, I haven't been able to afford Netflix on the regular basis that I'd prefer, and as result, this week, I finally took advantage, bregrugingly, of Hulu.com's one week free trial for Hulu Plus. I didn't want to personally. Sure there's a lot of movies available on Hulu, not to mention nearly the entire Criterion Collection, which certainly has a great appeal to cinephiles like me, although I've found some cool gems of on Hulu that you don't have to pay for, it's frankly still not a service that I think it's worth it. Now, it's entirely possible that my opinion on this subject can change in the future, considered how Netfilx is being run into the ground sometimes, but it's a subject that a lot of people are fighting and discussing about, and it goes back to this debate of streaming movies versus DVDs, so I thought I'd rehash this debate again, possibly show my point of view on this.

Now, the reason that I've switched to Hulu.com temporarily, is not simply because it's cheaper than Netflix, which is certainly is for me because I insist on streaming and DVDs, but it's mainly because without having Netflix on hand for the moment, I'm unable to clear movies from my queue at the rate I prefer. Now I don't know the profile of the average Netflix user, but here's how I am. I have all spots 500 spots, filled in my DVD queue, every week, starting early Sunday morning usually, like around one or two am, when I go to netflix.com/AllNewReleases, and they update the new releases on DVD for that week. They do it badly, because it's hardly everything they typically get in, and they've taken to a stupid practice of not informing their readers of when new seasons of TV series are now available on DVD, but I do that and I also use another site, videoeta.com to show what's newly available on DVD this week. If you're wondering what my big complaint about Netflix is, despite my numerous other complaints, believe it or not, my big complaint is the 500 DVDs is not enough. (This is on top of what is about 400 films listed in my Instant Queue, which I just haven't gotten around to filling) Despite all the other stupid business decisions and crazy-ass shit they tried over the past couple years or so, that still is my biggest complaint. During these rare occasions when I don't have Netflix available, I usually spend my time borrowing movies from my local library, which more should take advantage of, especially if your local library is apart of a library system like mine is, and has an online catalog/database, because sure enough, a lot of the things you might want, there's a chance that they'll eventually have it. I also go there, 'cause it's easier to stream movies on their computers, but also give me a limited amount of time, to do that, but I do take advantage, and usually I watch Netflix for that. I also use Netflix, as my first resource for the library (as well as any video store/Redbox I may happen to make a rare visit too [Although I wish those visits weren't as rare as they are now, especially the ones to video stores]), because the first movies I look for are movies that are already on my Netflix list. That way, I can knock one or more films off, and then, put on another one. In case, you're wondering, and for those familiar with my Aquarian list-making obsession, I have typed-out, and constantly-updated lists of movies and TV shows, which are on waitlist, to be on my Netflix lists. So, the John Nashian lengths I go to, to watch as many things as I can, are very elaborate. So, and this is where Hulu.com comes in, when I can't constantly update my Netflix at the rate I need to, for whatever reason or another, that's when I start to cruise Hulu.com, for any movies, that, you guessed it, happened to be on my Netflix queue, and actually, I've found quite a few, and many of them were free, not to mention a lot of movies that I would like to watch, but I just haven't had time or space to put them on my queue yet, and of course, what Hulu.com is really good at, having loads of television, past and present. Although, if you're anything like me, the only times I really check out the television options on Hulu are when I absolutely have to watch a TV show, that's usually either on cable, or happens to be an episode I missed, and it's available on Hulu.com, which believe it or not, really narrows it down, and frankly I prefer to watch DVDs of whole series, if possible. Although, once in a while, I have to admit, I do need a random laugh, so I pop on Hulu, and find a random "Family Guy" episode. (Or occasionally, "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia", when that's available. And once in a blue moon, "Archer".)

So generally, that's how I use these products, but lately, I've run out of most of the free films on Hulu.com that I can watch that also are on my Netflix, at least as far as I can tell. I wasn't gonna go searching every movie on my Netflix queue on Hulu, just to double check... again. That can be annoying, so, I certainly know that I have a bunch of movies, on Netflix, that are on Hulu Plus, which is Hulu's premium service, and includes, the Criterion Collection, along with a bunch of other movies (Usually stupid ones) that they also supply, so I'm going on Hulu.com as much as I can this week, to knock off films on my Netflix queue. I have to. I know there's other streaming sites available if I just looked for awhile, or paid for, but if I can't afford it, but honestly I don't like the idea of doing that either, in case I happen to run into and/or stream something perhaps shouldn't legally have been available for streaming, (I am a full-fledge supporter against illegal downloading/streaming, and I tend to like to practice what I preach, although I'm not gonna lie, that can get difficult sometimes.)  and many of the other sites I'd have to pay for anyway, so it's a lost cause, and I'd rather use these two, which generally are the most effective. And frankly, even the library's availabilites, can at times be limiting. I only have a seven DVD limit at my library, for instance, I can't have more than 7 DVDs out at one time. (I do have the use of multiple library cards for just this problem, but sometimes that can be tricky as well.)

If I have a choice though, I will almost always use Netflix first. This goes back to my personal belief that streaming movies is not the future, if for no other reason than because, the only way that that would actually work is that, everybody would have to have a powerful enough computer to stream movies (Which not everybody has, believe it or not techies), and be able to stream, literally, every available film/tv shows, etc., on one site. (It would have to be on one site BTW, somebody gotta's eventually win this war) There can be multiple options, but everything  that can ever be available, has to be available, and were farther from having that comprehensive a database than anybody wants to admit, so until then, there's going to be some place for DVDs. I prefer it to be a video store, than a Redbox, but as long as Netflix is around, I'll take that. (Although, Netflix also, has to do a better job at making every available DVD available on their site {ie. first season of "Louie", Netflix! WTF is the problem with this?!}) I like Hulu fine, in fact, in many ways, I'd prefer streaming movies on Hulu than Netflix, but it's about having the ability to watch anything I can, anytime I want. Streaming TV shows, occasionally, streaming movies, I love it. Original series, for both of them, I'll try to get to them, eventually, many of them sounds good. In the meantime, Hulu.com, is a good cinephile methodome clinic. For people like me, it's good to use, when you're regular movie dealer is out-of-town, for awhile. It's a lot cheaper, and there's a decent selection when you look around, but ultimately, it's not gonna have everything you want to see, and you're gonna eventually have to switch back to the more powerful drug as soon as you can, even though you're aware that it can hurt you, and has the tendency to screw you up bad, and a lot more, if you aren't careful, but at least, they'll give you the full amount of your fix, until your satisfied. Alright, I probably could've come up with a better metaphor, but you get the idea.

Basically, it depends on what you want. If you want to watch a lot of TV, and I certainly believe wholeheartedly everybody should have a certain extensive knowledge of television, than Hulu.com is probably for you. (I'm not being facetious btw; too many people out there, should have a bigger TV knowledge than they do, especially teens and youths, learn about "Cheers," learn about "M*A*S*H", learn about...- learn as much as you can about TV. TV didn't start with Seinfeld reruns. It's as much apart of the American culture and lexicon as Shakespeare is. If you don't know who Ted Baxter is, you need to watch more television. Plain and simple.) If you watch enough TV already like me, because, we have a television, or seven, than Netflix will usually have most of the things you missed on DVD or streaming, plus most of the movies I haven't seen yet. That's my comparative analysis of Netflix and Hulu.
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