Life After Cable Recommendations: Netflix Streaming Edition

Posted in life after cable by - February 10, 2011

So I’m still sans cable package, and I’m not convinced I’ll ever go back. The financial constraints that first prompted this lifestyle shift haven’t improved in any measurable way, so I wouldn’t change it right now, but even if I could I’m not sure I see the value any more.

I do spend money on two services – Hulu Plus and Netflix. Even taken together, they’re way less than I used to spend, and they make up the bulk of my viewing. Hulu Plus is on notice with me, as they’ve been very slow to expand their offerings away from the web and over to mobile devices. This was always the point of Hulu Plus for me, and I’m beginning to suspect that the content providers are never going to sign off on anything that justifies paying 8 bucks a month for web television with commercials.

The Netflix service, in contrast, gets better all the time. The number of titles is always going up, and rooting around in the older content is a good way to connect with forgotten treasures and oddball delights of every kind.

The most recent home runs I’ve watched on NS are as follows:

Primeval – A BBC series about time portals and dinosaurs and whatnot. Cheesy, certainly, but somehow quite pleasing. I watched the first three seasons in about a week. Of course, these were BBC seasons of about 10 episodes apiece, so it’s perhaps less impressive than it sounds. I could buy the new season on iTunes or Zune, I suppose, now that it’s in progress, but there will be plenty to watch between now and the day Primeval makes its way onto NS.

Intelligence – A Canadian TV show about marijuana trafficking and drug enforcement in Vancouver. It’s kind of a more polite, less gritty version of an American police precedural. Think of it as The Wire for Canadians.

Louie – Somehow I didn’t catch this on TV, but I tore through the first season when it got to NS. You should, too. Louie CK is one of the funniest comics working right now, and on the very top of his game, and the show is too perfect to last in its current state.

Torchwood, Children of Men season – More from the Beeb. Doctor Who spinoff. watched it without a ton of background beyond random episodes of Who and Torchwood and really enjoyed it.

Movies I’m happy I streamed include: Milton Glaser:Inform and Delight, Frozen, I Am Comic, City Island, and Mega Piranha (don’t judge me.)

This post was written by MisterDee


  • I haven’t gone back and rewatched the first couple seasons of Torchwood, but I was not very impressed by them; Children of Men was quite an advance. It also crystallized for me why the British consider Doctor Who a children’s show: the Doctor could never be allowed to be in a position like the one Jack ends up in at the end of CoM.
    I’d like to be optimistic that perhaps the BBCA cuts of Torchwood made them less explicable, so I will try watching them via NS or NM(ail), but I don’t hold out much actual hope.

    • MisterDee

      I must admit I’ve never watched a lot of the Doctor or Torchwood. I tried a few eps of the latter months ago and found it a little silly for my taste – but CoM had a pleasing amount of grit. Tracey even liked it, although the children howling in unison ooked her out.

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