Last August our family gave up cable, trading it for streaming Netflix and Hulu through the Wii for a fraction of the price. While mostly satisfied with both services, we have had some frustrations.
Hulu Plus is like a drunk uncle–it forgets where it is and when it tries to find where it left off, it often vomits up whatever show it feels like. Case in point: we were watching The Following the other night when it froze for a good five minutes. When it restarted, it had switched to some random show about Elite modeling, causing us to say, “Go home, Hulu, you’re drunk.” Sometimes Hulu will lose things it previously had for no apparent reason, despite promising that it did indeed have them. The first two episodes of Hannibal were on Hulu for about two weeks before suddenly becoming WEB ONLY. Thanks, Hulu. You ruined yet another party.
If Hulu is an inconsistent lush, Netflix is a coke-head with stalker undertones. Netflix will decide what our Top Ten List is based on absolutely nothing logical except some secret formula. Sometimes it will spit out oddly specific categories like “1960s Movies with Black Haired Women That Feature Rabbits.” Or it will play a bizarre word association game with “Because you watched Futurama you might enjoy . . . Star Kid!” Of course! A long running witty television show is EXACTLY the same as a terrible 80s movie with Power Rangers level special effects–such important thematic connections. It’s like Netflix’s brain is racing and every single thought comes spilling out on our television screen.
Most of the time these services work pretty well. The ability to watch series that we might otherwise not have gotten into is also a plus (The Killing, House of Cards). So when they do relapse, we’re more amused than annoyed. Here’s hoping that their recreational lapses won’t become daily occurrences.