The Definitive Ranking Of Video Streaming Services

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The Definitive Ranking Of Video Streaming Services

If you know anything about me, you know that my friends would probably describe me with one of the three following phrases: great hair, long drives, or Sunday Scaries. For those of you who’ve been living under a rock for the past couple years, the Sunday Scaries are that feeling of dread we all experience on Sunday nights before our return to school, work, or the office. While there are numerous ways to help downplay these fickle beasts, the best way to at least distract from them is by indulging in some feel-good television or movies. Everyone knows I love You’ve Got Mail when things are real bad, and I’ve been hearing a lot of clamoring about this Game Of Thrones show for the past few years as well (haven’t started it yet, just not a big dragon guy).

There comes a time every Sunday night when I toss on my Patagonia Baggies, an oversized long sleeve t-shirt, light a scented candle, and open my iPad up for a chillin-the-most session. And through my extensive networking, I’ve acquired enough passwords to pretty much get me through any case of the Scaries by way of video streaming services. But as we all know, not all of these services were created equally.

6. Amazon Instant-Google Play

If you use either of these services, you were probably the dude in high school who had a Zune instead of an iPod and relentlessly defended it as a “superior device” even though everyone knew you were pissing down their boot and telling ’em it was rain.

I had to extensively Google both of these services to ensure they were actually real and not expired or defunct. If I walked into my buddy’s place and he tossed something up on Amazon Instant, I’d tell him I need to use his bathroom before going to check under his mattress for dead bodies. You’d just have to be a flat-out psycho to use these over other services.

You might as well take your Amazon Instant and Google Play passwords and throw them right in the garbage next to your mini-disk player and Dell DJ. Stop trying to make these things happen.

5. Whatever On Demand Service You Have

The only time I actually access my On Demand menu is when I’m trying to click into my DVR and I accidentally hit the On Demand button which takes an excruciating 7-8 seconds to eventually exit out of. Half of the damn movies don’t have previews, navigating the menu is like trying to navigate a foreign city before Google Maps was a thing, and whenever you press “back” it just shoots you straight back to the top of the menu. I’m a solid one or two accidental-On-Demand-button-presses from Gronk-spiking my remote through the ground.

4. iTunes

Gotta stay current, right? Yeah, iTunes is like Uber whereas Netflix is like Lyft. Are you paying a little more for some cleanliness and good design? Yeah, you are. But sometimes you need to shell out for all the bells and whistles when you want to get after some HD new releases. Like, yeah, I can watch Field Of Dreams on Netflix over and over without it getting old, but sometimes I need to see what all the buzz is about on The Today Show.

Do I feel good about spending $5.99 on a movie that will probably just get released on HBO in a month’s time? No, I don’t. But at the same time, treating yourself is a necessity when the Sunday Blues kick in. When I’m rocking some post-bender shakes and it feels like there’s a freight train running through the middle of my head, money really isn’t an object to me. The price of a new release is a drop in the well when you take into consideration how many shots we all breezed through the night before.

3. Netflix

Not only do I use my mom’s password, but all of my friends use my mom’s password. And you probably assume that we all have different usernames, but nah. We just have one giant queue that acts as a Sunday Scaries clubhouse when we’re in need of something to watch.

Netflix is the for a few reasons: you probably don’t pay for it yourself, its catalog is off the charts, and they produce original content just begging to get binge-watched. House Of Cards and Bloodline? Just thrilling television. Looking for something a little different? Orange Is The New Black is apparently every girl’s jam. As for me, I’ve decided to not watch it purely because watching a prison yard full of freaky inmates isn’t really how I feel like spending my Sunday nights.

2. Hulu

“Will, you’re putting Hulu above Netflix? What are you, new?”

Uh, yeah, guys. While Netflix has a few select series that you can watch exclusively through their service, Hulu is straight up replacing cable with their offerings. When I need my Modern Family and Fresh Off The Boat fix, where do I turn to? Hulu. “Bro, you missed last week’s Shark Tank.” Doesn’t matter because I have Hulu. Did I secretly catch up on both seasons of Broad City in under three days? Yes, because it’s hilarious and you guessed it – it’s on Hulu.

It’s the closest thing we have right now to a legitimate cable replacement. And if you complain about not being able to watch sports on it so it can never actually “replace cable,” just hit me up and I’ll give you my friend Todd’s MLB.TV password.


A few weeks ago, I finished up a three-week housesitting stint only to be forced to go back to my old place (which I’ve kindly dubbed The Panic Room for Scaries-related reasons) which contained about an eighth of the amenities of the house I was leaving. California king, two dogs, every channel known to man, the works. When I got back to The Panic Room for some much-needed HBO time, I realized that I had been logged out of the account I’d been using for the last two years. My soul was crushed.

I didn’t realize how much I needed HBO until it was ripped out of my sweaty, shaky, hungover hands. Those new episodes of Silicon Valley and Veep aren’t going to watch themselves. With back catalogs of The Sopranos, The Wire, and Sex and the City (you know, for the honeys), HBO just gets the job done weekend after weekend. And then they back it up with cinematic classics from the past and present? Find me another place you can watch the sneaky funny cinematic classic The Heat and then follow it up with The Talented Mr. Ripley. It’s just not happening.

That being said, can anyone give me their password? I think I need to see what this whole Game Of Thrones thing is all about.

Image via Shutterstock

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