Battle of the Streaming Services: Which deserves your money? Thursday, Jan 23 2020 

 By Madelynn Bland —

It’s official. Cable and satellite subscriptions are becoming outdated and newer ways to access TV are gaining numbers.

There has been a sharp spike in the popularity of video streaming subscriptions, especially for students. Rather than paying about $100 or more a month for TV subscriptions, everyone is jumping ship to streaming services like Netflix or Hulu.

However, there’s much debate surrounding which streaming service is most worth your money. While there are some people who can afford a subscription to all of them, most people have the tough decision of picking a favorite to use. 

“These services reflect our changing media landscape. Streaming services are perfect for students: they have the agency and access to the media they want, often without commercials, that they desire,” Siobham Smith-Jones, a communications professor at the University of Louisville, said.

The Louisville Cardinal recently ran a Twitter poll to see which streaming service was the current star among students. The favorite: Netflix, followed by Disney+ and Hulu.

Netflix

Netflix made it to the top of the list with 66.1 percent of the votes. Despite being one of the first popular streaming services, Netflix has kept fresh content, nostalgic favorites and award-winning hits on its platform.

The popularity of many of the Netflix originals is enough alone to entice some people.

However, as more and more television brands are introducing their own streaming services, shows and movies are being removed. But never fear, Netflix has produced hits such as “Stranger Things” and “House of Cards.” A few even received Oscar nominations for this year’s Academy Awards. According to the New York Times, 24 of their original movies were on the 2020 ballot like “Marriage Story” and “The Irishman.” 

Disney+

Since its launch in November, Disney+ has quickly become a fan favorite especially for students as much of the content is nostalgic.

Besides childhood favorites, fans of the old animation style get to see old classic movies that have been locked away in the infamous Disney vault.

Also on the platform is all of the TV shows like “Wizards of Waverly Place,” “Hannah Montana” and “That’s So Raven” which have been dearly missed by many college-aged kids. Disney+ is the only streaming service offering access to all of the Star Wars and Marvel movies, including spin-offs such as the popular “The Mandalorian,” which is a huge deal-maker for some people.  

Hulu & Prime Video

Hulu and Prime Video are other good options and may be the most cost-efficient for students. Arguably, Hulu has the best deal for college students.

On their website, the video subscription company is partnering with Spotify to allow students to combine Spotify Premium, Hulu and Showtime for just $4.99 a month. With Hulu, you also get access to award-winning Hulu Originals like “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Act.”

Prime Video is another good contender, and is included with all Amazon Prime subscriptions. Therefore, if you have access to a Prime subscription, this streaming service comes at no additional cost. Along with titles like Oscar nominated “Lady Bird,” it also offers award-winning originals like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Late Night.”

Both of these streaming services seem to be the best for budget-savvy students because they are combined with additional services. 

Really, the streaming service chosen is down to individual preferences. What may meet the needs of one person might lack in the eyes of another.

The best research would be to take advantage of the free-trials of these services to truly see what would be the best option. However, Smith-Jones advises to be careful with subscribing to too many. “Just a word of caution: those subscriptions services can all add up.”

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Shedding light on Hulu’s “Into the Dark” series Tuesday, Oct 22 2019 

By Jordan Geisler —

Are you looking for ways to amplify your spooky season? Check out Hulu’s popular collection of movies in their latest collection, the “Into the Dark” series.

The collection of B-level thriller and scary movies are united with Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions, but having a genius on the team doesn’t mean every movie is worth viewing, so here’s your guide to what to watch and movies to miss.

What to watch: “Down,” “I’m Just F*cking With You,” “New Year, New You,” “All That We Destroy,” “Pooka!” and “The Body.”

  • Both “Down” and “I’m Just F*cking With You” are heavy with suspense and keep you intrigued. Even though the twists are somewhat guessable, they’re still entertaining and have you waiting for everyone to get what they deserve.
  • “New Year, New You” boasts bloody catfights and a dialogue full of millennialism that you wouldn’t want to miss. “All That We Destroy” carries a great ending and warns about the potential future of misogyny and toxic masculinity.
  • “Pooka!” and “The Body,” while both a little out in left-field, were some of the first movies made in the series and got away with a lot of violence and craziness before Hulu changed the rest of the series to be more political and have actual lessons.

Movies to miss: “Treehouse,” “School Spirit,” and “Flesh & Blood” are all worth skipping in their own right.

  • “Treehouse” is absurdly complex. It’s storyline consists of a bachelorette party of witches getting revenge on a celebrity chef, which is as crazy as it sounds.
  • “School Spirit” centers on five high-schoolers in Saturday detention while a “ghost” kills the bad students. It tries to be a murderous “Breakfast Club” but fails. The killer is obvious within the first 30 minutes, and the plot is such a slow-burn that it never produces any real fire.
  • “Flesh & Blood” tells the story of a father and daughter relationship that goes bad after the daughter discovers her dad’s murderous tendencies. Its dialogue is ridiculously laughable, but it does have a few shining moments of suspense.

There is a group of in-between movies that can go either way: “Uncanny Annie,” “Culture Shock,” “They Come Knocking” and “Pure” carry mild intrigue but ultimately drag and don’t pack a heavy punch.

Next time you want to get your scare on, try going into the dark!

Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal

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