If you’re reading this, chances are you have subscriptions to like, half a dozen TV streaming services. Okay, the Netflix subscription might be your mom’s, Hulu and Disney+ are a package deal, and you got a free year of Apple TV+ when you upgraded your phone, but still, you have access to a lot of content. That being said, it might not seem like we need more streaming services… but maybe we do? Today marks the launch of Quibi, a brand new streamer that actually has a unique concept, and tons of original content. Is it worth it? Here’s what you need to know to make a decision.
It’s tempting to roll your eyes at the thought of yet another streaming service, but at least Quibi is really doing something new. Unlike other services, Quibi is only meant to be watched on your phone—there’s no way to watch on your computer or TV. The app looks great and is super easy to use, but I’m a little skeptical about watching so many videos on my phone. Usually, I prefer to watch on a bigger screen, so I can use my phone to mindlessly refresh Instagram every three minutes.
Thankfully, the shows on Quibi are tailored to my minuscule attention span, with all episodes clocking in at under 10 minutes. If you’re super bored during your work day, you can just go to the bathroom and watch like, three episodes of a Quibi show. Quibi is a portmanteau of Quick bites, and it definitely lives up to its name.
Quibi is 100% original content, and the nice thing about the short episodes is that you can try out a lot of different shows. Quibi divides its programming into three categories: Movies in Chapters, Unscripted and Docs, and Daily Essentials.
Movies in Chapters are… exactly what they sound like. These longer programs are still split up into short episodes, but you’re following one story the whole time. For these, the first three episodes are available now, with new episodes every weekday. Of the handful that have already launched, I’m most excited to start Most Dangerous Game, a thriller starring Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz, and Survive, a drama starring Sophie Turner. There’s also Flipped, which stars Will Forte and Kaitlin Olson as house flippers who get involved with a drug cartel. Should be fun.
The unscripted content is where a ton of big names come in. I was most excited to check out Chrissy’s Court, which stars Chrissy Teigen deciding real cases, and I’m happy to report that it’s delightful. I’m also very into Nicole Richie’s new show Nikki Fre$h, and the reboot of Punk’d, which is now hosted by Chance the Rapper. The short episodes lend themselves perfectly to silly shows like this, and this is where Quibi’s concept really shines.
The Daily Essentials shows cover up-to-date news, entertainment, and lifestyle info, and are a good alternative to reading Twitter for your news. The first episode of Around The World by BBC News made me feel very smart this morning, and I’m waiting for work to be over so I can check out sex and relationship show Sexology.
Okay, so obviously everyone is going to like different shows, and there are way too many of them to even get into, but we can definitely talk money. Or rather, lack of money. Quibi is offering all new subscribers a 90-day free trial. Yeah, like three full months. Considering some streaming services only give you seven days for free, this feels like a f*cking gift.
Once your lengthy trial ends, Quibi has two options for monthly plans. There’s a $4.99/month plan, which is supported by ads, or you can go ad-free for $7.99/month. For reference, Apple TV+ is also $4.99/month, and Disney+ is $6.99 if you don’t do the Hulu bundle. Personally, I refuse to sit through ads for something I’m paying for, so if I keep my subscription, I’ll definitely be going for the ad-free option, but it’s up to you.
In general, Quibi is a good concept, and even if the phone-only thing isn’t a great fit for how I like to watch TV, I’m sure it’s ideal for a lot of people. The short episodes make it easy to get sucked in, and there’s enough interesting content to keep people watching. And even if you’re on the fence about the new shows, or you don’t think you’ll use it much, the free trial makes it a no-brainer. If you’ve complained about being bored at all in the last three weeks, you can definitely kill an hour or two watching episodes of random Quibi shows.
Will I keep my Quibi subscription once my free trial ends? I really don’t know, but with 90 days free, I don’t have to decide any time soon. I set a reminder to cancel at the beginning of July, but who knows, I might end up getting addicted and keeping it. Also, I canceled my Apple TV+ subscription, so I don’t feel that bad about signing up for something else.
If your mind is already reeling at the thought of signing up for another streaming service, you’re in for a rough few months. NBC’s Peacock service rolls out to Xfinity customers later this month (with a wide launch in July), and HBO Max is coming in May. Too bad the Friends reunion is postponed because of COVID-19, but you’ll still be able to watch all the old episodes. Until then, I’ll be watching Chrissy’s Court from the toilet every morning!
Today marks the long-awaited launch of Walt Disney’s streaming service, Disney+. It’s hot on the heels of Apple TV+, which launched less than two weeks ago, and Disney is already projecting that they could reach 101 million subscribers within a few years. The site has even been crashing this morning due to overwhelming traffic.
When it comes to entertainment, Disney+ is a big f*cking deal. In case you didn’t realize, Disney owns most of the shows and movies you love to watch, and their streaming service basically has it all. They’ve got every Marvel movie (except for a few that are on Netflix until 2020), every Pixar movie, and every Star Wars movie. Those things are great, but that’s not even close to everything on Disney+. I subscribed and went through the site to see what it has to offer, and here are some of the most important offerings that I feel like no one is talking about.
Truly, it has never been harder for me to get work done than it is right now, knowing that there are 65 episodes of Lizzie McGuire just sitting there, waiting for me to watch them. The Lizzie McGuire movie is on there too, and of course, we know that filming has already started for the reboot, which will also be on Disney+ next year. What a time to be alive. I would pay $6.99 a month solely for the ability to watch Lizzie McGuire, so it’s safe to say I won’t be canceling my membership anytime soon.
All The Other Disney Channel Shows
I’m definitely most excited about Lizzie McGuire, but pretty much every Disney Channel show from your childhood is available, too. I’m talking Hannah Montana. I’m talking Suite Life. Even Stevens? Absolutely. I haven’t watched these shows in years, because most of them haven’t really been available to stream. Disney knows exactly what they’re doing, and it’s working.
Disney Channel Original Movies
As if the list of Disney Channel shows wasn’t enough, Disney+ also has all the DCOMs you could ever want. It’s taking every ounce of willpower I have not to watch Cadet Kelly right now. You’ve now got instant access to all the Zenon movies, all the High School Musical movies, and, most importantly, Smart House. This content is the exact excuse you need to fire up the group text and have a full-blown sleepover.
Like all the other major streaming services, Disney+ is investing major money into producing original content. There are many projects in the works, from the Lizzie McGuire reboot to a bunch of Marvel series, but there are a handful of things that are ready to stream right now. There’s The Mandalorian, a Star Wars spin-off series; a live-action Lady and the Tramp movie; and a musical series about a production of High School Musical. So meta. There’s also Noelle, a Christmas movie starring Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader, if you don’t feel like going to the theatre to see Last Christmas.
Every Animated Movie Ever
Remember when you were a kid, and Disney would have those commercials where they warned that your favorite movie was going into the Disney Vault, so you would guilt your parents into buying you the VHS while you had the chance? Yeah, those days are over. All of the Disney animated movies that basically made your childhood are on Disney+, and there’s even a dedicated section called Princesses Collection. If you’re the kind of person who still low-key wants to be a Disney Princess when you grow up, you’re going to thrive here.
Tons Of Nature Sh*t
If you love getting stoned and watching Planet Earth, Disney+ is gonna be an absolute vibe for you. There are two different National Geographic collections, as well as a whole section for Disney Nature. With titles like Monkey Kingdom, African Cats, and How Dogs Got Their Shape, you can spend entire weekends on the couch just watching animals do their thing. What could be better?
Basically, Disney+ has way more content than you could ever watch, but you better believe I’m gonna try to get through all of it. Tell me in the comments what you’re most excited to watch!
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (6)
You’ve probably heard a lot in the last few weeks and months about the escalating streaming wars, and it’s a lot to keep up with. In addition to the existing major players (Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon), other big companies are jumping into the streaming service game. HBO will launch its expanded HBO Max service next May, Disney+ arrives next week, and NBC also has its own service in the works. And last week, Apple jumped into the original content game with their new streaming service, Apple TV+.
It’s been a week since Apple TV+ launched, and I’ve had time to figure out how it works and what it has to offer, so let’s talk. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what it is, how it works, and whether it’s any good. Keep reading for everything you need to know about Apple TV+.
How Does It Work?
First, let me address the biggest point of confusion here: Apple TV+ has nothing to do with the little Apple TV box that you hook up to your television. If you have one of those, great, but you can still subscribe to the new service without it. You can watch Apple TV+ on your computer, phone, Roku—whatever you’ve got, you can probably watch Apple TV+.
A membership will set you back $4.99 a month, so like, one coffee. You get one-week free trial, but don’t expect to just binge The Morning Show and cancel without ever getting charged. Most of the shows are being released one episode at a time, so you’ll have to pay for at least two months to get through a whole ten-episode season. Damn it. This is clever on Apple’s part, because they know that people will probably try to cancel this sh*t as soon as possible once they’ve seen the show they bought Apple TV+ to watch. Oh, and if you buy a new Apple device (including an iPhone), you get a year free, so like, score.
What Do You Get?
Before we talk about any of the original shows, there’s one major thing you need to know. Unlike the other major streaming services, Apple TV+ has no library of existing content, for now at least. So like, imagine Netflix, but without Friends, or The Good Place, or any of the existing shows and movies that you binge when you’re hibernating for the winter—it would be like if you paid for Netflix and only got the originals. Apple has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into producing original content, but because they’re not rolling out everything at once, this means that right now there are only a handful of shows on Apple TV+.
There’s no question that the marquee show on Apple’s new service is The Morning Show. Starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell, this is like the Big Little Lies of Apple TV+, and they’ve thrown a lot of advertising behind it. Aside from that, there’s See, starring Jason Momoa, Dickinson, starring Hailee Steinfeld as a young Emily Dickinson, and For All Mankind, a period drama that imagines how the world would be different if the Soviet Union had landed on the moon first. There’s also an Oprah’s Book Club talk show, a documentary about an elephant, and a few shows for kids.
Are The Shows Good?
Okay, so I guess this is the big question. After all this hype, does the content deliver? And really, it’s kind of a mixed bag for now. I haven’t watched everything, but a week has given me enough time to get a feel for what Apple TV+ has to offer.
First, The Morning Show. After seeing the insane cast and the insane level of hype, I’ve gotta be honest, it’s a little bit of a letdown. The show isn’t bad by any means, but based on the cast and the production value, it’s not nearly as good as it should be. The main characters all give lots of spirited monologues about justice, and consequences, and power, but they tend to fall flat. Jennifer Aniston is great in a more dramatic role, but Reese Witherspoon’s tragic brunette wig and southern accent feel a little forced. The show is offering a commentary on the #MeToo movement, but after three episodes, I’m still not sure what it’s trying to say. The second and third episodes are better than the first one, so we’ll see if the season keeps improving.
Moving on, let me just say that I f*cking love Dickinson. It’s a historical comedy centered on Hailee Steinfeld as an angsty Emily Dickinson, whose parents don’t want her to be a poet. With modern dialogue, music, and humor, the tone of the show is fresh and hilarious, and I’m very into it. If you need some hints about the vibe, Wiz Khalifa makes a cameo in the first episode, and there’s a Lizzo song in episode two. Yeah, it’s fun.
I haven’t had a chance to check out Jason Momoa’s See yet, but with a 39% on Rotten Tomatoes, my expectations are staying low. I have, however, started watching For All Mankind, and the historical twist on the Space Race is an interesting concept that critics have really been liking. I’ve only seen one episode, but I’m definitely going to keep watching to see what happens in this alternate timeline.
Is It Worth It?
Look, Apple TV+ is brand new, and it’s definitely still a work in progress. Right now, the content offerings are pretty limited, and depending on what you’re into, you might not love any of these shows. But Apple knows this, and in addition to two more shows debuting in the next few weeks, they have over 20 titles currently in development. Building a network of content from the ground up is an ambitious project, so Apple is off to a pretty solid start.
To me, the biggest selling point of Apple TV+ is the low price point. Without the benefit of a large content library, Apple knows they can’t charge the same price as Hulu or Netflix, so they were smart to slide in just under $5 a month. I’m not going to pretend I’m great with money, and there’s approximately zero chance that I’ll notice this money coming out of my bank account every month. I should note that your account is automatically tied to your Apple ID, so it’s not really practical to share a membership with your roommates/ex/friend’s mom’s sister. Tragic, but at least it’s cheap.
I’m not going to say that Apple TV+ is perfect, but it’s really not bad, either. Even Netflix’s original offerings vary wildly in quality, so it’s not really fair to expect perfection from Apple. For the price, it’s probably worth signing up for, even if you only really want to watch The Morning Show. You can cancel any time if you’re not feeling it, and like I said, you probably won’t even notice that you’re paying for it. Personally, I’m going to keep my subscription, because let’s be honest, I don’t want to miss out on anything.
Images: Shutterstock.com; Giphy (3)