I love Hulu Plus. People complain about the commercials, but there are far fewer than on regular TV. I can pause, rewind, fast forward, etc. without needing the foresight that a DVR requires. At $7.99 per month, it is ridiculously inexpensive. Due to shortcomings with the iPad 2, I am unable to AirPlay Hulu Plus onto my Apple TV (yes, even with screen mirroring, it stops and skips to the extent that it is not viewable). So I kludge it by using AirParrot on my Mac. I use Splashtop to remote control the Mac. This has to be done in a certain order, or the audio won’t work. I will write a how-to post to provide detailed instructions.
I was an early adopter of TiVo. It takes too much effort. It was just a temporary solution until “on demand” technology took off. To use a DVR effectively, you have to plan ahead and program it. If you forget or get lazy, you will be watching the same re-run of Seinfeld you have seen 300 times at 11pm. That’s why I cancelled cable. It is garbage — reality shows, food shows, and hundreds of channels of junk I would never watch unless I was bed ridden. Even then, there are so many better programs out there… iTunes is not “on demand”. It is “wait two hours to watch a one hour show”. Much like a DVR, you have to plan ahead. The good thing about the latency of the iTunes back-end is that it won’t gobble up your internet bandwidth entirely. Sometimes I wish it would! I will write a post about the slow nature of iTunes, iCloud, and also why Apple is very bad at all things internet (Suckfari, their web sites, etc.).
One thing I like about Hulu Plus is that a lot of the ads inform the viewer about shows they may like. I have found many great shows this way. While I was watching Parks and Recreation, Hulu advised me that I would probably enjoy Peep Show, a highly acclaimed British comedy. I decided to check it out.
Hulu was spot on. I love Peep Show. I devoured Peep Show. I could not stop watching it. It is one of the best shows I have ever seen in my life.
Peep Show is about a nerdy fellow, Mark Corrigan, who has a sociopath for a best friend (or should I say fiend) — Jeremy Usborne. Mark is a responsible loan manager and Jeremy is an aspiring “musician” and professional freeloader. He lives on the dole and off Mark’s generosity. Mark seems to accept being used, as he does not have many friends. In fact, Jeremy is easily able to get Mark excited about their friendship, proclaiming them to be “the El Dude Brothers” on several occasions.
Looks like “El Dude Brothers” is starting to be less effective!
The loan manager role enables the show to engage with the financial crisis of 2007 to the present. I don’t want to spoil it, but they do tackle the issue of the financial crisis, with Mark’s role as a loan manager enabling a tremendously powerful plot vehicle. This show has everything — even dancing and Christian rock.
British TV shows don’t hold back. They can be very raunchy, unlike American shows, which are censored by the FCC and repressed by advertisers. Don’t watch Peep Show in front of the kids. It is all about sex, drugs, and electronica. I have found this to be true of most British shows. Skins (UK) is another show I like a lot, but any attempt at an American version (produced in Canada) was pummeled by a conservative interest group. I could name them, but then I would be promoting them in a way. I will just leave the trash in the garbage can (or rubbish bin).
I devoured seasons 1-6 on Hulu. Then I found out that there is a season 7. Season 8 is on the way, and there will be a season 9 in the future. This one didn’t get cut after 2 seasons. I want to grow old with Mitchell and Webb playing Corrigan and Usborne. Please let there be “n” seasons of this show! David Mitchell and Robert Webb also have a very funny sketch comedy show, “That Mitchell and Webb Look“. It is great and worth watching, but not as awesome as Peep Show. Sketch comedy cannot enable deep character development.
Unfortunately, Hulu Plus does not have season 7, due to licensing issues. It is a successful show. It costs too much to license right now. They will probably have it in the future. I cannot wait. I looked around for it. Can you believe it? iTunes does not have it! This award-winning show has been commissioned for 9 seasons, has a tremendous amount of fans, but is not on iTunes!
I have two choices. I can buy a DVD of Season 7 on Amazon for $26. It is well worth it, but I do not watch TV shows over and over. I have better things to do. I don’t want a DVD taking up space and collecting dust. Then I discovered Netflix Streaming has it! Great. So I signed up, but because of their billing cycles, I will not have access to it for another two weeks. I can wait. I will probably cancel Netflix Streaming after I devour season 7.
I just wanted to point out, how tragically lame it is that iTunes does not have Peep Show. This is one of the best shows I have seen in my life. I would have been happy to pay to download it. I would not be happy to pay for a DVD, wait for it, and maybe drive to the post office to pick it up if Amazon decides to recycle a huge box.
Netflix wins this one. Who knows, maybe I will keep the streaming for a few months? That said, it is pretty easy to hit the bottom of the barrel, but I may just watch Trailer Park Boys one more time while I have it — another great show of Canadian creation. If America is the land of the free, why is our TV censored by conservatives? Canadians and Brits are making us look like prudes. I used to think Brits were so proper and reserved, but their comedy is quite extreme. Peep Show makes South Park seem like the Golden Girls.
Now that I will have Netflix again, I can see if it has improved on Apple TV. I cancelled Netflix streaming due to poor performance on Apple TV 2. As Apple TV owners will know, there was an update two days ago. So far so good, but I had one weird bug happen to me. I will test it out some more and post my experiences here. After all, I want to be fair and objective. A one time glitch I can live with, but if it freeze up my iPad all the time, I will complain about it. And yes, I do report these bugs to Apple… Maybe the new iOS 5.1.1 release fixed the freezing issue on my iPad. I hope so. My iPad has never just frozen (showing the Apple logo, like it is booting up, but then showing the home screen after fiddling with the power button). Such is life in the Apple dystopia. I remember when it just worked!