The next time you can go out shopping for a new TV — I know, probably not high on the list right at this moment in time — there is a 33% chance the TV you take home will be a Roku TV.
Ok, maybe that’s not an exact statistic, but of all the smart TVs being purchased in America, Roku TVs are standing out.
Roku TV, has been a standout success. In the five years since launching the platform in the U.S., Roku has grabbed a considerable share of the smart TV market: 1 in 3 smart TVs sold in the United States last year was a Roku TV.
Hard betting against Roku in these times. We’ve been using a Roku box for years. Haven’t bought a new TV in awhile, as we’re still using our HD 3D TV, but our next TV purchase could very well be a Roku TV.
Then again, we really, really like our current TV. It’s been a trooper and still looks great years later.
Do you currently own a Roku TV? If so, what do you think of it? Our oldest son bought a Roku TV and he loves it.
So this has been done primarily so you can binge the 10 episode season of Star Trek: Picard (see: Done Watching and Reviewing Star Trek: Picard), but I’d recommend binge watching the original Twilight Zone — including the hour long season four episodes (not available on any other streaming service) — heck, even Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone first season in black and white or one of the many classic TV shows you might not even realize were CBS shows. All, in my opinion, are superior to Picard, but binge it and draw your own conclusions.
To take advantage of the deal, sign up for CBS All Access using the code GIFT anytime before April 23rd. As part of that process, you’ll need to create an account and give CBS a credit card to charge when the month is up; the monthly payment will automatically renew once the free trial is up.
Free is a great price, although will admit feeling a bit of “haha sucks to be you” for paying for two months to see Picard, which was underwhelming, only to find out that CBS would let everybody see it for free. Oh well, that’s the risk we take.
Even if Picard doesn’t do it for you, CBS has some great IP in their vault. I Love Lucy, The Brady Bunch, Cheers, Family Ties, Happy Days, Hawaii Five-O, Mission Impossible (!), Perry Mason (!), Twilight Zone (!), The Odd Couple, Taxi and more!
It’s a good service to relive some really fantastic TV shows. Their movie offering is very small, perhaps a couple dozen titles at the most. Don’t join CBS All Access for movies, you can do much better with Amazon Prime, Netflix or Hulu, but they have some TV shows that are well worth watching and rewatching.
So the law isn’t quite active yet, but cable companies are about to be forced to be less devious with their billing practices.
You know, all those bogus fees that are added to a bill that was supposed to be $69/month and ends up being $125+.
To get a sense of all the extra costs that get added to your bill, cable companies routinely charge fees for routers and cable modems, all sorts of administrative and convenience fees, regional sports fees, installation fees, and more — all of which are legal. President Trump signed this legislation into law in recent days, and it’s set to go into effect in six months providing the Federal Communications Commission doesn’t intervene.
Not that I want to get too political in analyzing the fine print of the law, but that last sentence quoted above is important. Six more months for it to be implemented unless the FCC steps in. Will they? Hopefully they won’t.
We haven’t had cable TV in our household for years, but we do pay the cable company — for high speed internet. That costs in excess of $100/month which it really just another type of TV bill, since we use the internet connection to stream.
Your Cable Internet Price Will Increase
No need to cry for the cable companies, they still have a secret weapon: they have the strongest internet connectivity in most areas.
Amazon is trying to build a satellite but it’s years away. I’ll be all over that and all too happy to try it in place of cable. The phone company offers high speed internet in our area too, but they were not as good as cable.
My guess is this is how the cable companies will fight back against their customers dropping TV, security systems (why do we want that from the cable company, really?) and cable telephone service (also unnecessary for the vast number of people with cell phones).
Great, Congress, Now Go After Cellular Carriers Next
Now, can congress do the same thing to cell phone carriers? They’re equally lousy from a billing perspective, finding some way to handcuff you into contract penalties and their service fees seemingly pulled out of nowhere.
Starting September 2019, Shudder rebooted the Creepshow anthology horror movies as an original Shudder TV series and released new episodes every Thursday until they reached six episodes (12 stories) for the first season. There are two short stories within each episode. Below are my ratings and reviews of each episode as well as overall ranking of all 12 stories within the six episode first season.
“Gray Matter” ⭐️⭐️ Based on a Stephen King short story, this tale of a boy who is worried about his father being “different” is a mixed bag as reboot kickoff for the show. I would rather have seen them make King’s “Survivor Type” as was originally announced, but maybe we’ll get that in a future season(?), if Shudder renews it for another.
“The House of the Head” ⭐️⭐️½ A severed head in a dollhouse? How did it get there and what’s its purpose? Little girl gets freaked out, but didn’t really get to me. This one is mediocre.
“Bad Wolf Down” ⭐️⭐️½ WWII + Nazi + werewolf revenge on American soldiers. Reminded me of and seems (heavily?) influenced by Robert R. McCammon’s excellent horror novel, “The Wolf’s Hour” I guess until/if an adaptation of that story is made, this is sort of OK.
“The Finger” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A man finds a finger bone that soon grows into a pet creature that he names Bob. This is a particularly nasty episode. Liked it.
“All Hallows Eve”⭐️½ Creepy teens go out trick-or-treating, and it’s no treats, all sinister tricks. A number of these Creepshow tales are revenge-oriented. This is one of the weakest ones to me.
“The Man in the Suitcase” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ A man is found twisted and bent inside a suitcase. Whenever additional pain is inflicted upon the man, he spits out gold coins. Greed and torture in this deliciously sinister short. Loved it!
“The Companion”⭐️½ What starts as a bully tale turns into a man that empowered a scarecrow with vengeful results. Not digging this one. Reminded me somewhat of a Halloween-themed version of “Lot 249” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with an adaptation in Tales from the Darkside. Scarecrows just aren’t that scary to me. Must be The Wizard of Oz that ruined that for me.
“Lydia Layne’s Better Half”⭐️⭐️⭐️ Lydia screams, “I always win!” An elevator is not the best place to spend time with both an employee and lover’s corpse. Entertaining “stuck with the dead” tale.
“Night of the Paw” ⭐️⭐️½ A despondent old man gives Angela the gift of the paw. Ah yes, the “Monkey’s Paw” (1902!) retold. This story has been reworked so many times and is best in the short form like this. An OK version, heavy on exposition, nothing crazy good about it.
“Times is Tough In Musky Holler” ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ Lester Barclay, Mayor of Musky Holler, took care of his town by keeping them from an undead onslaught. He created and promoted a savage arena where the dead are caged and unleashed as sport. Nasty!
“Skincrawlers” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐⭐️ ️ Rare fat eating leeches used at a slick new weight loss company to make heavyset people skinnier and everything is great, right? Wrong. Pure body horror bliss. My favorite episode of the first season.
“By The Silver Water of Lake Champlain” ⭐️ A monster at the bottom of the lake takes her father and now his daughter investigates. Seriously, the creature looked more fake than the Gorn in the 60s Star Trek. Laughed in fact. Reminds me of decorative plastic fruit in a bowl with teeth. Worst episode in the series. What a contrasting episode that has the best episode and worst of the first season.
Overall Ranking of All Season One Episodes
“Skincrawlers” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐⭐️ ️
“The Man in the Suitcase” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½
“The Finger” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“Times is Tough In Musky Hollow”⭐️⭐️⭐️½
“Lydia Layne’s Better Half”⭐️⭐️⭐️
“Night of the Paw”⭐️⭐️½
“House of the Head” ⭐️⭐️½
“Bad Wolf Down” ⭐️⭐️½
“Gray Matter” ⭐️⭐️
“All Hallow’s Eve”⭐️½
“The Companion” ⭐️½
“By The Silver Water of Lake Champlain” ⭐️
Overall maximum possible rating: 60 (100% = 12 episodes x 5 stars) Actual overall rating: 33 1/2 = ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Creepshow on Shudder Season 1 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ offers enough recommended episodes (anything rated at least three stars is recommended) to wish for another season, and, good news, they have already greenlit one, my hope is they will try to find more diversified horror tales vs. such a heavy focus on revenge stories. The lesser entertaining stories they shot were these type of stories.
Organizing and planning what is new that’s coming out that we want to watch across multiple streaming channels is more complicated than it should be (master streaming calendar needed!), but, thanks to posts like the one below from BINGE, we can use to easier sort through and plan for our newest subscription channel, Shudder:
November on Shudder features something for everyone: stunning, martial-arts action horror, an atmospheric noir thriller and wild demonic sci-fi/horror fun. Plus, new library titles from horror masters Wes Craven, Dario Argento, George A. Romero and more.
Note: you need to click through and read the details at BINGE to see if these will be available in your country, all listed will be available in the United States.
Shudder Originals & Exclusives
Re:Born – Thursday November 7
A Bluebird in my Heart – Thursday November 14
Nekrotronic – Thursday November 21
Trick R’ Treat
Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
Bride of Re-Animator
The Cat O’ Nine Tails
Season of the Witch
A round-up of all streaming channels is listed by TVLine. A master streaming calendar of what’s new and upcoming would be super handy reference. If one does not exist on the web (let me know if the comments if one exists somewhere), there is an idea for some enterprising tech entrepreneur.
There is also JustWatch, but what I’m describing is a universal what’s new streaming calendar guide that people could look at each day and then see what is coming each day to channel and could be streamlined to show new movies (added to each service) only — Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc. This magical web service would almost certainly need to be aggregated using multiple sources, but man, it would make organizing what’s coming out when much easier to follow.
Reelgood.com comes close to what is being looked for, but not quite there:
Reelgood kept showing me movies that are on other channels that I don’t subscribe to even though I chose only to see certain channels. Would be cool if it worked as advertised. It’s so close to what I was looking for …
We probably won’t get this tool from Amazon, Google or Apple because they all want to route users to their respective services. We need somebody independent like TV Guide used to do (maybe it still does?) for all these streaming channels.