Get Your TV Fix Without Cable

 

(or, three of my favorite shows available on streaming content right now!)

Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime – what would we do without them? I’ll tell you exactly what I would probably be doing – sitting in my office, staring into the void that is my pale, white wall… not really, my walls are not white. Still, I would think that not having these streaming services will entice me to pick up a book and immerse myself in some literature more often than I do these days, which, would be a fantastic thing! But, what can I say, I read when I can but it can be challenging when my three-year old likes to talk (I mean, really likes to talk) and absolutely loves spending time with her daddy or at least in the immediate vicinity where I can still hear yapping to her to heart’s content. This usually allows me a couple of pages a night. Wait until she falls asleep you say? She really loves to hang with mommy and daddy, rarely allowing us the time to do anything (and I do mean, anything). Enter the “holy trinity” – Netflix, Hulu and Prime.

As I write this, I am so (waaay) behind on The Walking Dead (no spoilers please!). I believe I am still on Season 3, or was it 2? Either way, because of the ability to stream video content, I can dedicate an entire day (or two) to binge on shows and catch up. Sure, it can deemed as a waste of time and productivity, but, the fact that I even have that option is a beautiful thing. I would say that streaming content is the best thing since apple pie, but, I can’t say that I am particularly fond of apple pie. TV not your thing? Then, of course, as we all know movies are available as well, I mean, Netflix did kill, nay, murdered (allegedly) Blockbuster Video – remember those?

hudson-valley-video-blockbuster

11.22.63, Mad Dogs & Bosch, my new favorite shows – the first two featuring the likes of James Franco, Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos), Steve Zahn, Ben Chaplin and Billy Zane among others. Did I mention Billy “effing” Zane?! Bosch stars Titus Welliver whom some of you might recognize as “The Man in Black” in the Lost television series (at least that’s what immediately came to mind when I saw him). Bosch centers around an LAPD cool, yet, hot-headed homicide detective that seems to bend the rules on more than one occasion who works to solve the murder of a young boy. This, of course, is the premise of Season 1, the second season delivers a whole new case for the detective to tackle. Funny, serious acting, great writing and story make this one a must-see if you have Amazon Prime. Prepare to binge watch this one! But then again, these are all binge-worthy.

Next up, and also an Amazon Prime exclusive, is Mad Dogs. Watch the first episode (I dare you) and you will be hooked. Soaked in mystery and high tension, from beginning to end, Mad Dogs will keep you yearning for more. I will admit, however, that towards the tail end of the first season it starts to lose some steam and the allure that hooked me started to wear of a bit. Still, I recommend giving this one a go and am very curious at the direction it will take in its second season, that is, if there will even be one.

And then there is 11.22.63, from the brilliant mind of Stephen King that asks the question, if you can go back in time and change history, would you do it? Certainly, it is an imposing question and this 8-part mini series displays the challenges that our protagonist Jake Epping (James Franco) faces as he is on a mission to do just that. Epping learns that the past is not a simple task to take on and discovers that the past can push back as well. If that does not entice you then I don’t know what will. This thing has time travel, mystery, tension, romance, suspense, you name it! You will find it here with a good story arch and pretty good acting to boot. There is something about King’s writing and stories that are captivating and engaging that brings the audience into the fictional world of his stories and tales. If you have ever read any of his books, even short stories, then you will know what I mean. Oftentimes, his stories don’t translate well onto screen (see It: Chapter 2, Thinner, Maximum Overdrive, Sleepwalkers, The Mangler) but for the most part I’d say that I get “giddy” when I learn of a Stephen King project being adapted to the big screen (see It: Chapter 1, The Mist, Sometimes They Come back, Misery, The Shining*, Stand By Me, Christine, Carrie). Having read 11.22.63, I was pretty excited to learn of an upcoming series with the same name. Not having Hulu at the time (yes, it’s a Hulu exclusive) I was a bit bummed but have since subscribed and believe me when I say that it has been well worth the price of admission just to be able to watch this show alone.

Now, I’m always on the lookout for that next streaming gem so if you know of any (and would like to recommend) please feel free to leave me a note in the comments!

*director Stanley Kubrick took a lot of liberties in his film’s adaptation of The Shining, may of which King was not at all fond of. The television film of the same name was more true to King’s novel

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