Remember the phrase, “You can learn a lot from a dummy?” The saying from those old public service announcements reminds me of Stuart Sweet:
No, I’m not calling my critical colleague a “dummy.” He’s actually quite sharp, especially with what’s going on in streaming. And I learned a lot from him over the weekend. It has to do with his streaming habits – and the current state of streaming – I’m sharing it here. I mean, this is still the Streaming Saturday column, right? Okay, so here’s what Stuart taught me about streaming circa July 2020:
1. Disney+ Still Stinks
Stuart told me he watched Hamilton: An American Musical twice last weekend. The movie version is exclusively available on the Disney+ streaming service. Okay, I get it. The Lin-Manuel Miranda vehicle is hugely popular with coastal elitists like him. (Many Midwesterners like it, too.) The afterglow wore off, and he was left wondering why people pay for a full year of the Mickey Mouse streaming service.
What could I possibly say to Stuart to make him realize that he got took on Disney+? Oh! I know. I could remind him what he said about the streaming service when it came out. In one of his own blog posts, he asked the question “is (Disney+) worth it?” He answered his own question by stating, “Personally I think it isn’t, at least not today… My advice at this time is that if you have something else to do with your life, don’t rush out and subscribe to Disney+ today.”
My advice to Stuart: You should’ve followed your own advice, dude!
2. “Sex and the City” Now in HD
Apparently, Stuart is reliving his glory days by watching older shows on HBO. Sex and the City is one of his favs and why wouldn’t it be? This hip, witty, and urbane look at the love lives of four modern New York women was a breath of fresh air when it came out. Now, it’s considered a classic worth watching again from time to time.
In revisiting Sex and the City, Stuart noticed something quite interesting. It would appear that HBO has remastered this series in HD. He was quite pleased. He even said that they were superior to the “awful” masters that ran last year on Amazon Prime. Stuart probably doesn’t realize that he might be the first person who noticed the HBO remasters. Nothing seems to have been written about it anywhere else, which makes this a Solid Signal exclusive!
3. Game of Thrones in 4K Blu-Ray
Yup, HBO just released it. But what does this have to do with streaming, you ask? Well, Stuart is wondering if this could be a sign that HBO Max 4K is on its way. Frankly, I’m wondering that myself. I mean, it’s entirely within the realm of possibility. Right now, DIRECTV has the only 4K programming available. Both DIRECTV and HBO are owned by parent company AT&T. That’s why it’s not a stretch to think that 4K could come to HBO Max.
The marketing mind inside my head is spinning with possible ways to advertise this. I can just see the commercial now. It would show the White Walkers marching out of the North with “Winter is Coming… in 4K” emblazoned across the screen. Seeing that commercial would send chills up my spine, no pun intended.
So, What’s the Big Picture?
“Big picture”… get it? This column is about streaming movies… and movies are moving pictures. Oh, nevermind! Here’s what I learned: Disney+ might not be worth the investment but HBO Max certainly is. This streaming service loaded with great original series and movies. It’s also enhancing popular titles from the past. Oh, and don’t forget the HUGE selection of second-run films. Add to that the very real possibility that 4K is on its way and you have a superior streaming sensation!