Why Hulu Plus is Worth $8 a month

Hulu Plus is a video-streaming service that allows you to stream full episodes and clips of TV shows and movies for $8 a month. I don’t watch movies on Hulu Plus just TV shows so I won’t be able to review what the movie variety is like.Hulu Plus logo
Basically when you sign up for Hulu Plus you gain the ability to watch any current season episode of primetime TV shows from most networks excluding CBS. Your favorite shows you like to watch and the day after the new episodes air on traditional TV they will be added to your Queue. I’m not really sure what time they get added although other users say around 5:00am.

The thing I like best about Hulu Plus is that it provides DVR-like access for only $8 a month. A traditional DVR from your local cable provider normally costs somewhere north of $10 a month. I pay $16 a month for mine. I use Hulu Plus to stream my shows from ABC, CW, FOX and NBC and use the DVR from the cable company to record shows that don’t stream. I find using both services together helps me to never miss an episode of one of my favorite shows.

Another thing I like about Hulu Plus is how many places you can watch your shows. They have apps for your tablet, phone, video game console, TV, blu-ray player and media set-top box. You can also stream on hulu.com on your computer. My set-up is PS3 for the living room, Roku streaming box for my bedroom and occasionally on my MacBook Air when the living room TV is in use.

The one thing I find a little annoying about Hulu Plus though is that they have commercials. Now for the most part they aren’t that noticeable on most shows since each commercial break normally only has 2 commercials and are in the same place as if you were watching them on traditional TV. For some odd reason though shows on NBC can have anywhere between 2 to 5 commercials each commercial break. But for $8 a month I’m willing to overlook this one caveat.

For cord-cutters Netflix and Hulu Plus together make for incredible value providing you a vault of older shows, trailing seasons of current shows and access to new episodes of your favorite shows provided they aren’t shows from CBS. You have to use cbs.com to watch The Big Bang Theory. Although CBS has created their own streaming service they don’t have apps for many devices yet.

For anyone who likes to watch TV but doesn’t want to pay for cable, Hulu Plus is a must-have. You get access to many shows you like to watch and can watch them on your time just like a DVR. Watching a commercial here or there is not too big of an issue and they go by very fast anyways. All in all Hulu Plus is great service worth having and makes keeping track of new episodes of your shows a breeze.

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Shows You Should Be Watching: Vampire Diaries Edition

The Vampire Diaries is a show you should be watching. (Warning: spoilers ahead. Which are hard to avoid including on a review for a show that is currently airing its 6rh Season.)
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The original summary of The Vampire Diaries released by The CW explains what the show is about better than I ever could; Four months after the tragic car accident that killed their parents, 17-year-old Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev, “DeGrassi: The Next Generation”) and her 15-year-old brother, Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen, “Everwood”) are still trying to cope with their grief and move on with their lives.  Elena has always been the star student; beautiful, popular and involved with school and friends, but now she finds herself struggling to hide her sadness from the world.  As the school year begins, Elena and her friends are fascinated by a handsome and mysterious new student, Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley, “Army Wives”). Stefan and Elena are immediately drawn to one another, and Elena has no way of knowing that Stefan is a centuries-old vampire, struggling to live peacefully among humans, while his brother Damon (Ian Somerhalder, “Lost”) is the embodiment of vampire violence and brutality.  Now these two vampire brothers ? one good, one evil ? are at war for Elena’s soul and for the souls of her friends, family and all the residents of the small town of Mystic Falls, Virginia.

Now before Fall 2009 when TVD premiered I was not into the idea of Twilight-esque stories and the whole vampire craze. I just didn’t see the appeal. The only things I knew about vampires then was what the story of Dracula stated. I only decided to watch Vampire Diaries because I watched Nina Dobrev on DeGrassi: The Next Generation and the description of the show was very intriguing.

Once I watched the show for the first time I was sucked in and couldn’t wait until the next episode. There are just so many elements of the show that make it great to watch but the main 3 in my opinion are; character development, story and relationships.

The character development on The Vampire Diaries is one of the best parts of the show. Two of the characters who have gone through the most noticeable changes since the start of the show are Caroline Forbes and Tyler Lockwood. Before being turned into a vampire Caroline was a spoiled self-entitled brat most of the time and now her personality is completely unrecognizable as she is caring, protective of her friends and doesn’t take crap from anyone. Now with Tyler before he triggered his werewolf gene he was a selfish, arrogant bully but over the seasons since, he has learned to tone down his temper and tries to think before he acts.

Another thing The Vampire Diaries does that is great for character development is flashbacks that explain a characters’ past more thoroughly. Even full episodes dedicated to flashbacks are very interesting to watch and they still manage to keep the plot in the present going.

The second best part of the show is the story arcs. Every season has an over-arching story that usually comes to an explosive conclusion. Season 1 was basically getting to know the Salvatore brothers, learning how Mystic Falls acts towards supernatural beings and being prepared for the arrival of Katerina Petrova. Season 2 was all about preparing for the arrival of Klaus and discovering the Sun and the Moon curse. Season 3 was about The Originals and how they have shaped the vampire world over a 1,000 years. Season 4 was about Elena becoming a vampire. the Five Hunters and meeting the first immortal, Silas. Season 5 was about the Travelers’ and the destruction of the other side.

Finally the third best part of the show is the relationships. The writers are very good at making you care for couples that you wouldn’t think you would. From the beginning I was very fond of Stefan and Elena together and got frustrated with all the scenes they made that hinted at Damon and Elena falling in love. Now that Elena is no longer with either of them I still prefer her with Stefan but can still appreciate her relationship with Damon. Some of my other favorite couples are Bonnie and Jeremy, Caroline and Tyler and Alaric and Jenna.

Although the current season isn’t as great as Seasons 1-3 it is beginning to hit its stride again for the first time since The Originals were spun-off into their own show and left The Vampire Diaries. I hope we get a few more good seasons out of the show before it ends though. I could go on and on about this show but I will just leave you with check out the show and I bet you won’t regret it.

Places to watch it: Seasons 1-5 are on Netflix, current Season 6 episodes are on Hulu Plus and new episodes air Thursdays at 8 on The CW.

The CW Fall 2014 Schedule Prediction

The CW Fall 2014 Schedule Prediction

Canceled: The Carrie Diaries, The Tomorrow People and Star-Crossed
Mid-season: Beauty and the Beast, Hart of Dixie, Jane the Virgin and IZOMBIE.

I’m not that great at predicting the schedule for The CW and will try my best.

Mondays
8:00pm Arrow
9:00pm The Flash (NEW)

The CW should make Mondays their night for super-hero shows and IZOMBIE could air in mid-season on Mondays.

Tuesdays
8:00pm The Originals
9:00pm Supernatural

I would leave Tuesdays alone and let The Originals and Supernatural stay together.

Wednesdays
8:00pm Supernatural: Bloodlines (NEW)
9:00pm The 100

I would think the Supernatural spin-off will get picked up next week by The CW. It might fit well with The 100 I’m thinking.

Thursdays
8:00pm The Vampire Diaries
9:00pm The Messengers (NEW)

The Messengers is more sci-fi like The Vampire Diaries and might do better in the post Vampire Diaries time-slot then Reign did this year.

Fridays
8:00pm America’s Next Top Model
9:00pm Reign

America’s Next Top Model always airs Fridays at 8 and the show that airs after it is usually with a female lead (i.e. Nikita and Hart of Dixie) so why not try Reign after it at 9.

Fall 2014 Broadcast Network Upfronts

For those of us who watch TV shows on the Broadcast Networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CW) next week is very important due to the Fall 2014 schedules being released to the public in their Upfronts where they show off their plans for the fall. This week I will be giving my predictions for the fall schedules and next week I will post how right or wrong I was.

Broadcast Network Upfronts dates:

Monday May 12th, 2014

NBC Morning
FOX Afternoon

Tuesday May 13th, 2014

ABC Afternoon

Wednesday May 14th, 2014

CBS Afternoon

Thursday May 15th, 2014

The CW Morning