I hate streaming services. There are lots of shows ON streaming services that I LOVE, but I hate the actual streaming services. I feel like the whole thing is a scam to nickel and dime us all to the point of bankruptcy. You may say, “Fine, just don’t subscribe to them”. THIS IS NOT AN OPTION! If Disney is going to put out the BEST Star Wars thing that has been done in the past 30 years and they ONLY want 14 bucks…how am I NOT going to pay for that?!? That’s what makes this business model so insidious. All the streaming services make sure they’ve got ONE SHOW that you feel like you can’t miss. They pad the rest of their service with crap you have NO interest in watching. Once you’ve set up a recurring monthly payment you start to let your guard down. That’s when an all new streaming service with a can’t-miss show hits the market. 14 dollars here, $9.95 there…before too long you’re like the frog in the pan of slowly boiling water. Except, instead of cooking to death your electricity gets shut off because of insufficient funds.

Look at the history. At the dawn of television, if you bought a T.V., you got EVERYTHING that was available on T.V. It may not have been much, but you didn’t have the FOMO. Everybody got everything that everybody else got without any additional charges.

It stayed this way for…oh, about the next 3 decades. Then came cable. We got cable when I was around 12 years of age. It was a life changing experience for me. I discovered that there was a LIVE ACTION Gilligan’s Island BEFORE the cartoon version! But, really, it was just re-runs. Lots and lots and lots of reruns.

The next big development came a few scant years later: Premium Pay Channels. Suddenly, for a fee, you could watch movies that had actually come out within the last 50 years. And, for the first time, there was a chance you might see a naked female bosom…on TELEVISION. Or, if you were like me, a chance to see a naked female on a scrambled signal because there was NO WAY my dad was going to pay any more for television. HBO and Showtime were bridges he was not willing to cross. But, people who were up for it could now watch…well, mostly movies. Ever so slowly the pay channels started including original programming. You can draw a direct line from “Not Necessarily the News” to “Dream On” to “The Sopranos”.

That percolated for a couple of decades. Then, streaming. The first description I ever heard of the non-mail-service version of Netflix was, “You pay the price of TWO movie tickets and you can watch just about EVERY television show and movie EVER!” That wasn’t true then and it certainly isn’t true now. I pay for at least 8 streaming services and do you know what happens when I try to search for a movie or a show that I feel a hankering to watch? It’s usually available…to rent for $5 or to buy for $20. How do I have so many streaming services but none of them have “Wolf of Wall Street” when I feel like watching it??

The Honest Trailer people have done a very good job of expressing my frustration. Also, it makes me feel vindicated that I didn’t fall for Quibi.

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