Last fall, we canceled cable TV. Andrew and I just got to the point where we looked at the bill, which would slowly and insidiously creep up month after month, and we realized we were watching maybe less than 1% of what was offered on cable. We were constantly switching from one provider to another when one of them would up their rates out of nowhere. The whole thing just seemed dumb.
So we got rid of it! I sent many emails to my buddy Danzel, who had already been through the experience, asking her all about what she used in lieu of cable, which shows her girls were watching, and basically HOW PAINFUL WAS THE PROCESS OF DITCHING CABLE? She was so super helpful and put up with all of my inane questions.
We already had Netflix. And to that we added Hulu Plus and joined Amazon Prime, which I'd been wanting to do for years. That affords you access to all of the shows and movies on Amazon.
Now, one doesn't really need all of three of those options. I was so panicked about losing cable I felt like we needed EVERY OTHER AVAILABLE OPTION (which altogether is still cheaper than cable!). If I had to toss one, I'd ditch Amazon and just go with Netflix and Hulu. Hulu is super important because that's the way I watch all of my 'quality' network programming, like 'Vampire Diaries' and 'Supernatural' and 'Once Upon a Time'. (which is BAD this season. I might have to give up on this show.)
Thus far, it hasn't been too terrible. I do miss surfing 'The Hallmark Channel'. I was able to watch 'Downton Abbey' via pbs.org and hooking the computer up to the TV.
Andrew says to tell you that Hulu also has a large catalog of Criterion films.
What I was most worried about was giving up the Disney Channel. Julia and Disney Channel were LIKETHIS. Turns out, she couldn't have cared less because one of her great Disney Channel favorites, 'Tinga Tinga Tales', was already available on Netflix.
Here's what she's been watching. We recently watched 'The Muppet Movie' for the very first time. Oh I laughed and laughed and laughed. I saw that movie when I was 9. I almost cried when Kermit sang his song in the rowboat. Not sure what Julia thought, I was too busy laughing and crying.
'Panda Go Panda!' is something we found on Hulu. It's an early Miyazaki-written movie! It's not really a movie, it's kind of like 3 minishows strung together, but they all go together so it's like a movie. JULIA LOVES IT. OMG SHE'S WATCHED THIS THING ABOUT 5 TIMES. It's totally bizarre, about a little girl who has Pippi-braids and is taking care of herself because her grandma has to go to some other town for awhile for some reason, and a giant panda moves in with her and sort of adopts her and is her new Papa. But the panda has a baby panda, and the little girl says she will be the panda's new Mommy. So she and the panda are now like Mommy and Daddy. Except the panda is also her Daddy?
WEIRD RIGHT? But despite that bizarre family configuration, it's delightful and sweet. Julia seriously adores.
'Eloise' movies, about 42 minutes in length. Julia has watched each one about 4 times. PLEASE NO MORE ELOISE. When Julia loves something, she loooooooves it.
'Aesop's Theater', which is just the most gorgeous show I've ever seen. The art on this thing is like art from the most beautiful picture book. It's on Netflix and Hulu and it's about a little acting troupe of animals that puts on plays based on Aesop's fables. It's really super cute and THE ART, holy #@$%^ you have to see it! My pix didn't come out well but seriously it's amazing.
Here's a short snippet:
The great love of Julia's television-watching life however, is 'My Little Pony'. She watches at least one episode EVERY DAY. She's watched the entire season that's available on Netflix and is now watching the whole thing again. THE FLIPPING PONIES, I swear all they do is talk about how to be a good friend while also yelling constantly at one another in HIGH PITCHED VOICES. Sigh. She loves it loves it loves it.
Oh and speaking of high pitched squeaky voices, Julia's also been having a resurgence of affection for 'Little Snow Fairy Sugar' (this is just a DVD that we happen to own).
She's been getting into the new version of 'The Electric Company' lately, that also seems to involve a tremendous amount of yelling.
Ok so that's it for now. I tried her on one episode of 'Shelly Duvall's Faerie Tale Theater' but her eyes glazed over. I think we need to revisit that one at a later time. I LOVED that show when I was about 10.
My final thought for you 'Vampire Diaries' fans today: Still team Damon. I recently left a comment on another blog wherein (misguided) love for Stefan was professed. Here's the thing about Stefan. He's tolerable when he's in a scene with ANYONE other than Elena. And please can Bonnie leave the show soon please because I cannot stand her pouty attitude for one more millisecond. Be a bad witch and get on with it!