The death of cable TV bundling is nearly upon us, as signaled by HBO’s announcement today that it will offer an internet-based streaming subscription in 2015.
“That is a large and growing opportunity that should no longer be left untapped,” said HBO CEO and chairman Richard Plepler. “It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO.”
That’s big news in an industry that has been incredibly resistant to disruptors like Apple. And the Apple TV specifically stands to gain immensely from this shift towards Hollywood finally selling premium content unbundled.
It’s time, Tru Believers, to watch the very last episode of HBO’s vampire romantic drama, True Blood.
Overall, this final episode is slow and sweetly-paced, funneling down from the crazy, too-many-characters and plot lines of the past several seasons to a gentle, musing (and ultimately narratively safe) tale of people trying to find themselves and growing up in the process.
Luckily, since this is TV, they all eventually do. Hoyt and Jessica, Jason and Bridgette, and — of course — Bill and Sookie all find their own version of a happy ending, with very few surprises along the way; it’s a very safe finish to seven seasons of fangbangery.
As always, spoilers ahead. So keep reading at your own peril.
Violet is regal in her pretty new torturer’s dress. Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO
As the eighth of the planned ten episodes in this final season of HBO vamp-drama, True Blood, “Almost Home” brings more storylines to a close, weaning us off the Bon Temps drama gently, with a few fun explodey bits along the way.
Eric and Pam get the lowdown on Mr. Gus’ final solution to the Nu Blood plan to total market domination, while Hoyt, Jason and Jessica start to clean up their complications. The missing kids and jealous vampire story comes to an abrupt yet satisfying end, and Sookie does all she can to help find a cure for her true love, Vampire Bill.
Be warned! Spoilers abound below, but as this is another talky episode, for the most part, we’re going to keep it short and to the point.
In a recent Reddit AMA, Jerry Seinfeld hinted at the fact that his titular show Seinfeld could finally be coming to Netflix. Overjoyed, one fan summed up the sentiment for all of us: “The day Seinfeld is on Netflix is the day that I never see anyone ever again.”
But Seinfeld isn’t the only show currently missing from the Netflix stable. From hugely popular sitcoms to political thrillers, there are plenty of shows out there still unavailable to streaming customers. Since playlists vary according to country, I've based this on the U.S. Netflix. Scroll through our gallery to see the nine series (sort of) no self-respecting streaming video service should be without.
In some ways, this pick has already been made for us. As the previous page demonstrated, for a show that’s apparently about nothing, people sure do want to see Seinfeld make an appearance on Netflix. Although it did dip in quality after co-creator Larry David left, at its apex no other comedy can come close to matching the triumph of Seinfeld. Hopefully Jerry is right, and this will find its way to Netflix ASAP. With classic moments in virtually every episode, this show is the stuff binge-watching was invented for.
Friends might not quite reach the heights of Seinfeld at its best, but it’s still certainly in contention when the conversation turns to greatest sitcoms of all time. While Friends is in heavy rotation on TV, it’s less widely available on streaming services like Netflix (unless you happen to live in Mexico where the first five seasons are inexplicably available, with Spanish subtitles).
Megahits like Friends are kept under tight contractual lock and key, which means they’d be a challenge for any streaming company to wangle. But when it comes to available shows we’d like to see on Netflix could there be a better choice?
Featuring great performances from stars Damian Lewis and Claire Danes, Homeland is one of the best series to hit U.S. screens in ages. Telling the story of a returning United States Marine Corps Scout Sniper war veteran who may or may not be a “turned” member of al-Qaeda, the show picks up the political thriller mantle of 24 and runs with it. If only it could run onto Netflix.
True, the latest season shows a decline in quality versus the top-notch first series, but it’s still gripping television. Couldn’t noted Homeland fan President Obama put in a call to Netflix or something?
I’ll admit it: I’m not the world’s biggest fan of The Big Bang Theory, but I’m perfectly willing to accept that I could be objectively wrong about this -- certainly based on reader’s reactions to a previous post I made on the subject. Word has just been released that shooting has temporarily ground to a halt since the stars are demanding more money. Provided producers acquiesce (and why wouldn’t they?) maybe Netflix execs could follow suit and whip out their checkbooks, too.
With John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Terry Jones currently in the middle of their London, England victory lap, interest in the surreal antics of the Monty Python crew is more alive than the parrots they claimed to sell in arguably their most famous sketch.
Featuring countless comic masterpieces jammed into 45 episodes over four series, the complete Monty Python’s Flying Circus would be a worthy boon for Netflix, helping create a whole new generation of Python devotees, while giving longtime fans the chance to revisit their favorite old sketches. As it is, Netflix features the superb Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie, but is it too much to ask that we get the complete works of Cleese et al.?
Serving as a more charmingly comedic but equally quirky Twin Peaks, Northern Exposureran for 110 episodes between 1990 and 1995. Telling the story of a New York City physician, named Dr. Joel Fleischman, who is sent to work in the fictitious town of Cicely, Alaska, the show spends good time introducing us to Cicely’s cast of oddball residents. Northern Exposure might be the most obscure show on this list -- although it racked up a ton of awards and nominations durings its original run -- but it’s the kind of series that could definitely have a second life on Netflix.
Earlier this year it seemed like Netflix-subscribing Community fans had it made: after the popular cult sitcom was cancelled by NBC after five great seasons, fans took to social media demanding #SixSeasonsAndaMovie. Despite being inundated with requests, Netflix turned the Dan Harmon-produced show down, eventually letting it get snapped up instead by Yahoo Screen (who?).
“It’s season six of Community — you’ll be watching it the way you always watched it, only now, it’s legal!” Harmon quipped at this year’s Comic-Con. He may be right, but instead of having to subscribe to both Hulu and Yahoo Screen to get the whole show, wouldn’t it have been better had Netflix not bought the whole thing?
Serious question for Batman fans: Has there ever been a better, truer-to-the-comics, sustained take on the Dark Knight than Paul Dini and Bruce Timm’s Batman: The Animated Series? Rewriting both the DC Universe and TV animation in a way that is still felt today, there is no series I would rather have on Netflix than this one. It’s currently available in Canada, but not yet the U.S. To cheat somewhat, I’m using B:TAS as a catch-all to also cover The New Batman Adventures, Batman Beyond, Justice League and anything else Dini and co. laid their hands on.
To be honest, I could’ve spent this whole gallery populating it with HBO shows like The Wire, The Sopranos and Deadwood. That I didn’t is actually less to do with the fact that these series show up on every “best of” television list around, and more to do with the fact that HBO recently signed an exclusive deal with Amazon Prime. Once that deal elapses, however, Netflix should do everything within its power to capture the HBO back catalog. It would be worth it for Game of Thrones alone.
Violet is angry, like usual. Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO
It’s time for the various residents of Bon Temps to face the music. Karma’s a bitch, and in the latest episode of the final season of this hit vampire romance TV show from HBO, we’re gonna watch most of the main characters deal with the consequences of their past behavior and poor choices. Andy, Holly, Bill, Sam, Sookie: Each of these True Blood staples have to stand up and own their life choices.
This is a pretty expository episode, so we spend a lot of time watching characters explain their situations in sometimes excruciating detail. Let’s hope that our karma for watching the show will be some more action-packed and hilarious scenes in the upcoming shows left in the season, rather than a payback for following the show for so long. We still have faith, though.
Spoilers abound below, so be warned. Find out what happened on last night’s episode after the jump.
Bill promises his bride that he’ll survive the war. Photo: John P. Johnson/ HBO
This week, the residents of Bon Temps confront their grief head on. Sookie mourns Alcide, Lettie Mae mourns Tara, and Arlene mourns Terry. Andy makes the biggest decision of his life, while Eric and Pam continue their quest to find — and kill — Sarah Newland, the crazy Christian we all love to hate.
This fifth episode of the final season of HBO’s True Blood series focuses on love and loss, while we all start to come to terms with the death of some of our favorite characters as well as the end of the long-running television show. It’s a more restrained — and less hilarious — episode than last week, but we can only hope that we’re being set up for more over the top fun in the weeks ahead.
The residents of Bon Temps are reeling from the latest deaths in the town, Sookie is mourning Alcide but keeping a stiff upper lip, and Arlene is finally chosen to be vampire food in “Death Is Not the End,” the fourth episode in this final season of HBO’s long-running vampire romance drama based on the Charlaine Harris novels. The episode is full of callbacks to the first season, as the last few shows have been. The True Blood team really wants to bring everything full circle, and this week they’ve succeeded more than expected.
While death may not be the end for vampires, it’s certainly the end for a host of folks in this forsaken little southern town. The shockers continue this week, not the least of which is Eric Northman with ’90s hair, some fantastic Pam lines, and a funny little scene as Sam and Jason go to inform Deputy Mayberry’s next of kin that he’s dead. “Kevin was a good man,” says Jason. Pause. “With a funny voice.”
Sookie is the bait in this trap. Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO
True Blood’s seventh and final season continues tonight with the third episode of the season: “Fire In The Hole.”
Death comes to us all, and that’s no empty promise with this series. Reverend Daniels calls it out: “Death is a dark and blinded motherf-cker, whether you see it coming or you don’t,” he tells Sam Merlotte.
This week’s episode is all about love. Sookie’s unequal love for Alcide, Pam’s love for Eric, Sam’s love for his lost fiancee and unborn child, Reverend Daniel’s love for Lettie May, and Andy’s love for his daughter Adilyn. All the characters act out of love and sometimes lust, but even the good guys are going to need more than blind faith in each other to survive.
The zombie-vamps are coming. Photo: Tony Rivetti/HBO
Lots going on in this week’s episode of HBO’s vampire-romance television show, including answers on Eric’s whereabouts, more info on the infected, zombie-like Hep-V vampires, and a whole bunch of callbacks to the first season of the show.
Sookie, Bill, Jason, LaFayette, Sam, and Jessica are back in the final season of True Blood, HBO’s killer vampire drama that’s in its seventh and final season.
We’re here to watch the writers and actors raise the stakes for the residents of Bon Temps as they try to make sense of a world terrorized by infected Hepatitis V vampires and the human bigotry of the small southern town in the series inspired by Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries novels.
If you missed the first six seasons, be warned: there’s a ton of spoilers here. If you want to catch up on the basics, though, head over to our monstrous six-season recap and then come on back, y’all, hear?