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I’ve been saying at least since 2015 that streaming — in particular the capacity it gives viewers to watch as much of a television series as they like, at one time, as if reading book — constitutes a third golden age of television (the first being what TV broadcast networks began to bring us in the 1950s, the second being the cable revolution which I take as beginning with The Sopranos on HBO in 1999).  Indeed, I watch a huge amount of television — I find it good for my brain — and I’d estimate more than 80% of the dramas and comedies are streaming (all the live news I watch is on cable — mostly MSNBC, with a little CNN, if you’d like to know).

And the streaming world has grown exponentially since 2015, with Apple TV+, Paramount+, HBO Max, Disney+, and (I’m probably leaving some out) joining Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu as big-time streamers.  And  the nature of the streaming has evolved.  For example, several of the newer players — especially Apple TV+ and Paramount+ — have made binging possible only after a complete season of a series has been streamed, with each episode becoming available on a weekly basis, much as networks and cable still do, when they put up their new series.

The result is a still expanding avalanche of TV shows to possibly watch, on a growing number of venues with overlapping and different presentation modes.  A handbook or guide to at least some of these shows would be handy to have, and that’s just what Liane Bonin Starr’s Stream This Next: 1,000 TV Shows to Suit Your Mood is.  There of course are far more than 1000 TV shows now streaming or soon to stream, and this book does miss some of the best, in my view. For example, Star Trek: Discovery on Paramount+ is listed and well described, but there’s no mention of Star Trek: Picard (the best of the new Star Treks, in my opinion) or Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, to debut next month, starring Anson Mount as Christopher Pike, in my view one of the best new captains.  It also would be useful to know whether the series streams all at once, i.e., is immediately available for binging, or doled out on a weekly basis for each new season.  Other meta-details, such as Paramount+ lacerating its shows with commercials, even though it requires paid subscriptions, would also be helpful to know.

But such perceived oversights, especially in terms of series that should have been listed, are inevitable — different strokes for different folks — and there’s plenty of value in the categorization of the shows listed in Stream This Next — ten categories ranging from comedies, thrillers … to science fiction — as well as is the show best watched with a group of family or friends, cuddling with someone as a couple, on your own, etc.  Liane Bonin Starr is listed as the book’s editor, and she and her team have done a fine job in assembling this indispensable guide, published last month in hardcover by Universe, especially appealing if you like to put your eyes on the pages of a thick book, once in a while.

In fact, having just thumbed through this book, I realized I really wanted to see a streaming science fiction series I somehow must have missed in the past year. Want to know what it is? Keep reading my reviews …

Source: paullevinson.blogspot.com

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