Television has always served as a comfort. When viewers would like to escape into other people’s drama or romances they use television to do so. If the chance to dive into new worlds presents itself people use television to teleport to faraway places. During a time like now, with a pandemic and people cooped in their houses due to quarantine, the need for a comforting escape is imminent.
Luckily we live in a time where streaming services reign. Anyone can create an account on Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, or HBO Max and they’re set to watch all their favorite shows and movies. During quarantine, I have watched more television than ever before because of these companies, and I know that sentiment has to ring true for everyone around the world that’s dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
Quarantine is Affecting Streaming Services
Coronavirus has caused a surge in OTT (over the top) streaming services, according to Forbes. One service that has gained even more traction during this time is Netflix. With the release of Netflix Party at the beginning of quarantine and the many original series they have been coming out with, it’s no wonder people are flocking to the service. According to Forbes, Netflix has reached an all-time high that caused the streaming giant to “reduce its overall bandwidth consumption in Europe to help avoid overloading the infrastructure of the Internet.” There has also been an increase worldwide in Netflix app downloads, instead of people unsubscribing to save money they are using the service more than ever.
Hulu has also seen an increase in subscribers at this time, according to the Wall Street Journal. I have seen a lot of people online discussing various Hulu shows that they’ve enjoyed at this time. Normal People, a series based on the beloved novel by Sally Rooney was all anyone could discuss for weeks after its release, thanks in part to Connell’s chain. Another Hulu original, Little Fires Everywhere, based on the novel by Celeste Ng, was being tweeted about over and over again. It was rare to not see posts about Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, or the show’s breakout star Megan Stott after the show’s premiere because of the popularity of the main characters. With these additions and the content Hulu already had, it’s not surprising that they’ve seen an increase.
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Disney+, although newer than other streaming services, has been able to cement itself in the streaming wars. Playing on nostalgia with hit old series such as Hannah Montana and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody people were already excited to download the service. Now, a few months into things they have been adding original series, inside looks into some of their shows, and a plethora of Marvel films. During quarantine, they have emerged as the streaming service that’s perfect for families. With summer camps, local pools, and indoor arcades closed kids have been stuck at home for months with a slim amount of activities. Disney+ has filled this gap and has probably given parents some much-needed breathing room.
I hadn’t realized just how much television I had started to watch during quarantine until recently. Since I am someone who can be pretty sporadic when it comes to staring a new show or finishing an old one, it wasn’t until about a month and a half into the quarantine that I really got started. Thankfully, my mother and one of my best friends loves to start a new show, and together we were able to check a few things off our list.
It took time but I finally finished with the TVD universe after completing The Originals and getting caught up on Legacies. If you’re someone who loves all things vampires and forbidden romance then these shows honestly have everything. Then I found myself jumping on the bandwagon and enjoying the first season of The Outer Banks. Cringey TikToks aside, the show was entertaining, fun, and the perfect quarantine distraction. I’ve also started the original Star Trek series, have binge-watched The Order, which I loved, indulged in The Baby-Sitter’s Club, which was highly enjoyable, and finished one of Phoebe Waller Bridge’s earlier creations Crashing.
Things have been all over the place when it comes to watching Hulu series. In the beginning, my goal was to complete the HBO show Barry but that didn’t end up happening. Instead, I found myself falling in love with Mindy Kaling’s Four Weddings and a Funeral series. It was witty, had diverse perspectives, and reminded me of my time studying abroad in London. Recently I started High Fidelity, Killing Eve, and every day am contemplating rewatching Prodigal Son. For music lovers, I highly recommend High Fidelity and for those who love a good crime show Prodigal Son is the perfect binge.
I’m very late to The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel but am so glad my mother and I decided to watch it. It’s a show that pulls at your heartstrings but also makes you laugh. You can’t help but cheer for Midge as she tries to balance parenting and a career in comedy. Through Prime, we also got access to Acorn, and binge-watched Deadwater Fell. I’ve also thumbed through old favorites of mine like MTV’s Teen Wolf, and yes, it still holds up.
No matter which streaming site you have found yourself enjoying during quarantine just know in all of your binge-watching, you are not alone.
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