Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture – what’s new and old in entertainment.
By now, it’s no secret that the streaming wars are officially on. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video have been kicking around for years, but the last few months have seen Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus get added to the equation, and in the next few months, HBO Max will launch, uniting HBO’s catalogue with a rich library of Warner Brothers classics and more. So the options are getting to be extensive. And, as a part of these wars, streamers are offering extended trials of their platforms to hopefully gain loyalty.
For example, as a Verizon subscriber, I was given a free year of Disney Plus. And a little more than a month in, I have to say I am… underwhelmed. Sure, for the first week or so the Disney catalogue can seem endless. You watch a Marvel movie, you watch a Pixar movie, then you check out The Mandalorian. But then… it all starts to feel so familiar.
The platform’s new options are nothing special. A so-so attempt at a heart warmer called Encore reunites old high school musical productions to put on an encore. It’s fine if you just want some background noise. Another Disney Plus show, The World According to Jeff Goldblum, is a fun way to lightly explore topics like sneakers or ice cream, but it’s really just a vehicle for Goldblum’s oddity, which is a lot of fun but nothing worth paying for monthly.
Ultimately, Disney Plus is going to be the streamer of choice for parents of young children. If you want your children to be able to watch Monsters Inc. and Frozen over and over, it makes a lot of sense. But outside of that, it’s really only good for a little jaunt down memory lane. My first month with Disney Plus has made one thing very clear – I will not be paying for Disney Plus once my free ride comes to an end.
I’m Evan Rook.