Episode 650: What Did You Accomplish by Doing All of This?

On the Overthinking It Podcast, we are inspired by Christopher Nolan to ask, what is ACTUALLY the worst streaming service?

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Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, and Matthew Wrather consider AT&T’s move to release all of Warner Media’s theatrical movies on HBO Max in 2021. How does it make sense, and what is the world we think we are going to see when all the infectious viral particles settle? And, with apologies to Christopher Nolan, who may have a point, what actually is the worst streaming service?

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7 Comments on “Episode 650: What Did You Accomplish by Doing All of This?”

  1. John C Member #

    This is one of those situations where I feel at a loss, because I kind of hate all the players. I’m anti-movie theater, since the multiplex sprawl from the ’90s, but especially after this year, with people like Nolan sabotaging them by forcing the release of Tenet, triggering insurance problems. There are exceptions, but indie theaters can cover that experiential side.

    But I also hate HBO Max on principle. I’m not connected with anything, here, but the rumor on HBO Max is that it exists to cover AT&T’s debt from acquiring Warner–meaning that they want to force as many people onto it as possible, thus pulling video from smaller platforms like DC Universe–and that small number of subscribers is embarrassing them, because there are tens of millions of people who would get HBO Max with their current subscriptions, but aren’t activating their accounts. And making it the most expensive of the “normal” streaming services, to the point where it’s cheaper for a casual viewer to buy DVDs, and not having a Roku app seems like it’s being set up for failure.

    So, while I put Nolan in the same category as people who complain that games stopped being interesting after EGA monitors hit the market, I have to agree with him that I don’t think an HBO Max is worth the money, at least not for me. I’ll probably sign up for an occasional month when seasons of Doom Patrol finish, if I don’t get it on DVD.

    As for the actual worst services, HBO Max looks bad to me, even though I haven’t looked at it. But Apple TV+ was a nightmare to sign up, the offerings were thin beyond Ted Lasso, most of the offerings were weird trial offers with no indication of what I was supposed to sign up for, and then it was a scavenger hunt to ultimately cancel until the next season of Ted Lasso comes along. I’d also include (sort of the opposite of Matt’s problem) any service that allows for multiple profiles but can’t figure out that I’m the only user, forcing me to constantly reassure it that I’m John.

    But Quibi has to get an honorable mention, no? Nothing about that made sense, unless it was an elaborate money-laundering scheme…


  2. Mike O #

    A nice prank would be a homepage change saying OTI is releasing their podcasts for 2021 all at once, with a hundred different titled links that all just go to a Rick roll video.


  3. Margo #

    Fun fact: for far less than the price of a Peleton Bike and accompanying subscription, you can buy a REAL bicycle that you can use a form of transportation.


      • Margo #

        Places in your city or town you normally go that are in a few kilometres of where you are! (What is it with you Americans not using the metric system?)

        Therein lies the rub-urban cycling has gotten VERY political and tribal. Riding a bike in the city brings up a whole range of issues around climate change, urban planning and infrastructure, traffic violence and many other issues the Peloton bypasses. There are many cyclists who do both virtual and real cycling. What I can’t wrap my head around is driving to a gym in order to ride a stationary bike.


        • Margo #

          Cycling in a rural or park setting is also delightful.


          • Matthew Wrather OTI Staff #

            But the gym has cold eucalyptus-scented towels

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