I'm subscribing to Paramount Plus in April — here's why

If you want to keep your budget down when subscribing to the best streaming services, you have to make some tough choices each month, or you could easily end up spending more than your old cable bill. 

A while back, I canceled Paramount Plus, but I'm re-subscribing for April for one — OK, maybe two reasons. The first is so I can watch the final installment of adventures that take place light years across the galaxy, and the second is so I can enjoy one of the last performances from a guy who lives on Long Island. 

Here's why I think Paramount Plus is worth the investment in April.

Let's fly

Star Trek: Discovery season 5

"Star Trek: Discovery" season 5 premieres on April 4 on Paramount Plus. The first two episodes will be available on the 4th, with one episode per week following.

If you haven't guessed, the first show I'm looking forward to seeing is the final season of "Star Trek: Discovery," which follows the exploits of the USS Discovery, which starts out in the same era as Spock and Kirk but ends up nearly a millennium in the future.    

Unlike the other two current Trek series "Strange New Worlds" and "Lower Decks," which tend to follow the mission-of-the-week format, "Discovery" has had season-long plot lines, which allows Discovery to be a lot more introspective than the other series. We learn a lot more about the characters, their motivations, fears, and hopes — which not only makes them feel closer to each other, but closer to us, too. 

Discovery's exploration of something as expansive as the universe is merely the catalyst for the writers to explore something much more personal — the relationships between individuals. 

Currently, there are three Trek series: "Discovery," "Strange New Worlds" and "Lower Decks," and each approaches the universe in a unique way. "Strange New Worlds" hews closest to the original series and "The Next Generation" with the mission-of-the week format, while "Discovery" has one season-long plot. The comedy of the animated "Lower Decks" offers a wonderful respite and counterbalance to the other two series, while still respecting the franchise. 

In my opinion, Paramount's strategy with Star Trek has been better than what Disney is doing with Star Wars and the MCU. And, because there are only a few titles at any one time, it's avoided the fan fatigue with the other two franchises. I hope that, whatever comes next, Paramount finds a similar equilibrium. 

A rocky start, but amazing cast

When I first started watching Discovery, I didn't dislike the tie-in with Strange New Worlds, but the retconning felt really forced, especially after Discovery jumped 1,000 years into the future. To blend two "Simpsons" memes, Poochie returned to his home planet, and we're never going to speak about him again, under penalty of death. 

But, freed from the constricts of established Star Trek canon, "Discovery" has been able to take some bold leaps that really set it apart from what has come before. 

And, it has a really tremendous cast. As the whole show revolves around her character Michael Burnham, Sonequa Martin-Green has to do a lot of the heavy lifting, so I don't think she's able to have as much fun with her part as some of the other actors. In particular, Michelle Yeoh really seemed to relish her role, and was a delight to watch in every scene she was in. Fortunately, we haven't seen the last of her, as she's due to star in the upcoming Star Trek movie "Section 31."

Tig Notaro basically plays herself, but her dry humor is wickedly funny, especially when employed at the expense of the prickly Lt. Cmdr Paul Stamets (an excellent Anthony Rapp). Doug Jones brings a special tenderness to his role as Saru.  

The fourth season of "Discovery" started laying the groundwork for this one, as some of the main crew started peeling off as they settled into life in the 32nd Century. But, I'm going to miss this crew. I just hope Discovery comes in for a smooth landing.

Sing us a song

Billy Joel in concert

(Image credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS)

The other reason I'm getting Paramount Plus in April is because it's showing the 100th concert of Billy Joel's residency at Madison Square Garden. I've seen Billy Joel live in concert several times, and wished I had the chance to see this show in person (It took place on March 28), but tickets were wildly expensive. Not quite Taylor Swift expensive, but still.

Now, at least, I'll be able to enjoy the concert from the comforts of my home, and no one except my wife, dog, and cat will suffer through me singing along to Piano Man and We Didn't Start the Fire. 

"The 100th: Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden – The Greatest Arena Run of All Time" airs on Paramount Plus on April 14. 

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Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.