I can't say that all good streaming services get canceled, because lord knows some people will never get rid of their Netflix out of a bit of FOMO, but I just hit a weird wall with one of my personal favorite streaming services of the year. I kept checking the app this morning, hoping that something would change. That a perceived wrong would be righted. It was not.
But let's rewind a bit first. Back at the start of the year, I canceled Netflix (and I wasn't alone: Netflix's subscribers troubles are bad, and other streaming service cancelations are on the rise as well). I left, though, because it simply didn't have the stuff I wanted. What did I want? Well, I was playing catch-up on all the big shows that I needed to still see, and they had just lost Halt and Catch Fire, one of the more underrated dramas in AMC's recent history.
Overshadowed by Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, and countless other Netflix shows (such as Netflix's new No. 1 show or movie: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes), Halt and Catch Fire is too good to miss (just like some of the films on our list of the new movies to stream this week). That said, it's an alternative history of the rise of the personal computer and the internet, which is a premise that some folks slept on. I was one of them, and I had even let it slip through my fingers when it was at Netflix, only starting the final season before mindlessly getting distracted.
And so I tracked it down to AMC Plus, an $8.99 per month streaming service that had Halt and Catch Fire, and then some. It even had Killing Eve season 4 episodes a week before they aired on regular AMC. I thought I was just going to have to keep "finding the room" in my budget for it. Which I would have done happily.
But then my most anticipated show of the year changed everything.
Streaming services create expectations
AMC Plus and I soon found ourselves in "fool me once, don't fool me twice" situation. I returned to Netflix to watch Better Call Saul — the beloved prequel series to Breaking Bad that focuses on how lawyer Jimmy McGill became the sleazy Saul Goodman. Tom's Guide has praised Better Call Saul as one of the best shows on TV, and I was finally tuning in.
But for some reason AMC didn't have any of those seasons on its own streaming service, so I had to go back to Netflix. Yes, even during the recent months when Better Call Saul season 5 wasn't on Netflix — only on paid video on demand — it still wasn't on AMC Plus. I am still kind of shocked that AMC's best current show, somehow, wasn't on AMC Plus. How is AMC Plus supposed to become something if that doesn't happen?
But, I kept AMC Plus to stay ahead of the curve on the final (and frustratingly lackluster), season of Killing Eve. That quality dip in the series, which saw a finale that I barely felt anything about, pushed me closer to wondering if I needed AMC Plus.
And, then, Better Call Saul season 6 was finally about to debut. I did my research, and found that it was going to arrive on both AMC and AMC Plus. So I began to develop an expectation that Better Call Saul's extra long debut — scheduled for 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. ET — was going to pull a Killing Eve.
Having covered TV releases for Tom's Guide for years now, I knew that Killing Eve was no anomaly. This early release schedule had been happening for The Walking Dead season 11 part 2 and Fear The Walking Dead too.
But then I saw all of the marketing materials for Better Call Saul's season 6 premiere, and no reference to early episodes was there. But I wasn't ready to say they fooled me twice. Not only because they never claimed otherwise, but because I could think of one other reason to keep AMC Plus.
The last straw for my AMC Plus subscription
Waking up is a (hopefully) very boring process. But on Monday morning, I woke up with intent. The intent to see if Better Call Saul season 6's first episodes could have arrived early. Sure, many popular streaming services that have linear broadcast counterparts debut their episodes at the same time as they broadcast — Euphoria, for example — but I'd seen Killing Eve episodes arrive first thing in the morning. Which made me think "there's still a possible chance I could keep AMC Plus."
Why? Because, dear reader, on the way from season 5 to season 6, someone at AMC decided that Better Call Saul belonged on Mondays. And unfortunately for me, 9 p.m. ET on Mondays is a very crowded timeslot due to my own personal TV habits. I didn't want to have to choose between Jimmy "Saul Goodman" McGill and "The American Nightmare" Cody Rhodes, who has just recently made WWE's Monday Night Raw a far more compelling show.
Alas, AMC Plus didn't have Better Call Saul. Which made me realize that AMC Plus was only going to air it alongside AMC. Which is great for people who don't have AMC, but I have Sling TV.
So, there I was, ready to finally kick AMC Plus to the curb. Yes, it collects content from AMC, BBC America, IFC, SundanceTV, Shudder, Sundance Now and IFC Films Unlimited, but it broke from how it aired other shows. I skimmed through the app, considered some of its content, and then I realized I was done.
In a moment where I can't throw a rock without hitting a conversation about inflation, and when Netflix is raising prices and I actually found a reason to get Paramount Plus? I can't help but constantly look at these services with the mindset of "what are you doing for me today?" Sure, you kept me well during the last months, and maybe I'll churn (cancel and come back), but there's no need to stick with any streaming service if it's got nothing for you right now.
In other streaming news, it looks like Apple TV Plus may be set to score the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket. This could be huge for the rapidly growing streaming service. Plus, here's the one Roku setting I wish I'd known to turn off and how I fixed the Roku bug that hid all my apps.