No matter who I talked to after I canceled Netflix, I kept having the same conversation. Everyone wants to try and cancel at least one streaming service to free up some room in their budget. Inflation isn't helping anything, but in a moment where CNN Plus is a real thing, we've all kinda realized that we've hit a streaming services overload.
And, yes, even the best streaming services deserve to get cut off every now and then. So that's why I'm looking at what some of the most popular services will be adding in April 2022.
This way, anyone who is thinking about canceling one or more services will know what they're missing out on. Think of this as my advice for how you can save money on your streaming bill. I'm not canceling all of these services, but that's because I have weird little reasons, which I'll explain below.
As I did last month, I'm breaking down the biggest newest additions to Netflix, HBO Max, Apple TV Plus, Hulu and Disney Plus. I won't get into the stuff they already have, as it's impossible to measure the services by their best stuff they already have.
Should you cancel Apple TV Plus in April 2022?
Apple TV Plus, like Hulu and Disney Plus, rides into April with strong headwinds. If you're loving Severance, I bet you'll have a hard time saying goodbye until its finale airs on April 8. I'm loving the show so much I decided not to watch the screeners so that I wouldn't finish it too soon.
But, before and after that date, Apple is cannily looking to keep you on board with three new shows that look really good. The first is Slow Horses (debuting April 1), a spy series with a bit of a sense of humor about itself. Gary Oldman stars as the guy running Slough House, a U.K. intelligence outfit where they send the folks who screw up at MI5.
Slow Horses looks like almost an ideal Apple TV Plus show. Oldman's delivering eccentric dialogue with a charm that almost recalls Ted Lasso, especially when he said "bringing you up to speed is like trying to explain Norway to a dog. It appears that Oldman's Slough House crew will need to work with Kristin Scott Thomas' team at MI5, though, to fix a bigger problem.
The next promising series to hit Apple TV Plus is Roar (Friday, April 15), and it's from Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch — the team behind another four-letter powerhouse in TV: GLOW. And for this series, where they will reunite with Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin, who play two of the leads for this dark comic anthology series that tackles what it's like to be a woman in modern society.
Watch for yourself above. This might be exactly your cup of tea — and stars such as Issa Rae, Nicole Kidman, Meera Syal, Merritt Wever and Cynthia Erivo may help pique your interest — or it might not.
That said, the third arrow up Apple's quiver looks like it might be the best. Shining Girls (debuting Friday, April 29) is a new crime drama from Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men, The Handmaid's Tale) who is starring, directing and executive producing an adaptation of Lauren Beukes' bestselling novel. It looks like a must-see for fans of crime dramas, as Moss plays a former journalist named Kirby Mazrachi, whose career fell apart after an assault.
Kirby may have a chance to solve her own troubled past, though, when a new series of crimes seem to have an awful lot in common with her own incident. Jamie Bell co-stars.
Oh, and Apple TV Plus will start streaming Friday Night Baseball this month.
My recommendation: Keep Apple TV Plus: its trio of big original shows makes it look like a must-have.
- If that sounds like a great month of programming, sign up for Apple TV
Should you cancel Disney Plus in April 2022?
Technically Disney Plus' biggest series — Moon Knight (April 6, 13, 20, 27) — debuted at the tail end of March, but this is another of the many weekly episodic release shows. That means it's going to take up a lot of the chatter throughout April for those who watch it week by week. Others will likely wait until May when the whole series is out to binge it. Ready for more? We've got all the details for those looking to watch Moon Knight episode 2 online.
Having watched the first four episodes of Moon Knight (my Moon Knight review is spoiler-free, by the way)? I feel like this is a show where the first episode will be enough to tell you how you want to watch Moon Knight. You'll either be OK with that slow-drip of its six episodes, or think "I'd rather wait to watch it all in May."
I love it because it's one of the rare new MCU projects that truly stands alone (even more than Shang-Chi), and Oscar Isaac pulls off some amazing stuff as the bewildered protagonist Steven Grant, who's discovering that he's also former spy Marc Spector, who becomes the caped vigilante Moon Knight.
Disney superfans may want to check out Sketchbook (debuts on April 27), a series that "takes us onto the desks and into the lives of talented artists and animators" at Disney, with each episode focusing on how to draw one iconic Disney character.
New kids fare on Disney Plus this month includes Better Nate Than Ever (April 1), a film about kids who sneak off to NYC to chase their dreams of being on Broadway, more episodes of The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder (April 6, 13 and 20) and the debut of Ice Age Scrat Tales (April 13), a series of animated shorts about the saber-toothed squirrel from the Ice Age films.
Oh, and Earth Day (April 22) is a big day at Disney Plus. Polar Bear, narrated by Catherine Keener, tells the story of a mama polar bear in "the increasingly challenging world that polar bears face today." It's going to be joined by an accompanying behind the scenes feature called Bear Witness, that explains the challenges the filmmakers faced. Explorer: The Last Tepui will take audiences into the Amazon jungle with famed climber Alex Honnold and biologist and National Geographic Explorer Bruce Means. And The Biggest Little Farm: The Return is a 30-minute special that follows up the 2018 documentary about the work at Apricot Lane Farms.
My recommendation: Unless Earth Day is a day you truly celebrate, let your Moon Knight episode 1 reaction dictate whether you cancel Disney Plus or not.
- If Turning Red and the rest sound like your kind of shows, sign up for Disney Plus
Should you cancel HBO Max in April 2022?
HBO Max continues to deliver a stacked lineup this month, showing everyone that it can make do without Euphoria. The big debut at the top of the marquee, though, is The Flight Attendant season 2 (April 21), which is kinda funny for me to admit.
As someone whose exposure to lead Kaley Cuoco was minimal — I knew her as a Big Bang Theory cast member — even I was amazed by how much I loved the first season. While Cuoco is backed up by stellar supporting cast members (Zosia Mamet and Rosie Perez in particular) she really won me over with her performance as Cassie, a flight attendant whose drinking gets her into the worst trouble. I'm talking framed-for-murder to cover up something bad kind of trouble. Season 2 will find her sober and working in LA (bye bye, NYC), and ... working for the CIA.
Meanwhile, HBO Max has two other beloved shows coming back. A Black Lady Sketch Show season 3 (April 8) will have all the standard pointed hilarity fans have grown to expect, all while bringing in a cavalcade of guest stars including Vanessa Williams, Lance Reddick, Ava DuVernay, Wanda Sykes and Jemele Hill.
Plus, Bill Hader's excellent Barry (April 24) returns for its third season, as the titular hit man looks to pry himself from the industry, though that's not going too well.
HBO Max also has a low-key winner that may be going in under the radar for some with Tokyo Vice (April 7). This depiction of life on the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat is inspired by journalist Jake Adelstein's non-fiction first-hand account of the criminal elements that lurk in the underbelly of late 90's Tokyo.
Need more crime? HBO's going back to Baltimore with We Own This City (April 25), which stars The Wire veteran Jamie Hector alongside Jon Bernthal (The Punisher), Josh Charles (Sports Night) and Wunmi Mosaku (Loki).
Oh, and HBO Max is also getting Tony Hawk: Until The Wheels Fall Off (April 5), a documentary about the iconic pro skateboarder, whose life is far more complicated than fans may realize. Other notable releases include The Great Pottery Throw Down season 5 (April 14) and Made for Love season 2 (April 28).
Oh, and even though the big red streaming machine may be the top name in streaming standup, you can forget Netflix — HBO Max has the best new comedy special, with a new special that everyone is talking about.
My recommendation: HBO Max is (again) one of the strongest services in April 2022, try and sample what you can before you make up your mind.
- If you're ready for more mystery, crime and Tony Hawk, sign up for HBO Max
Should you cancel Netflix in April 2022?
Netflix, after a slow March, is picking back up with a stronger April — but one that's bigger at the tail end than the start/ Netflix starts off with The Bubble (April 1) a big Judd Apatow farce about shooting a movie (which looks a lot like Jurassic World: Dominion) entirely on green screen in a hotel during a pandemic.
Your appreciation of Apatow's recent efforts may not be the deciding factor here, as a strong ensemble gives reason to hit play. The film is led by Karen Gillan as the star of Cliff Beasts 6: Battle For Everest - Memories Of A Requiem, and two of her co-stars are played by Keegan-Michael Key and David Duchovony.
Unfortunately, the critical reaction has been horrible, with the The Bubble earning a very low 24% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Standup fans have a gem incoming with Ronny Chieng: Speakeasy (April 5), where the comedian will apply his brutally honest style to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, cancel culture, online critics and race relations.
Between then and the next big Originals, you might feel like canceling Netflix (as I have recently). Sure, Better Call Saul season 5 hits Netflix on April 4, but that's more important to people like me who are still catching up.
Things get hot again near the end of the month, as Russian Doll season 2 (April 20) blazes up a time-jumping yarn that looks to be a whole subway car full of laughs and contemplation. The biggest guns don't come out until the very end of the month, as Grace and Frankie season 7 and Ozark season 4 both conclude on April 29.
My recommendation: Keep Netflix: it's hard to consider that people would cancel Netflix at the start of this month (though my parents are thinking about it), I could see people waiting until the middle or end of the month to resubscribe.
- If that sounds like a month worth up to $20, sign up for Netflix
Should you cancel Hulu in April 2022?
Hulu's got a slight month for most, as the currently-beloved series The Dropout is about to run out of Amanda Seyfried's take on Elizabeth Holmes. And after audiences mostly found erotic thriller Deep Water neither sexy nor thrilling? Well, you'd hope Hulu has a strong set up its sleeves.
The big four Hulu shows of April aren't exactly demonstrating that, though. Some reality TV addicts won't be able to stop themselves from following The Kardashians (April 14) from E! to Hulu, as their series debuts.
Khloe and Tristan are "complicated," while Kourtney and Travis Barker want to have a baby. The big drama is of course all about Kim, as the series looks to show the early days of her situation with Pete Davidson. And, yes, we're going to see Ye (the artist formerly known as Kanye West) show up.
But before all that, you've got a lot of family fare. Madagascar: A Little Wild season 7 (April 4), The Croods: Family Tree season 2 (April 5) and The Hardy Boys season 2 (April 6) all arrive back-to-back-to-back.
Woke season 2 (April 8) looks to be one of the true gems in Hulu's April lineup. The series focuses on Lamorne Morris (The New Girl) whose Keef is seeing how being "woke" has pivoted from politics to influencer cash. He and his friends, though, want to rise above that.
Then, at the end of April, Hulu's got Crush (April 29) an original film about a high school crushes that meet on the track field.
Hulu's got the weakest month of the bunch if you ask me. If I wasn't on a $1 per month deal I got last Black Friday, I'd be dropping Hulu.
My recommendation: Unless you're a Kardashian fan or your family loves this certain kind of animated spectacular, nothing in Hulu can't wait for May.
- If that sounds like it's worth $7, sign up for Hulu
The streaming service I'd cut this month
Of course, the big proviso here is your mileage may vary. Each of these purchases are your decisions and yours alone, but if a family member or friend asked me what streaming services I thought weren't required for this month, I would say "wave bye-bye to Hulu."
Again, Disney Plus may also be on your chopping block if you don't take to Moon Knight like I did. And if you don't have Netflix right now? I'm guessing you can wait until the end of the month. But I say take that $6.99 back from Hulu and spend it on Apple TV Plus if you aren't already.