App switching has officially become the new channel surfing. Much of the past decade in television can be summarized by the novel introduction (see: House of Cards, season 1) and then total cultural dominance (see: Stranger Things, season 3) of Netflix productions. But the likes of Fleabag — an Amazon Prime Video series that recently won four Emmys — proves a shift is underway. We’re ready to see what else is on. And as it turns out, it’s some pretty exciting programming! Apple and Disney both launched streaming services at the beginning of November, meaning that in Canada, there are now five major video-on-demand services. That’s a lot of new prestige series to binge-watch. To cut through the modern television static — and help you keep track of all the new charges on your credit card — we sat down and played serious couch potato.
Just Tuning In:
Anyone with kids, a comic book collection, or an interest in Yoda’s infancy.
What to watch: The Mandalorian
This Star Wars spinoff starring Baby Yoda — not to mention Pedro Pascal as a bounty hunter — is a great indication of the big-budget fan service that Disney+ is positioned to specialize in (see also: the live-action remake of Lady and the Tramp that debuted at launch). No less than five shows starring your favourite Marvel characters (including, yes, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki) are also in the works.
Apple TV+ ($6/month)
Serious star power.
What to watch: The Morning Show
Apple figured out that half of all Netflix subscribers are just watching reruns of old sitcoms and cherry-picked two of their best actors, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carrell, to star alongside Reese Witherspoon in a series about a network news show undergoing a Me Too crisis. You might think you want a Friends or The Office reboot, but this is probably better.
The OG Three:
1. Netflix (From $10/month)
Best for: Giving you something to talk about at work
Overlooked gems: Easy, Maniac
What’s new: British TV royalty Olivia Colman joins The Crown, season 3
2. Amazon Prime Video ($80/year)
Best for: Also getting you faster shipping on headphones
Greatest hits: Fleabag, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
What’s new: Season 2 of geopolitical thriller Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan
3. Crave (From $10/month)
Best for: Offbeat Canadiana; Hulu and HBO programming (*)
Greatest hits: Shrill, Succession (*)
What’s new: Season 7 of ultimate hoser satire Letterkenny
(*) For an extra $10