Hulu.com, the NBC/Fox venture to bring tons of free shows to the web, has been talked about for a while and I discovered last weekend it's live. That was about the last time I was really productive in off hours come to think of it.
I've watched the occasional episode of Lost while sitting at my computer, The Office on Netflix, or NBC.com, but I haven't made the transition to really watching a lot of web TV. The web connection's in the office not the den, and I'd have a guy come out or string a wire in the attic myself or figure out one of those wireless hubs. Anyway...
Hulu with it's friendly interface and limited commercial interruptions makes for pretty good office-swivel-chair viewing for me. Is it the tilting point? Perhaps. Slate suggested recently it may be the future of television and the edge of new social networking. Viewers will be able to collectively vote on the best episode of The Simpsons ever and things of that nature.
It's certainly like we've always heard TV would be some day. A menu of the programs we want, all on demand.
For the genre fan
There are many choices for the science fiction fan and some for the horror fan, as well as those who want to catch up the brilliant satire of American Dad and The Simpsons.
My favorite offering is Lost in Space. I was a Lost in Space kid. When it went into syndication and started airing on our local TV station when I was in first grade, I counted the days until its kickoff and watched every afternoon without much of a discerning eye.
I was a kid so the later, garishly colored and hopelessly goofy episodes didn't really bother me, and in those days generally they seemed to air shows in kind of random order. I was a little surprised one afternoon when something that seemed like a news show came on in the Lost in Space time slot. After a few second it became apparent it was the first episode, introduced in documentary fashion.
Hulu offers the slightly more serious and somber Season 1 including the first full pilot w/out the robot or Dr. Smith. That was later recut to introduce a then-sinister Dr. Smith, foreign agent and stowaway on the Jupiter 2.
If you're not nostalgic, there's still much to be found. Battlestar Gallactica episodes -- new, classic and '80--are available.
There's also Sci Fi's Invisible Man, he of the quicksilver rage; the new and just slightly underrated Bionic Woman featuring the co-star of BBC's stupendous Jekyll as Jamie Sommers; Flash Gordon; The Pretender; I Spy; Chuck and many others.
There are also interesting things to check out. I haven't watched yet, but in addition to Lost in Space, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is included, and the episodes on Hulu include a Harlan Ellison-penned installment "The Price of Doom." The producers must have changed his original because it's credited to Cordwainer Bird.
Mystery fans can also find much to enjoy including the unbelievable first season of Murder One and on the horror front there's the old Night Gallery though it's not the best package of shows you could hope for from that series that frequently adapted tales from the pulps including Lovecraft's "Pickman's Model."
If you have a speedy web connection check it out.