When my wife and I were trying to keep our toddler entertained the other day, I was fast forwarding through Disney movies on Disney+ to find musical numbers. Whether that was “Let it Go” from Frozen or “I See the Light” from Tangled, anything was acceptable. It led me to thinking about Disney+ and trying to understand why they don’t have a channel in the service dedicated to Disney songs. Disney owns all the songs already and instead of people looking them up on YouTube or jumping through movies in order to enjoy the musical numbers, they could promote it as a bonus for Disney+ subscribers. It’s not like they don’t understand the power of their musical numbers. During the pandemic, Disney released celebrity sing-along specials. While those included celebrities as an added bonus, audiences all over the world enjoy Disney songs. I think they underestimate how many people would enjoy this feature.
Disney+ has other properties that they could have a 24/7 channel for as well. A series like The Simpsons is perfect for this. Sometimes you don’t want to have to select a particular episode and would just prefer a service to pick a random one for you. A specialized channel isn’t an unheard of thing for streaming services either. Once Peacock obtained The Office rights back from Netflix, the entire service was centered around the series. Not only did they have every episode from the series available, but they have bonus features and playlists that capture long running themes. From Peacock’s The Office website:
Playlists to chronicle pranks (feat. Jim Halpert, Dwight K. Schrute); best office romances (feat. Jim Halpert, Pam Beesly); and office words of wisdom (feat. former regional manager Michael Scott).
Obviously not every series has this amount of content and following to put this much work into it, but there are a number of series this would make a lot of sense for. The heavy hitters like Seinfeld, Friends, and the aforementioned The Simpsons are obvious examples. If you could have a playlist that followed individual characters, imagine how great that would be? A playlist that captures the best episodes of Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) would showcase a lot of her dating escapades or one focusing on the romances of Friends (Look EW has even made the playlist for you, HBO Max). Playlists make a lot of sense and they would work in the case of Disney musicals as well. You could have Disney decades that would play only scenes from those eras. There’s a lot of flexibility that hasn’t been explored.
I recently tried Discovery+. While I didn’t end up keeping the service, one of the things I appreciated the most was the dedicated channels they have. If you want to watch continuous episodes of House Hunters, they’ve got that. You want to watch all the 90 Day Fiancé you can handle, they’ve got that too. Picking particular episodes of those shows is an impossible task, because who can remember the couple they enjoyed or the house they wanted to see again? By randomly rotating through the episodes, you’ll often be surprised by what’s coming next.
Bingeing television is what the streaming revolution was made for. Leaving something on without having to think about what is next. Wouldn’t it be ideal if some of these choices were made for you. If there is something consumers love more than ease of use, it’s services making decisions for them. Adapting a 24/7 channel for the most popular series and specials, isn’t only helping consumers, it’s more value that streaming services could offer. Disney+, I’m waiting for my Disney song channel.
Remember when The Muppets were good? Joshua Rivera from Polygon talks about the golden era of The Muppets and how Disney has never understood what made them great.
Earlier this year I interviewed the directors of the Academy Award nominated film, Wolfwalkers. Jake Coyle for ABC News did an article on Cartoon Saloon and how the Irish studio became an animation powerhouse.
The pandemic has had an effect on movie theaters and this week a chain of theaters has announced their closure. The Arclight cinemas will not reopen, but that also means The Cinerama Dome will be closed as well. Carolyn Giardina for The Hollywood Reporter discusses the iconic theater in her latest article.
HBO Max has recently added the complete series of The Nanny to the service. You are probably familiar with the CBS series from 1993-1999 starring Fran Drescher. I’ve been watching it again now that it’s on the service and Nina Metz for Chicago Tribune has an interview with Lauren Lane who played C.C. Babcock on the series.
Promising Young Woman is the most decisive of this year’s Best Picture nominees. Audiences either love it or hate it. Four writers from Vox took the opportunity to discuss the movie and its explosive ending (*Spoilers).
Streaming this Weekend (Apr 16-18)
Mare of Easttown (HBO Max)
Send links, tips, comments, questions, and more to @mhcovill.