I love YouTube, but Deception has brought me back to Hulu again. Granted, they only show the last five episodes for free (the first episode of Deception is already on Hulu Plus). Hulu doesn’t notify you when the latest episode is available, so it is easy to get away from a show. Is it safe to assume that if five weeks pass by and you don’t check out a show you’re not that interested in it to begin with? Hulu also has all of those old weird, eclectic Criterion films, and they have a handful of shows they produce.
I’m still on the fence about Hulu Plus though. I purchased the service so I could watch Hulu on my regular television through Roku. There is a lot of content, but not quite as much as I thought there would be. In the beginning, Hulu offered everything for free, to an extent. You could watch any old show in their catalog. Somewhere along the line Hulu had the bright idea to move all of those old shows onto Hulu Plus. Some of them are still available, but a lot of them aren’t. As far as watching the complete run of a show on Hulu Plus, well that was always the case from the very beginning. There are only a handful of “classic” eighties and nineties shows on Hulu Plus, and those are hidden under “Classic Movies”. The easiest way to find content is to subscribe to shows when you find them, whether you are going to watch them or not, to make them easier to find later on. Typically I’ll just flip through whatever episodes are popular at the moment.
Hulu Plus has more than 6,000 shows. How many shows there are on the free version of Hulu though, is not as easy to figure as it used to be. Hulu has changed their interface so that you can no longer count up how many free shows they have. Getting to the show you want is almost impossible, as the website works off of artificial intelligence, and predicts what you want to see. You can find more content on Hulu than you can on Netflix though; some of the shows are only available at Hulu.com on the Internet through a traditional PC, netbook or laptop.
The entire point of Hulu was to give television audiences a choice of what they want to watch. Hulu has a way of wearing you down to where you will inevitably watch whatever they are suggesting you should watch; if you’re logged in this is in accordance to whatever recommendations they have made from what you have seen in the past. If you are not logged in, this is an educated guess based off of cookies in the web browser, and what most people watch when they’re on Hulu. I do like the fact that it reminded me that there were new episodes of Deception available. At the end of the day Hulu does a better job of connecting me with the shows and movies I want to watch, particularly when the app I use on Roku is incapable of providing me with recommendations, but nine times out of ten I watch what Hulu thinks I should watch, not what I really want to watch. Whether or not this provides a better experience than YouTube’s artificial intelligence can is up to debate, but I have a lot of fun along the way …