Wednesday, April 02, 2008


I decided to try out Hulu, given all the fanfare of its debut, and I was pleasantly surprised to find Firefly among the television series it includes. The entire series, mind you (not difficult, since only one season was produced).

So I ended up watching the entire run of Firefly over the weekend, along with random episodes of The Tick (the live-action series starring Patrick Warburton), Night Gallery, and It Takes a Thief. In order to provide these copyrighted properties without charging subscription or download fees, Hulu shows commercials during the breaks (about 2 minutes total per show). It works out okay, because in any given break, you're not having to wait more than 30 seconds to get back to the show. Also, since the shows were designed to break for commercials, they don't really break the experience.

The problem is that there is a very limited number of advertisers, so you'll be seeing the same commercials over and over again. The other problem is that they do the same thing during feature films, which were not designed to break for commercials. This means that they break the films at odd random places, sometimes in the middle of a scene, which does sort of ruin the experience.

So I'd recommend Hulu for TV series watching, not so much for feature films. They have a fairly long list of series available now, including old shows that don't see syndication, like I Spy and the aforementioned It Takes a Thief. However, since it's still early days, they only have the first seasons of those classic shows available, so if there's a particular episode you're dying to see, it might not be available yet.

I'll get back to Firefly tomorrow.

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