Stream Police: The Hulu Plus Edition
Hello friends. Welcome to this week's Stream Police, and if you're wondering why you haven't seen my name before or what that ugly, unfamiliar lime green box is above this post, allow me to elaborate. My name is Marc, and don't tell my editor, but I don't really like movies. It's not as though there aren't movies I don't like, in general I prefer the medium of television. It's for this reason that I find myself among the thirty or so people that don't subscribe to Netflix.
Hulu Plus may not have the quality first party programming that Netflix boasts about constantly. However, it more than makes up for this in a bevy of both classic and modern programming from a variety of networks. While we all know that we can turn to Hulu Plus on Monday to see the latest Family Guy or Monday Night Raw (or turn to The Three Count for our high quality commentary), there's plenty of great television you can check out to binge watch on these hot summer days. Here's five forgotten and overlooked classics ready for streaming right now on Hulu Plus.
The Ren and Stimpy Show
Twenty years later, Ren and Stimpy is still well ahead of it's time. Despite airing on a children's network, Ren and Stimpy boasts some of the most graphic and risque humor ever seen in a kid's show. From Ren's frequent bouts of psychosis to scenes of graphic vomiting and other toilet humor, Ren and Stimpy makes the “Don't drop the soap” scene from Spongebob look like a skit from Barney. Don't let first few weak episodes trick you into thinking this is simple schtick humor, Ren and Stimpy gets very blue, and at sometimes kinda racist pretty quick. Its awesome!
Watch if you like: Adventure Time, Invader Zim, Rick and Morty, SpongeBob SquarePants
Set in a vast prison inside a volcano inside of a bigger volcano, Superjail! is the epitome of an Adult Swim show. I'm sure many of you considered skipping to the next item on the list as soon as you saw Adult Swim, but give me a chance to explain. Superjail! Is nothing like your typical Adult Swim show as in it's actually entertaining. Stellar mainstay David Wain portrays The Warden, a Willy Wonka-esque prison warden obsessed with incarceration and violence whilst speaking in a manner more akin to a serial killer than a prison guard. It bares mention the Warden also possesses an ability to shapeshift and can bend time and reality within his prison, which as you can see from the photo above makes for some interesting television. Rounded out by an eclectic cast of supporting characters and a very graphic and colorful murder spree at the end of every episode, Superjail! is sure to be your bong's next best friend.
Bonus tidbit: Each episode features the escape of a criminal named Jackknife, only to be reincarserated by the only guard in the jail, Jailbot. Jailbot returning Jackknife to prison makes up Superjail!'s awesome opening sequence, though he later escapes at some point during the episode. Sometimes his escape is part of the plot and others its carefully hidden in the background. Have fun trying to find them all.
Watch if you like: Tom Goes to the Mayor, Fritz the Cat, Freddy Got Fingered, Smiley Face
Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
While still airing on NBC, Law and Order: SVU remains the best crime drama procedural ever produced.
SVU's writing is clever and fresh, ICE-T and Richard Belzer time on screen often produces some of the program's more memorable moments. Stephanie March shines during her time as Assistant District Attourney Alexandra Cabot, a no nonsense sharp witted lawyer ruthlessly tied to the pursuit of justice. Storylines ofter twist and turn while taking note to rarely become bogged down. Plot lines rarely repeat themselves, an impressive feat for a show over fifteen seasons old. Along with the excellent cast, superb writing and realistic production values there is one thing that always kept me coming back for more. The good guys don't always get their man. Character engagement at its finest.
Watch if you like: Shutter Island, Vantage Point, Memento, Deadwood
Where The Ren and Stimpy Show is sly and forcibly crafted with its subtle racism and line crossing, Drawn Together not only shouts the “N” word when it stomps on the line, it completely shits on it. This is no exaggeration nor a statement of hyperbole. Drawn Together is without a doubt the most offensive, profane and funniest cartoon I've ever had the absolute pleasure of watching. The program begins as an animated parody of reality programming, but quickly drops the gimmick in favor of general sitcom parody. A female character sets down what she refers to her favorite joke book, later revealed to be Schindler’s List and the program's only African American character must foil a plot by the Board of Education, (a literal plank of wood of course.) This plot involved creating mentholated, grape-flavored pencils that Black students would eat, rendering them unable to complete the SATs. Sadly, the show falls part in quality in the last few episodes due in part to the producer's knowledge that the show was doomed. This cancellation by the way occurred in part due to Comedy Central's feeling that the show was too offensive to continue broadcasting.
Watch if you like: Baseketball, Jackass, Family Guy, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Most Extreme Elimination Challenge
Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (MXC) is the rare example of a comedy dub of a Japanese program that actually ends up being funny. The program in question is mid 80's game show, Takeshi's Castle. A typical MXC broadcast features two teams from random professions or industries battling in physical challenges such as running across a pond filled with both stationary and floating stones or catching a medicine ball in the center of a rickety bridge suspended above the ground. Contestant names and professions are range from absurd to obscure, such as recurring character, Chief Otto Parts, a reference to a defunct chain of auto parts stores in the Untied States or Captain Tenneal, a take on the 70's pop duo of a similar name. Catching all the puns and references is part of the fun, due in part that the physical nature of the program has been long overshadowed by shows like American Ninja Warrior. With dialog that is a frequent source of a hardy laugh and a wonderfully kitschy presentation, MXC is an easy show to lose an evening to.
Watch if you like: Jackass, Wipeout