Stream Police: The Crackle Edition

Posted in The Screening Room by - March 14, 2016

I feel that it’s always nice to shake up the status quo.  Seeingthe same week in and week out causes your product to feel stale and people will being to lose interest. The same could also be said of making too drastic of a change, which can cause your audience to be scared away by a sudden shift in your content, causing you to lose a key demographic. Of course, this might having you asking yourself what this has to do with this week’s Stream Police, and it is a long was to go for me to say that I’m not looking at either Netflix or Hulu, in fact over the next few months I plan on going outside of the two major services for all of my Stream Police entries. After all, it’s only fair to let people know that there are other services out there, and the world doesn’t just revolve around Hulu Plus and Netflix.

To kick off this little trip around the internet, I think the best place to start is on a little app that is available on most game consoles and is probably even on your Television. The little app that no one bothers to look at is a little something called Crackle. It may not have the library of Netflix, and you’ll have to sit through a few commercials like Hulu, but there are a few gems on Crackle that are worth a watch.


The Critic

Ah, Jay Sherman, you may recognize this lovable scamp from that one Simpsons episode that doesn’t have Matt Groening’s name on it.  It may come as a surprise to our younger readers that he did in fact have this program crossover with the Simpsons happened due to the show’s creators, Al Jean and Mike Reiss, being regulars behind the scenes at The Simpsons in its “golden age”. The Critic itself only ran for two seasons, one on ABC and one on Fox, with the episodes from the former being available here on Crackle. Many of the episodes were written by Simpsons alumni and one lone episode by Judd Apatow, but each of these is a fun little episode especially if you’re into more dry and sarcastic humor.

Featuring lots of movie parodies, and the lampooning of famous actors, along with Jon Lovitz’s impeccable delivery as Sherman, you’ve got a fun 13 episodes that will, sadly, be over far too soon.


The Real Ghostbusters

A staple of my television on Saturday mornings when I was a lad, The Real Ghostbusters is a good kids show that even holds up well today. While only the first season is available here, it’s fortunately some of the show’s best.  While the cast from the movie isn’t involved with this, the cast for the show is amazing, featuring Maurice LaMarche, Frank Welker, Arsenio Hall, and the late, great Lorenzo Music, the show is remarkably well done and can easily be enjoyed by Ghostbusters fans of all ages.

The show is fantastic, and as an added bonus, Crackle also currently has the first two Ghostbusters films available for steaming, so you can catch up all the classic Ghostbusters goodness just in time for the reboot.


Married…with Children

A choice that I know my fiance will love, Married… with Children follows the Bundy family, a family of lovable losers and all around terrible people. While it’s a shame that only one season of this great show is available on the service, and honestly the season that’s here isn’t one of its strongest, but it’s always a joy to hear Al reminisce about his days on the football field at Polk High or his latest ordeal at the shoe store.

Watching this show back it really is incredible just what they could get away with on TV thirty years ago.  Slut shaming, fat shaming, threats of violence against his kids and wife, among other things. Married…with Children is far from politically correct, but that’s part of its charm and the reason the show lasted as long as it did. A great cast, wonderful writing, and humor that holds up even today, Married… with Children is a fantastic show and really deserves to be watched by any fan of classic TV.


All in the Family

If you’re the kind of person that would be easily offended by Al Bundy, then you might not be much of a fan of Archie Bunker either. All in the Family revolves around the loud mouth, bigoted Archie Bunker, and saw its fair share of controversy even when it debuted in the 1970s. The show would go on to run for nine seasons, and even have a number of spinoffs, including Maude and The Jeffersons. Looking back at All in the Family now is very interesting. 

The show is undoubtedly one of the most acclaimed television shows in history, and its about an overweight, white bigot. It’s really fascinating to look back at some of the episodes of this show that is over forty years old and see that some of these prejudices still ring true to this day… I’m not sure if that’s sad or horrifying. Despite its subject matter, All in the Family is a fantastic show and Carroll O’Connor’s iconic Archie Bunker character will be fondly remembered as one of the greatest television characters of all time, despite his beliefs.


The Shield

Police procedurals haven’t been in short supply over the years, but most of them tend to look at law enforcement in a more positive light, though that’s subjective with shows like SVU, but that’s a topic for another day. The Shield seems a little more timely now than it was when it debuted nearly fourteen years ago, especially with the national attention that police corruption seems to get these days. The show follows Vic Mackey and his Strike Team, group of detectives from the LAPD, who use illegal methods to deal with criminals and even commit crimes themselves in order to make themselves a profit. Crackle offers up the first two seasons of this FX show and offers up a good amount of gripping television thanks to the show’s good writing and interesting characters. While Mackey and his team are the focal point of the series, it also has plenty of side characters each with their own set of stories to keep the viewer invested and show that these people are lives outside of police work, and that not everyone working out of “the barn” is as corrupt as Mackey.

I watched the show’s first two seasons when they originally aired on FX in 2002 and 2003, and the show had me hooked. I recommend it to anyone looking for a good drama and enjoys something a little more edgy.

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He is a senior editor at Kulture Shocked. A seasoned gamer, Zach has been playing video games since the early 90s and have owned everything from the NES to the Xbox One. Aside from video games, Zach is a nerd of all trades and dabbles in everything from collectible card games to Gunpla.
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