Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hanging out at Hulu

I've been hearing a lot of buzz about this new website called Hulu,which is sponsored by several broadcast networks(NBC,FOX and some of their sublets like Bravo and F/X)and studios such as MGM and Universal,that has clips and/or full movies and episodes of a good number of TV shows,past and present. After reading about Hulu in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly,I thought that I should give it a whirl.

Well,first off,good news for Buffy fans-if you're in the mood to watch one of your favorite episodes online or want a good clip to share with friends,Hulu is your one stop shopping center,gang. Only the first two seasons of BTVS are available right now(and alas,no cool clips with Spike & Dru just yet)but you can embed such fun moments as Principal Flutie getting devoured by the Sunnydale Hyena Possessed Posse:

In addition to whole seasons and assorted clips,the TV section also has an offering of "Minisodes"(five minute versions of half hour sitcoms and hour long programs)of well loved chunks of video cheddar like Married With Children,Ricki Lake and The Facts of Life. Full length episodes can be had for some of Minisode listings,but not for The Facts of Life. I don't know why,because I'm sure that I am not the only one out there who wouldn't mind sitting thru plenty of entire episodes of TFOL:

In the interest of seeing just how many commercial breaks you'd have to endure while watching a full length version of a TV show on Hulu,I forced myself to see the pilot episode of The Return of Jezebel James(since the show has already been canceled,I figured "Oh,why not? Maybe it isn't so bad."). Hulu allows it's members to leave comments and this was mine:

"As a Gilmore Girls fan,I am deeply disappointed here. No wonder that this show was just canceled. Note to Hollywood: DO NOT put Parker Posey in a sitcom,ever,again!!! She comes across as twitchy and irritating to the tenth power. Also,that laugh track must have been conceived by Foley artists from hell;it was as useless as a lace on a barbell. What a waste of time and talent."

Oh,and there are about three 30 second ad spots you have to watch during a half hour program(all for one product,which was more entertaining than watching Parker Posey acting like a loon)and I believe about four or five for hour long ones. Not too bad.

I haven't watched a movie in it's entirety on Hulu yet,but the choices given to you are rather odd. Some movies are only available in small clips,like Waitress or the original Psycho,and others in full such as The Big Lebowski and the terrible remake of Psycho(why,Gus Van Sant,why?). Lionsgate seems to be the most generous studio, with all of it's movie listings being available in full(then again,those listings include Boat Trip and Hercules in New York).

While it may appear to be a bit of a tease to only have certain films up as clips(some I can understand,like Juno which is due out on DVD soon),they do at least put up some pretty good ones. For example,my all time personal pick for Best Moment of Sequential Action On Film comes from Raising Arizona. The whole chain of events that result from H.I.'s robbery attempt is both funny and exciting,no matter how many times you see it and nicely anchored by that pack of Huggies:

So,is Hulu here to stay? Maybe,for now. It certainly won't replace YouTube,due to music videos(real and fan made)not being available,along with other random bits of internet lore for the amusement of the public. I think that it will be a nice sidekick instead,giving folks another chance to catch up on things they didn't get the chance to see earlier and making it easier for bloggers like me to post clips from certain shows like the new season of Hell's Kitchen. Thanks,Hulu:

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