“Cable TV Will Die”: Altice USA CEO Talks About The Future of Cable Companies, Broadband, and Wireless

In a bold move, Altice Chairman Patrick Drahi vowed that Altice USA would rival Comcast and Charter as one of the three dominant U.S. cable providers and become an even greater force on this side of the pond than it is in its native France. This came after the company acquired U.S. cable companies, Suddenlink and Cablevision.

Six years after, Altice USA has a mere 5 million customers. That’s not even close to how many their major competitors have! Altice has just announced its acquisition of Morris Broadband which will give them 36 thousand more customers. But that’s still a far cry from their arch rivals’ 31 million users.

CEO Dexter Goei spoke to CNBC about how Altice USA’s rapid expansion is being hindered, why he believes cable and wireless will eventually merge in the U.S., and when it might be time for Americans to say goodbye to their beloved cable T.V. service.

(We have edited this interview for clarity and length.)

Alex Sherman, CNBC: Altice Chairman, Patrick Drahi, announced that their company would have an “open boulevard ahead of us.” This was following the deal Altice completed buying two U.S. cable companies: Suddenlink and Cablevision, which he said would make them as big as Time Warner Cable by acquiring five more small operators. It’s over five years now. How many customers do you guys currently serve?

Dexter Goei, Altice USA CEO: We only have about five million customer relationships.

So you have about five million subscribers? While that’s a lot, you’re not as big as Time Warner Cable; they were at 12 million back then. It appears that Patrick’s comment about Charter and Comcast not being able to buy anything else is no longer irrelevant. Did anything happen between then and now?

The reality is there’s been nobody selling, and we haven’t had a chance to show our skills on something of significant size. The most considerable transaction that has taken place is Cable One’s couple billion dollars acquisition, and that was specific to places that we’re not in.

Why? What happened? The machine to consolidate just seemed like it stopped? I remember Charter bought Bright House and Time Warner Cable, and you guys bought Suddenlink and Cablevision within a couple years of each other. But then the consolidation suddenly all came to an abrupt halt with no explanation. Why did that all happen?

I cannot tell exactly, but it’s no secret that the cable companies have been in business for a long time, and we’re not even talking about their icky-uncle type of ownership. The people who own these other conglomerates, like Cox Communications or Charter Spectrum/Comcast Corp., are families with decades’ worth of experience within this industry!

And it’s about the same thing nationwide. People have held ownership for 10, 20, 30 years, and many of them say they are not interested in selling because they like their businesses too much or it’s created a lot of value. They’ve been pioneers in their respective communities for a long time, and they plan to continue doing what they do best – providing cable services. Your local cable company is an invaluable mainstay of the local business community. What if you’re not looking to make a quick buck and don’t know what else to do with your money? These businesses are generating so much free cash flow that they can sustainably pay out dividends of three or four hundred million dollars every year without issue. So, yes – it’s possible for them to sell at five billion. For us, we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing.

 The owners are still the same as five years ago. Wasn’t this clear to you then?

We believed that if everyone were selling, we would see a follow-through of more asset sales. But then it stopped abruptly.

We succeeded in getting Chuck Dolan from Cablevision to sell. At the time, it was an asset that everyone had been trying to get for years, and finally, we managed to! Time Warner came up on sale, but because our company still hadn’t dealt with U.S. regulators yet, they dropped us in favor of another buyer. We saw three sizeable assets come onto the market: one mega-asset (Time Warner) as well as two smaller ones (Cablevision and Suddenlink). We were able to scoop the smaller two.

Now that your offer to buy Atlantic Broadband out of Cogeco was turned down, what is your next move? Obviously, they were not interested in a deal, in line with what you just said.

The company is focused on organic operations, including building out our footprint and upgrading our fiber-to-the-home. We also plan to look for smaller M&A opportunities as long as there are no larger ones available. In the absence of that, we’re putting all of our free cash flow back into buying back our shares since we’re still trading at close to a 10% free cash yield. We have our debt complex currently trading in the 3s. So we’ve got kind of an interest rate difference between our cost of debt and how much goes into current investment projects. We’ll continue to buy up shares and retire them for more. We have also looked at other types of business like wireless or ad tech companies. When it comes down to what is best with our capital investment opportunities, M&A always looks good but only if there are exciting options on the table for us!

 The wireless world is becoming more and more competitive. It’s been beautiful to see the evolution that Altice has made in Europe, as it owns both cable and wireless assets in this region. In fact, they are one of the only companies with these two business lines within a single organization! This begs an important question: will we ever see such changes happen here?

I’ve been speaking out about it for quite some time now. There’s no reason not to: strictly on an operating synergies level (from what I understand), in terms of both capital allocations that can result in higher returns overall and also by way of brand recognition benefits. It’s also ultimately about the clients. When they get more products or services from one provider, they’re less likely to switch providers because their stickiness is better than ever before! That’s why cable companies are entering into the mobile business scene as well.

But we have all gone into a mobile business that might not be as attractive, but it does offer many benefits. Renting someone else’s network will always provide reduced economics when compared to owning and operating one of your own networks. So, this is something you can expect us to push for as we go on — if it doesn’t happen sooner, then it’ll later.

The next wireless race is underway with all the major players in the game. AT&T has been focusing on building out more fiber, while Verizon’s focus seems to be expanding fiber even for their 5G aspirations. T-Mobile also wants a piece of the pie. They have an excellent mid-band strategy that would make them an ideal partner for any large cable operator looking into purchasing spectrum or assets from other companies.

How do you feel about the regulatory environment in America? Do you think there is a chance for one of those deals to go through, with T-Mobile as the smaller company. Could Comcast and Verizon be allowed to merge if they really wanted it?

No one knows absolutely what the future will reveal, but we should all be prepared for anything. So, I’ll make any predictions about M&A.

I do not think the antitrust division should be concerned with strategic transactions between companies that have different services. I can’t imagine why they would care in a situation like this, and frankly, it seems to me as if their attention might better be directed at other areas of concern.

What I do know is that strategic transactions involving different services should be allowed by the antitrust division. Obviously, if the Fios element of Verizon were to merge with Comcast, in certain regions, it would not go well for them from an antitrust standpoint. Yet, I know there are buyers for those assets, ourselves included, and likely Charter and other people!

You need not be a simpleton to understand the benefits of taking Verizon wireless and Comcast fixed. The regulators should see this as an attractive option for better performance and pricing, which would benefit consumers immensely!

With only five million customer relationships, it’s clear that Altice USA has yet to make waves across the country.

We are huge proponents of wireless, and we have a lot to offer in this arena. But if there was the opportunity to acquire a national provider, that would be another investment thesis all by itself!

While it is clear that we could have some synergies, the suggestion of acquiring a mobile or trying to merge with another company would be based on our belief in being able to do something better with it as we move forward.

I see what you’re saying now. So you’re saying that the acquirer will be the parent Altice?

That’s correct. It is our opinion that consolidation of the wireless industry would be a good idea, and we think it’s possible to do it in such a way where there are still enough players for competition. Whether that be with T-Mobile or the major telecom providers joining forces to create one big powerhouse of national coverage across all states and territories in America!

I’m confident that we will see consolidation among both fixed and wireless providers. There is already a lot of it in every other developed country, so I don’t know why the U.S. would be an exception to this trend! Still, you never can tell the exact way things will turn out.

Those not familiar with cable operations will love to know what has been Altice’s strategy within that footprint. So can you tell us? I know Altice has invested a lot in its fiber network. This is because it gives the company potential to offer high-speed internet and other services over that network, not just cable T.V. Why is this such an effective investment for you?

Every two or three years, DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) HFC networks undergo an upgrade cycle. Several updates are made to both the software and hardware of the networks to accommodate a rise in internet speeds on demand and allow for faster speeds than 1 G.B. downstream, as well as symmetric upload and download. These upgrades occur as needed because consumers will always need speedier download and upload rates. You cannot get such on cable today.

We have been and are still rolling out in our sister companies throughout Europe — France, Portugal, and Israel are just a few of the countries — fiber to the home. Fiber is currently the best technology available for fixed-line broadband in terms of upload and download speeds. Fibre has the best response rates due to its top-of-the-line engineering and physical properties. The U.S., on the other hand, still relies on much slower copper cables which are no match for modern-day needs like fiber high-speed internet connection speeds.

Cable companies are often accused of being greedy, but the truth is that they can’t just keep prices low. The content providers like MSNBC and other channels don’t feel obligated to reduce their costs for cable subscribers; when these networks charge more money per person, we have no choice but to pass it on with a price increase—and all in good faith since customers need high-quality video too!

You may not be happy with how your company is doing, but don’t blame CNBC.

Ha, OK.

But then a lot of customers are calling in for their bill issues or network problems they’re experiencing because of weather-related congestion and usage-related traffic jams. And many of these are not issues from the cable companies.

Irrespective of what it is, the service you receive on cable networks can be shaky. And so, one of the most prominent cost elements is all that servicing and repairing required after a call to customer support. Sometimes service people have to visit the technical side two or three times before they can fix what needs repairing and maintain expensive networks. All of these adds to and increases the cost of operations and maintaining cable networks.

What if we could create a network with speeds that go up to 10 gigabytes per second? That would be super awesome! It also means fewer people will call in for service, and the ones who do come into your house won’t have muddy boots on. Imagine how much capital expenditure you’ll save by not having to pay so many technicians coming out all the time.

So we can see that there are some underlying factors about the ROI in this equation. There’s not just one way to make a successful investment; you need something with more potential and higher speeds which is why our company has been focusing on fiber optic cables for homes as opposed to cable television networks. With about 20% of the Optimum footprint already fiber to the home, we know that’s where most people want their data. We can sell it better than cable and get you gig speeds much more quickly – all over HFC with DOCSIS! It’s the best technology. And I think we know that our customers will love it too because of how much better their experience is going to be with us for all those reasons – not only so they can enjoy a great product but also since there’s never any need to call and talk about your cable company. The customer response has been incredible. I think we’ll be proven absolutely right relative to the investment cycle going forward.

 As the network continues to be upgraded, have you considered a trading multiple for pure-play cable companies that seem fair? This is meant to help in adequately judging the cable companies against each other. Currently, they are all over the place.

In my opinion, the most prominent factor in determining how well a company is operating is penetration level or rates. With lower market share levels, there’s more room for growth and greater potential upside without being as threatened by competitors from all angles. We’re competing majorly with Fios, a competition many cable operators don’t have. The competitive landscape – those you’re competing against – is crucial and plays a significant role.

In the future, it has been predicted that 90% of people’s households will have broadband. Today, most homes with a connection are connected by 60-70%, and only 20%-30% still use DSL or never had a fast internet service provider available to them at all.

The increasing trend of data consumption will continue to be a large part of the service consumers rely on. The penetration levels are only going up as more and more people become interested in broadband providers, which means that if household formation continues at its current rate, there is potential for even higher subscriber numbers than before!

Also, due to the pandemic, people have been regularly upgrading to higher bandwidths (or internet speeds). You’re probably not immune either. I’m sure that you’ve upgraded your speed since then too. I’m also sure there’s one household or family member of yours that has gotten access to a faster internet connection these days than they did before things got bad.

The future is bright for broadband. It will continue to grow and be more accessible as time progresses, requiring only a few minor adjustments along the way; namely better connectivity speeds, which are already in progress. With the internet continuing to advance and develop, more connectivity is needed for computers. A good upload speed will be required in order for households to take full advantage of Zoom’s video conferencing with friends or family members who live far away from each other. The future looks even brighter than ever!

Moving on to something subtly different, what are your thoughts on the recent movement to hold cable companies accountable for misinformation on their network potentially? I’m interested in hearing more about what you think of this concept.

I’ve got my personal views, but I’ll keep them to myself for now. From a business standpoint, our customers require and request certain content from us – some of the names mentioned in this letter are precisely that kind of content. And so we’re providing what they want: an increasing amount of channels like these ones! We don’t force people into watching it if they don’t want to; however, those who do enjoy these kinds will be happy with their options as time goes on.

You’re discussing Fox News, Newsmax T.V., One America Network…

That’s correct. We understand that a lot of names were spoken about in the press, but we want to make sure our customers are happy. If they don’t like this type of content or other channels, then they can disconnect from us and do something skinnier or just stick with Netflix/HBO Max for now. This is not really a battle geared towards companies like ours, so I hope it doesn’t happen anytime soon. Consumers make the choices by themselves and are voting with their feet and wallets today. And if someone in government thinks otherwise, they should speak to the right person about it- not us!

 Let’s talk about linear cable’s future for a minute. Will there ever be a time where Altice does not offer linear cable T.V.?

For sure! The story is always the same. Every year, things just seem to get worse for us content creators and distributors. Since we’ve been speaking, since I’ve known you over the last five years – it’s still a constant struggle with price levels on our side of content continuing to rise while eyeballs continue to fall when they’re spread across larger bundles that don’t offer as much value-added services like H.D. or 4K streaming options.

The long-term outlook for cable providers and fiber companies is still strong as broadband continues to be a market they can capitalize on. However, the video solution has two different types of customers, making it difficult to provide an offer that will resonate with both groups.

The equation played out quarter over quarter in public markets remains true – but only if you’re invested in either broadband or one of the firms providing this service (cable company/fiber). The pure video option does have its drawbacks because there are truly 2 different sets of subscribers: those who want high-speed internet at all costs and just need basic television, whether live or streaming; then we also have people who watch everything from Netflix to their favorite sports games online via subscription services like ESPN.

It’s common knowledge that anyone who has been a subscriber for more than three years is profitable because video cable bundles still provide value. However, there are those who have only subscribed for less than three years, and they’re unprofitable to the company.

Cable television has been around for decades, but the landscape is quickly changing. As more people sign up and attach rates on gross adds continue to decline, then how can you protect your long-term customers who are really just enjoying still having a cable bundle? I’m confident that we can find ways to work with our partners in the content world to make a smooth transition from cable T.V. over time. This way, we don’t have as much economic play and can avoid diminishing returns- which means more for us. But in the end, most content will be consumed over broadband. As people abandon cable bundles, everything is going to the OTT world via broadband connections–by definition!

So at this point, I have to ask, is it compulsory that I have to provide bundles too? Out there, there are already many people who do it. In my opinion, it’s only a question of time before cable operators in general start to rethink whether or not they are all meant to be in the video business.

 If you’d allow me, I want to ask that question in another way that’s slightly different from the previous one. Do you foresee a time when conventional cable television will be obsolete?

Yes. Definitely! This is the future, and it will be everywhere soon enough. Everything will be IP-based, but that also leads to a whole lot of different choices. What cable is simply doing right now is collecting and organizing all the channels (everything) available on OTT services to make them more accessible to viewers so that they can choose what type of shows (content) they want from lots of different options.

With the ever-changing technological advances, you’re able to aggregate your favorite entertainment apps on a single platform. You can already see this happening with Samsung T.V.s, which have loads of different branded apps, including Netflix and Hulu! Having all these options is fine, but it also means that switching between them gets old quick because every time I want my showtime fix, for example, I’m forced to leave where I currently am in order to go back into T.V. Land or whatever app has what’s coming on next. Once you’ve got all the content ready and aggregated up nicely so they’re looking just like how cable providers bundle on T.V.s, then that interactivity shouldn’t be much different than if someone were doing it for an over-the-air broadcast. It doesn’t matter who does the bundle because it could just be your set-box provider or your smart T.V. provider.

So are you saying this idea that some media executives have, the one where there is a floor just below 50 million subscribers? You’re saying that’s nothing but fantasy?

Absolutely! Because I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone who’s under 30 and has a cable video connection. Can you name any you know?

 I can’t!

That’s right. And it’s only a matter of time. All day long, I’m surprised at my kids, at how they’re able to spend 10 hours a day on their iPhone? And their response is, “Daddy, that’s our life.” They didn’t go out in the woods and build bricks or castles, so now everything is on their phone. People grow up with specific influences around them from media to friends while at school-kids can get away with anything these days because of social media! Technology is evolving rapidly, and the way we consume information has changed drastically in just ten years. The evolution will continue to change what people are used to seeing every day.

It might be excused that this change to streaming is good news. I, however, see a scenario where media companies end up with worse financial results in the new world of streaming than they did during cable’s reign. What do you think about the transition? Is it suitable for the industry?

Listen, I don’t run a media company today. However, there is some truth in what you say, and it makes sense to me too. But when people start getting valued on an OTT subs basis instead of affiliate fees coming from cable operators who are returning less money than before – psychologically, this doesn’t make sense for them.

With the help of a new OTT platform, distributing content may be easier than it is now. However, as people start to become more and more selective in what they watch on T.V. due to all these different streaming options available today, I think we’ll see some traditional companies lose out because viewers will leave for other services with their habits intact. People are going to say it’s not worth paying for these networks. They’ll say, “I don’t need Peacock or CBS All Access.” There will be people who subscribe, but there will also be those that refuse altogether. We shall see what the future holds!

The markets have been crazy for growth lately. But in a couple of years, as all this settles out, there are going to be some winners and losers emerging. Actually, there already are. My household is just the start – people want Netflix or Disney+ because you’ve got children, but do they need Hulu? HBO Max? Discovery+ and Peacock, too? I reckon my kids don’t want that!

I can’t watch my favorite show anymore without the kids yelling at me to change it. They know I enjoy HBO Max and their children’s programming isn’t that great.

I agree with you completely. Our children are going to be the ones holding their wallets in 20 years, and they’re not going to want things to run any other way but how THEY like it!

The big 3 wireless operators in this country have been touting their 5G products as the actual competitors to cable broadband. Do you feel threatened by them, and are they a real threat to your dominance?

I don’t believe that that or that 5G is a problem. I think it’s complimentary, and people want better or faster internet connections inside the home as well as outside of their homes.

You can’t have a wireless connection without some kind of fixed-line. It doesn’t matter if it’s 5G, 10G, or 20G. The fiber optic wire is what ultimately connects you to the World Wide Web, and this guarantees that your data will be transferred in one way or another.

If wireless still has to connect through airwaves to fixed-line, it will be less efficient and robust than a fixed-line connection. Not only does this create problems with speed, but you also have to pay more for the service. You will never get the same quality and speed as a full end-to-end fiber connection, not just because of performance or bandwidth but also due to price. Wireless may seem like a bargain, but it comes with hidden costs that are not worth the savings. If everyone had unlimited data and it was never throttled, we would be in a world of trouble. The wireless infrastructure may not even hold up to the amount that people are using now!

So, you need both – 5G and broadband. With 5G, your driving experience will be safer and more efficient, thanks to the increased data connectivity. When you’re commuting or are out and about, the need for 5G connectivity isn’t as huge. You only really want to be connected when driving with your phone in a car mount. Apple car play will work really well. But as long as you’re driving, you’re not necessarily going to be interacting, right? And you don’t have much time for a commute too. Then the second you step into the office, you switch over to a fixed-line network. Without a doubt, people would subscribe to 5G service; they want better and faster wireless capabilities than what is currently available. However, I do not believe it will replace cable in any way nor be able to compete with it.

Cable companies are becoming more and more diversified with their services, branching out from cable to telehealth, home security systems, and more. I’m curious if you think there’s an unexplored or moderately explored business that could work nicely with the industry?

For many years, large corporations like Google or Apple attacked your living space through apps, services, and more. When you consider wireless providers, they are invading all aspects of a consumer’s life – both inside and outside their homes!

Speaking about the cable companies or fixed-line companies, they’re attacking the home from inside your walls. You start with their T.V. service and move to owning broadband for all of your internet needs. What else can they do?

The world is becoming smart. Even your fridge and coffee machine are talking to you now, with the ability to do telehealth seamlessly from home! Is there anything left that doesn’t? And all of these are dealing with broadband.

And it’s clear that, where we stand today, yes, telehealth is something to be reckoned with and home security as well. I think that it’s time we turn our attention to the smartness of consumer goods. Why are we not also in this space?

This is why I believe that everything converges between technology companies. Companies such as traditional tech, wireless, and fixed-line all have an audience in the home area with different pieces of their pie. But there’s no reason for them not to be able to own more slices of these pies!

What are the best ways for investors to play cable? There is a lot of talk about towers, fiber providers, and operators themselves. But what’s really going on with these investments outside of Altice, which you have vested interest in? Investors should be able to make smart decisions by reading this article because it provides the correct information they will need when it comes time to invest.

You know I have to tell you what my opinion is about this. But there are some things that will stay true for a long time going forward, and one of them is broadband connectivity. It continues to grow in popularity while cable companies continue dominating market share by providing the best possible home internet service available anywhere! This trend should only increase as people want better speeds and newer technology on their phones/laptops, etcetera, so they can enjoy more data-intensive applications like video streaming or online games without dropping out because of slow connection speed.

The same can be said about wireless too. But there’s a significant difference, and it is that with wireless, your phone only lasts about 2-3 years before it’ll need to be replaced again. And this costs around $1k if buying the higher-end models! Secondly, while 4G and 5G or even 3G are different, their differences are not so profound that they warrant significant price improvements. In fact, the competition in wireless has become more competitive than ever before, instead of less competitive.

As a result, we’ve long been supporters of fiber-to-the-home, and we are firm believers that this type of infrastructure will continue to be the best for consumers. We appreciate the attractive economic free cash flow yield, which is predictable and continues growing year over year as well.

The predictability and growth of free cash flow is a unique story. And that’s the phenomenon the cable and fixed-line industries are experiencing today.

Original article on CNBC can be found here.

Categories TV

Spectrum TV Choice Review

Many cable TV customers are cutting the cord, and instead choosing to use streaming services. This means that cable companies are seeing their business decline steadily, which has caused Charter Communications to rethink services and begin offering an à la carte type of service.

NBC Spectrum TV ChoiceSpectrum TV Choice is their latest offering. It provides local, live television channels, and allows you to choose 10 additional cable channels for under $30 per month. The service does not require a cable box or a contract, so this gives you the freedom to watch Spectrum TV Choice using an Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, or any other television that’s connected to Wi-Fi.

So, what’s the service all about, and is it worth it? We’ll discuss everything you need to know, and then you can decide if it’s right for you.

Can Anyone Subscribe to Spectrum Choice TV?

Unfortunately, this service is only available to current Spectrum Internet customers.

What is Spectrum TV Choice?

Spectrum TV Choice is a live TV streaming option that’s available to those who subscribe to Spectrum Internet. It gives you a channel lineup that’s trimmed down at a lower monthly cost. When you sign up for the service, you receive access to all local, live channels, and then get to choose 10 cable channels. The price is between $25 and $30 per month.

Pricing and Packaging for Spectrum TV Choice

Currently, Spectrum is offering an introductory rate of $24.99 for 24 months. After the two years, the price is subject to go up at least $5.

Here’s a look at the channels included with every plan:

  • Major networks such as NBC, ABC, Fox, CW, and CBS
  • 10 cable channels of your choice – there are almost 80 to choose from
  • Educational and public access channels such as C-SPAN and PBS
  • The News 1 channel from Spectrum
  • Shopping channels such as HSN and QVC
  • Music channels
  • Depending on where you’re located, you may also get digital subnetworks like Bounce and MeTV
  • There’s also an option to add Showtime, Starz, HBO, The Movie Channel, etc. for $7.50 each, or all of them for an additional $15 per month.

So, what are the cable channels you can choose from? Well, Spectrum TV Choice offers most of the major sports channels such as FS1 and ESPN, popular entertainment channels such as HGTV and AMC, and all major cable news networks. Spectrum has the complete choice list on their website where you can view it based on your specific location.

Is Spectrum TV Choice Good for Everyone?

TNT Spectrum TV ChoiceUnfortunately, the à la carte lineup won’t work for everyone’s needs. For those who love sports, you cannot add regional sporting networks or league-specific channels such as MLB, NFL, or NBA. Other entertainment channels such as DIY and Nick Jr. are also unavailable.  Essentially, Spectrum is offering less than one-third of its cable channels with this streaming service. So, you have almost 80 channels from which you can pick 10 channels unless you’d like to upgrade to a better bundle.

How Do You Sign up for Spectrum TV Choice?

Signing up is easy. If you are not already a Spectrum TV customer, you can simply log in to their website and select “Add TV”. You will then have the option to choose “Spectrum TV Choice” from the list of available plans. They will walk you through a menu where you’ll choose your 10 cable channels and decide if you want to select other premium networks.

The only issue is that people who already subscribe to one of the Spectrum TV packages may have a problem switching. If you are unable to make the change on the website, it’s best to call the Customer Care Center at 1-855-345-0208, and they can help.

Is there a Contract or Other Fees?

Perhaps the best advantage to Spectrum TV Choice is that there is no contract required. You can cancel whenever you want. So, regardless if you move to an area the service is unavailable, want to save money, or would like to try other streaming services, you can cancel at any time with no cancellation frees.

Cable TV providers charge a fee for receiver boxes and DVR service. Spectrum does this too, but their cost is actually fair.

It’s a great idea to invest in the DVR service package if you’ll be placing a TV receiver in any room in your home.

What’s the Cost to Add DVR Services?

FOX Spectrum TV ChoiceOne of the drawbacks to Spectrum TV Choice is that you do not receive DVR service included. Spectrum does give you the option to rent a DVR box if you don’t want to use their apps, but just a single box costs around $20 per month, two boxes are $35 per month, and each additional costs $7.50. This means the hardware could cost you more than the service itself.

If you do not wish to add DVR, Spectrum gives you access to an on-demand catalog, but the selection is not always the greatest. You’ll find that some programs include every episode On Demand, but other programs will have only the current season available. Keep in mind that these programs do have commercials that you are unable to fast-forward through. So, without a DVR you may find that some shows disappear, and you won’t have the ability to skip ads.

How Does it Work Without A Cable Box?

Spectrum TV Choice is cheaper than a regular cable bundle, and additional savings come from not having to rent the cable box. So, how does it work? You simply download the Spectrum app on Apple TV, iOS, tablets, smart TVs, or any Android device, and this allows access to both live and on-demand services.

AMC Spectrum TV ChoiceYou also have the ability to watch the service on a computer by logging into the Spectrum website. Though, it is easier to watch the service on apps because as long as you’re at home, the apps will notice that you’re a Spectrum customer by your internet connection, and thus you won’t have to worry about logging in.

Spectrum’s app allows you to browse a grid-based channel guide, look through their menu of on-demand programming, choose favorite channels for quicker access, search for programs by name, and even add shows to a “watch list”.

Apple TV and Roku both support universal search, so you can look for shows by using the remote to each of these devices.

Are There Any Downsides to the App?

There are a few limitations and annoyances you should be aware of:

  • The video quality is limited sometimes. You’ll find that some channels offer 30 frames per second, while others are a bit better at 60 frames per second.
  • Using the service away from your home is limited. You’ll find that some live channels will not work on your mobile devices, and the app doesn’t work on some televisions.
  • Possibly the most annoying is that you will see listings from channels you aren’t subscribed to within the on-demand menu. You may have to scroll a lot to find programs you can access.

There are few things in life that don’t have at least some disadvantages, as you can see this streaming service has a few. However, the good news is that you can access individual network apps by using your Spectrum TV Choice account. You’ll still have access to networks such as Fox Now and ESPN, and even better is that these apps support higher quality videos.

Quick Look at the Pros & Cons of Spectrum TV Choice

So, to wrap up everything we’ve discussed, and to make your decision easier – here’s a look at the pros and cons of this service.

Pros

  • It is a good price for the mix of cable and local channels you get access to.
  • It includes public access channels and live PBS that other more expensive TV bundles exclude.
  • Supports universal search on devices such as Apple TV, Roku, and even Apple TVs app.
  • There are no contract or cancellation fees
  • No need for a cable TV box
  • You have the option to add on other premium channels such as HBO, Startz, etc.

Cons

  • The DVR service is expensive to add on
  • You cannot choose more than 10 cable channels, and some popular networks are missing
  • Apps can have poor video quality, there are restrictions for use when you’re not at home, and there is lots of locked content.

In conclusion, Spectrum TV Choice is a great option for those who want to save money and still have access to live, local channels. Let’s face it, the other big-name streaming services don’t allow you to watch local channels, this means you miss out on certain programming and local news. While the service does have a few drawbacks, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Call the customer service center at 1-855-345-0208 and add Spectrum TV Choice to your Spectrum Internet package today!

Top TV Shows to Binge Watch During Quarantine

From Netflix to Hulu, Prime, cable TV, and everything in-between – we all have our methods for escape through entertainment. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis and worldwide implementation of quarantine, people need a distraction now more than ever. Luckily, with all the different cable and streaming platforms available today, there is plenty of new entertainment out there to satisfy and quench your thirst. From action to comedy and horror, let us explore the best TV shows to binge during the quarantine.

Comedy TV Shows

The Office

The OfficeWith big stars like Steve Carrell, John Krasinski, and Rainn Wilson, it is easy to see why The Office is so undeniably popular. Filmed in the style of a documentary, this deadpan comedy series offers viewers a look into the fictional paper company, Dunder Mifflin, and the lives of its relatable employees. With an over the top take on the American workplace, this show is light-hearted and easy to binge while relaxing or even working from home.

Space Force

Space ForceAlso starring Steve Carrell with backup from John Malkovich, Space Force is another American comedy series created by the infamous Greg Daniels. Space Force premiered in May 2020 on Netflix and presents a comedic take on Trump’s pitch for a sixth branch of the military based in Space. Politics aside, with an all-star cast in tow, this is the perfect comedy show to binge with little effort.

Bojack Horseman

Bojack HorsemanFor those of you that are fans of adult animation, Bojack Horseman is a great cartoon found on Netflix. Following the life of failed horse actor Bojack Horseman and his diverse cast of friends, this show has it all. Starring the legendary voice talents of Will Arnett and Amy Sedaris, this show spans six seasons and handfuls of slapstick storylines that ultimately garner adoration for the various misfit characters on the series.

Horror TV Shows

The Fall

The FallIf you are a fan of the darker side of Hollywood, both Netflix and Hulu have several worthy contestants in terms of binge-worthy TV shows. The Fall is both an Emmy and Golden Globe winner starring Gillian Anderson (X-Files) as a detective superintendent in charge of tracking down a dangerous serial killer. Based in Belfast, Ireland, Jamie Dornan plays the main protagonist, carefully plotting a grizzly murder spree while under close investigation. While the Fall is suspenseful, it does not resort to blood and guts to get a rise from the audience. All in all, this British-Irish drama provides a thrilling and chilling experience that is hard to stop watching.

Dexter

DexterUnlike the last show on our ‘horror’ list, Dexter takes no mercy on the audience, presenting blood, guts, and gore galore in nearly every episode. The story itself follows a blood-spatter analyst who works for the police force by day, only to track down and eliminate those he deems deserving in his spare time. With a cast of lovable characters, this show strikes a deep chord with its fans, providing a story like no other. Spanning over five seasons, these hour-long episodes will help consume your free time with exciting, highly suspenseful content.

The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill HouseIf you are a fan of haunted houses and stories of paranormal events within families, The Haunting of Hill House is sure to quench your desires. Based on the Shirley Jackson novel of the same title, this creepy slow-burn of a story will have you on the edge of your seat. Beginning with a family that renovates homes for a living while inhabiting them, the children are almost immediately plagued with ghosts of the past. In the spirit of avoiding spoilers, there is not much more we can reveal about the story. However, with a whole lot of twists and turns, this show left audiences both nervous and excited for a second season.

Drama TV Shows

Ozark

OzarkStarring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, this is one drama you do not want to miss – especially if you are a fan of Breaking Bad. The story revolves around an all-American family that gets sucked into the crime-related drama of a Mexican drug cartel. From their relocation to their intricate but illegal business set-up, Ozark does not lack in quality storylines or lovable characters with which the audience can relate. So far, there are three seasons available on Netflix, with at least one other confirmed season on the way.

The Umbrella Academy

The Umbrella AcademyAre you a fan of comic books? If so, Netflix’s Umbrella Academy is a reliable option, both in terms of storyline and quirky nerd culture. Created by Gerard Way, this group of lovable misfits offers audiences a look into an impending apocalypse with actresses Ellen Page and Kate Walsh. This American superhero series was created for Netflix and developed by Jeremy Slater, featuring a unique superhero story with a family of dysfunctional, adopted heroes seeking vengeance for their father’s death. The Umbrella Academy offers comedy, suspense, and a whole lot of quirky superhero personalities.

Shameless (US)

ShamelessThis family drama is perhaps unlike any others on the air today, with a cast of relatable characters each dealing with their own plight on the southside of Chicago. Led by their alcoholic father, the Gallagher family does everything they can to keep their heads above water, sparing no laws or morals. While this selection is very much a family drama, it also offers up plenty of laughs, surprises, and more serious themes along the way. With children spanning from the age of six to thirty, Shameless touches on real-life family issues with far-out themes that are both relatable and hilariously entertaining.

The Act

The ActFound exclusively on Hulu, the Act is a seasonal anthology series that depicts the true-life tale of mother-daughter Dee Dee and Gypsy Blanchard. The pair are famous thanks to their twisted Munchausen by proxy relationship and the inevitable murder that would ensue as a result. Gypsy’s quest for independence and love leads her down a dark road that completely redirects her fate. Ultimately, this show is not for the faint of heart, presenting some hard to watch scenarios that will chill you to the bone.

Beating Quarantine with Bingeworthy Television Series

Quarantine is hard—there are no two ways about it. Life as we know it has all but comes to a grinding halt. Naturally, this pandemic has us feeling stuck, lost, or otherwise without work or entertainment. Luckily, between Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spectrum TV Choice and Disney+, there is always a new TV series worth checking out, depending on your personal preferences. Are you bored and in need of some fresh entertainment? In the end, any one of these shows is sure to grab and hold onto your attention until the very end.

The Ultimate Guide to Spectrum Home WiFi

Spectrum InternetAre you curious about Spectrum Home WiFi? In today’s world, everyone has electronic devices. From smartphones, tablets and smart home accessories to gaming consoles, they are all more enjoyable when your home has Wi-Fi installed. Let’s face it, when you have this many devices, it doesn’t make sense to rely on LAN wires!

Through the use of Wi-Fi routers, you can have an internet signal regardless of where you are in your home. It also allows you to run many gadgets rather than just one or two. So, your children can stream TV shows, you can shop online and Alexa can be waiting for her next command, all at once!

One of the best WiFi providers is Spectrum Internet. If it’s available in your area, you should seriously consider it. Why, you ask? Charter Communications offers in-home wireless internet speeds that are lightning fast. When you combine their fast internet speeds with reliable service and affordable prices, they really can’t be beaten!

What Does A Spectrum Wi-Fi Package Include?

Spectrum WiFiChoosing Spectrum home Wi-Fi gives you peace of mind. You will receive a high-quality router that provides signal everywhere in your home, with access to enough bandwidth to do everything you want to do.

Not only will you be able to connect all of your wireless devices, but you’ll also have the choice of connecting up to 5 wired devices as well. So, for all of you gamers, this allows you to have wired connections for gaming consoles, computers and TVs. This connectivity is great because the items that require the most bandwidth won’t clog the wireless network.

Spectrum also provides 24/7 customer support to assist with setting up services, testing equipment or anything other issues that may arise.

Top Advantages of Choosing Spectrum Home WiFi

Just to recap, let’s look at a list of advantages of installing Wi-Fi in your home:

  • You can connect numerous devices to your wireless internet. The lack of cords will allow you to travel all over your home and still be able to access the internet.
  • Many electronic devices don’t have LAN ports anymore, so this makes using a wired connection impossible.
  • If for some reason the signal doesn’t reach everywhere in your home, you simply need to invest in a Wi-Fi extender, and your signal will be transmitted further.
  • You’ll receive fast speeds, plenty of bandwidth, and 24/7 customer service.

Spectrum Internet ConnectionShould I Choose A Wired Connection or Wi-Fi?

The answer to this question depends on your individual needs. To make an informed decision, you should understand the difference between Wi-Fi and Ethernet.

Will you use mostly mobile devices?

If you answered yes to this question, then you should make sure to have Wi-Fi services in your home. As we mentioned above, most of these devices do not come equipped with Ethernet ports, so using a cable connection for the internet will be impossible.

Do you play games online?

If so, you should consider getting both services. Gaming consoles such as Xbox and PlayStation will work faster when connected through a cable. In addition, they are known to clog wireless networks. The same goes for smart TVs and PCs.

When you sign up for Spectrum home internet, the provided modem will automatically allow you to connect via Ethernet cables. However, adding Wi-Fi to your services will give you more convenience and the capabilities to use any device.

Streaming Services Through Spectrum Home Wi-Fi Do Not Buffer

There’s nothing worse than trying to stream your favorite show and the dreaded buffering screen appears. When you choose Spectrum Home Wi-Fi, you will have wall-to-wall connectivity and this will no longer be an issue.

Spectrum’s glitch-free Wi-Fi gives you access to download or stream shows, movies and other TV content with no loading issues. So, if you subscribe to Spectrum Streaming Services or other fee-based services, this internet service will never leave you frustrated.

How Much Does Spectrum WiFi Cost?

We all know that home internet service can get expensive. However, you need not worry about this with Spectrum. Once you are already an internet customer, it only costs a small fee more to include WiFi services. You won’t find better services elsewhere because Spectrum Wi-Fi doesn’t come with binding contracts or data caps.

Here’s a chart to help break down the total costs:

First, you will choose one of three internet packages:

Spectrum Internet Plan Speed Price (for 12 months)
Spectrum Internet Up to 100 Mbps $49.99/mo
Spectrum Internet Ultra Up to 400 Mbps $69.99/mo
Spectrum Internet Gig Up to 940 Mbps $109.99/mo

The plan you choose will need to be based on your needs, but for many residential customers speeds up to 100 Mbps are sufficient. Also keep in mind that you can bundle your Spectrum internet service with phone or cable TV service to receive a monthly discount.

The other thing to keep in mind is that not all of these speeds are available everywhere. To determine what choices are available in your area, it’s best to speak with a customer service representative.

Once you’ve chosen your monthly internet package, there are a few other costs associated with Spectrum Home Wi-Fi. Let’s take a look at those:

Service Service Charge
One-time activation fee $9.99
Standard installation fee $49.99
Home Wi-Fi Charges $5 per month

So, Why Choose Spectrum Home Wi-Fi?

Spectrum Whole House WiFiOnce you choose Spectrum as your internet service provider, they will give you a free modem to connect to their grid. This is a huge perk because some competitors make you pay for the modem!

To access the Wi-Fi services, you will need a router, yet rather than you trying to find a compatible router, Spectrum handles this. That’s what the affordable $5 per month fee is for. Their pre-configured Wi-Fi requires no set-up.

We should also mention that Spectrum uses some of the best routers. They use high-powered radios that offer better range and are dual-band concurrent, which gives you full access to the 5.0GHz frequency band.

Not to worry if you have older devices, though. Their routers also operate on the 2.4GHz band to ensure that their services are compatible with all devices. Charter Spectrum is one of the few companies currently offering routers that are dual-band. They do whatever they can to ensure their products are not outdated.

Routers That Work With Spectrum WiFi Services

If you don’t want to rent a router from Spectrum, you don’t have to. You may already have one that is compatible with the service. Or, you may not mind purchasing one outright versus paying the extra $5 per month for renting one.

At any rate, the only thing you need to double-check is that the router is compatible. Here’s a list of the best routers approved by Spectrum:

Linksys EA7500 Wireless Router:

The Linksys EA7500 wireless router not only has a great price range, but it also offers many great features. Much like Spectrum’s routers, this one is dual band and features a 1.4GHz dual core processor.

Motorola MG7550 Modem Router:

If you are looking to save money and space, this is the perfect router-modem combo. It has many features installed, making it one of the best routers for Spectrum. It features easy installation, ready to use features, and 16×4 channels. This makes for a router-modem that boosts your internet speeds and makes it simple to transfer large files and even stream HD videos with no issues.

Netgear Nighthawk X4

Netgear has been a trusted name for routers for some time now. This piece of equipment definitely lives up to Netgear’s excellent reputation!This router-modem combo offers lightning-fast speeds, making it a great choice for any internet user. If you are trying to stream movies or shows, or even game with HD graphics, this device can handle it all! It’s perfect for large families and large homes, as it is built to meet any challenge you can throw at it.

Netgear R7000

The R7000 is another device offered by Netgear. Many users say it provides the ultimate gaming experience, which means it’s also perfect for any other internet needs. It offers a broad range of Wi-Fi coverage, high speeds and an extremely powerful processor. You can also rest easier knowing it’s equipped with a dual band system, so it’s compatible with all devices. When it comes to gaming, this is one of the best choices on the market because Netgear’s TurboQAM technology is known to boost speeds when used on the 2.4GHz channel.

Motorola MR2600 Wireless Router

This router was released in 2018 and is still a great option. When you choose this router, you are getting a device that’s well-built and intelligent. It handles Wi-Fi noise created by your neighbors and offers increased signal strength. This is even true if you live in a large home and are far from the router.

Can I Install Spectrum WiFi By Myself?

Spectrum Internet InstallationNow that we’ve discussed some routers you can purchase and set-up yourself, let’s discuss self-install options from Spectrum. The fact is, if you’re thinking of choosing a router on your own, then you are probably tech-savvy enough to install their services. Doing so will reduce the cost of the initial set up.

Here are some easy to follow steps that will guide you through self-installing Spectrum’s Wi-Fi services.

Connect The Modem

  1. Locate the coaxial cable. Connect one end of it to your home’s outlet and the other end to the Spectrum modem.
  2. Next, locate the power cable. Connect the proper end to the modem, and the other end goes to a secure outlet in your home.
  3. After you’ve completed these two steps, wait between two and five minutes for the network to connect. You’ll know the modem is connected when you see the “online status light” remain solid.

Connect Your Modem And Wi-Fi Router

  1. Locate the Ethernet cable. Connect one end of it to the modem.
  2. Connect the other end to the internet port located on the back of your Wi-Fi router.

Activate The Equipment

  1. Activating your Spectrum Home Wi-Fi equipment is easy. Simply use the internet device of your choice, and open a web browser to visit the activation website.
  2. Spectrum provides a self-installation kit that includes instructions which should provide you with a list of activation websites. Though, this kit is not available in all areas.
  3. If the activation website is not available within your area, you’ll need to call Spectrum’s 24/7 customer support line, and they will guide you through the process.

Do You Still Have Questions About Spectrum Home WiFi?

The information above should provide everything you need to know about Charter Spectrum’s Home Wi-Fi service. However, if you still have unanswered questions, other concerns or simply want to subscribe to the service, please contact their customer support center at 1-855-423-0918. The representatives are always available and more than happy to help.

About Charter Communications

Charter Communications was founded in the USA in 1993. It has grown over the years and is currently the 4th largest cable provider in the country. They were previously known as Charter but rebranded following an acquisition of two large firms called Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable. They are now simply known as Spectrum.

Spectrum Home WiFi FAQs

Where can you subscribe to Spectrum Wi-Fi?

You can call the Spectrum customer service phone number at 1-855-345-0208.

Can you access Spectrum Wi-Fi when you are not home?

Yes. Spectrum offers hotspots in many places around the country. You simply connect to their nearest one, and you’ll have instant access to the internet.

Is Spectrum’s Wi-Fi service free?

No. It costs an additional $5 per month.

Is Spectrum’s Wi-Fi service unlimited?

Yes. Spectrum is unlimited, and they do not utilize data caps.

What is Spectrum’s home Wi-Fi service?

It is a high-performance Wi-Fi service for your home that’s offered by Charter Spectrum. It allows you to enjoy wireless connectivity throughout your home.

Should I sign up for Spectrum Wi-Fi?

If you use many wireless devices such as smartphones and tablets, or just simply don’t like cords, then Spectrum Wi-Fi is the perfect solution for you.

Does Spectrum’s internet package include Wi-Fi?

Spectrum Wi-Fi can be added to any of their internet packages for a fee of only $5 per month. Though, if you have your own router, then the $5 fee does not pertain to you. You will just need to be sure the router is approved by Spectrum.

How do I get free Wi-Fi from Spectrum?

Wi-Fi services are free for those who already have their own routers. You will simply need to contact Spectrum to ensure the router you own is compatible with their modem equipment.

Why does Spectrum charge a fee for Wi-Fi?

Spectrum provides free modems to customers. The $5 monthly fee is if you need to use the built-in router services from your Spectrum modem.

How much is Spectrum’s Wi-Fi?

Spectrum offers unlimited Wi-Fi services for a low fee of only $5 per month.

Does Spectrum’s Wi-Fi cost extra?

To add Wi-Fi services to your Spectrum internet service, you will simply need to pay a one-time fee of $9.99 for activation and a $49.99 installation fee.

Is my Wi-Fi password located on the Spectrum box?

Yes. The password and network name should be printed on a label found on either your gateway or router.

How can I upgrade to Spectrum Wi-Fi?

This is easy. You can either chat online with a customer service representative or call them at 1-855-345-0208.

What are the best routers to use with Spectrum Wi-Fi?

  • Linksys EA7500
  • Motorola MG7550
  • Netgear Nighthawk X4
  • Netgear R7000
  • Motorola MR2600

Doctor Who – Why You’re Missing The Best Sci-Fi Show Out There

Dr Who TV Series

One day, you’re stumbling across the pop-culture aisles of modernity. Maybe you took a wrong turn at J.C. Penney, or your teenage daughter somehow wrangled you into Hot Topics, or a digital free-for-all on the net made you spring open the Pandora’s Box of Amazon suggestions. Whichever way you waltzed into it, you’re now stuck in a miasma of Avengers, Jedis, Titans, sensually inappropriate costumes, and more Harley Quinn tank tops than you can shake a stick at.

Still, you feel at home. Bells of recognition blip as you swing by and spot a Wookie, Wakanda Forever!”, 60% of Funkos seem familiar, and, although you’re not a fan, you manage to peg Spock among the Star Trek refugees. This is garden variety for you, intimate shards of your childhood and everyday icons of American culture. Eeverything is old hat. Suddenly, your feet turn into cement blocks, you are flabbergasted as your radar goes into a tailspin, What the hell is that?” a little voice inside your noggin goes.

In front of you, like that black, strange obelisk in 2001 Space Odyssey, a blue police box… a funky looking police box surrounded by even more outlandish merchandizing. Salt and peppershakers with the words EXTERMINATE” stenciled unto them, angel lawn ornaments plucked straight out of a nightmare, and a sonic screwdriver not approved by Black & Decker. You edge forward, pluck out a tag and read: Doctor Who… What the hell is a Doctor Who?”

What the Hell is Doctor Who?

Dr Who - The DoctorDoctor Who is nothing short of bottled UK. It is one of the key ingredients of the British Genome. It is a cultural phenomenon that has been ingrained into their genetic makeup in much the same way as The Beatles, Monty Python, Winston Churchill, Robin Hood, and Princess Di. A proper Brit’ can’t call himself a true nationalist, let alone a patriot, if they don’t know who “Who” is.

You might think I’m exaggerating, or blowing “Who” mania out of proportion but I’m not. Once a year, on the 25th of December it is a UK tradition for the BBC to premiere a Doctor Who Christmas Special; every single season a completely new episode.

Stockings, letters to Santa, crackers, mince pies, Christmas pudding, the Royal Broadcast of the Queen spreading holiday cheer, and Doctor Who… and the Queen’s televised address actually comes before the episode’s debut; she’s a show opener. It’s the equivalent of the US President giving his State of The Union and ending on: “stay tuned for the Star Wars special.”

Theres really nothing more British nowadays than Doctor Who.

But what exactly is Doctor Who? Doctor Who is the longest-running sci-fi series in the world. Before there was Star Trek, Star Wars, the Avengers and Stranger Things there was Doctor Who. The program went on the air for the first time in 1963 and it is still being produced to this day. It’s gotten multiple facelifts and refurbishes but it has never been remade or given the Spider-Man treatment. The season arcs, storylines, and backstories of today’s adventures still consider what happened in those bygone, groovy, drug-filled days of the 60s.

The Time Lord Legend

Dr Who - The Day Of The DoctorThe show depicts the adventures of a Time Lord called “The Doctor”, an extraterrestrial being who appears quite human and relatable. Like Walker Texas Ranger, the A-Team and the Hulk, the Doctor simply goes around righting wrongs. But, here’s the genius of the formula, and why it has endured so long… the writers were told from the onset: “We have no budget and everything needs to happen.”

So what did those LSD infused showrunners do? They created an incredibly flexible blueprint. The Doctor was given a TARDIS – a spaceship/time machine/occasional dimensional hopper – that looks like a blue police box. The lead character was then granted pseudo-immortality; whenever he was fatally wounded he would “regenerate” into a new shell.

He was given a companion; a character who serves as a plot-device. The companions are the audience’s anchor. When something needs explanation, an incredibly frustrated Doctor goes into a long expository rant aimed at the companion; our surrogate. Then, over time, the Doctor was also shackled to an ever-widening and diverse rogues gallery.

It is a brilliant premise because it allowed the writing staff to take as many hallucinogenic narcotics as possible and then pass those fevered dreams off as scripts. And, more importantly, it also gifted the network with a way to renegotiate contracts. If one of the actors depicting the Doctor keeled over or simply got too big for his britches and wanted a larger cut of the pie, then the network would simply kill him onscreen and replace him with someone more docile.

The show-runners wanted to strike out on their own and move on? Hire a new writing staff. The companion, normally a rather fetching female, starts to duel with gravity and the passage of time? Bring in the new perkier model.

It was the perfect blueprint. It withstood time and the pesky emotional outbursts commonplace in filming locations. If something ticked the producer off, then they’d just replace it and the audience would allow it. The skulduggery perfectly meshed into the show’s recipe and storyline.

The Fool-Proof Platform

The model was foolproof. Every replication of the show could retain its backstory, all the factors that constituted it, and all its narrative makeup without suffering a reboot or remake. Almost 60 years and the Doctor has been regenerated more than 13 times. That’s part of the charm and the reason it’s a staple of British tradition.

It has not only survived generations, but created a way for said generations to connect. Your grandparents’ Doctor Who is your Doctor Who. Unlike US franchises, that suffered constant reboots, Doctor Who is still the same series.

There’s no one discussing which Spider-man movie universe is better. No one arguing which Batman cosmos – West, Burton, Nolan, Snyder – took the cake. No fan base going bananas when Star Wars does a casual reboot because it’s running out of ideas. The 60s Doctor Who is still this era’s Doctor Who. The only thing that has changed are the sensibilities, the actors, and the special effects.

Parents can sit around and discuss the evolution of Daleks – one of the Doctor’s most enduring villains – in full knowledge that what took place all those seasons ago is still relevant in today’s storyline. Families can connect on a narrative scale thanks to Doctor Who.

“Grandad, can you tell us the tale of the Cybermen? No, not how you went to Berlin during the War… I want to know about the Cybermen, that’s what’s exciting.”

Modern Day Who

Watch Dr WhoWhat is known as the modern-day Who explosion is just a relaunch of the show in 2005 after a 10-year hiatus. The show’s history was kept intact and the writers were given the task of bringing the Doctor into the new age. An age of smartphones, of a technologically superior Britain, of terrorism, of racial equality, of sexual diversity… and, more importantly, an age of CGI and high-caliber special effects. Writers were no longer bound by how much aluminum paper they had in the stock department to create robots.

“Hey Tony, does this green spray paint look toxic? What do you mean the actors are unionized? Ahhh, health insurance… got it you cheeky bastard.”

The challenges were two-fold, the BBC wanted to know if they could attract old viewers back into the Who comfort blanket while also enticing a new generation to tune in. As the show progressed into new seasons, and the ratings skyrocketed, the budget grew. You no longer had a computer-produced soundtrack, but the might of the London Philharmonic accompanying the Doctor’s adventures. You no longer had two-bit actors filling in as guest stars but Academy Award-winning personalities. You no longer had small adventures, but epic yarns that would shame any Marvel devised.

More importantly, you had great actors filling in the role of the Doctor. Each one molding the character to their personality, tastes and fashion sense. Each one giving us a stellar, adrenalized, energetic, grandiose performance. You had the late John Hurt, the clownish David Tennant, the perpetually morose Peter Capaldi, the out-of-this-world Matt Smith, and the first female regeneration, Jodi Whittaker.

What to expect?

Dr Who Trip Of A LifetimeWell, the unexpected… Flying Sharks supplanting reindeers, chartering world-renowned opera singers, worlds stolen and relocated to different dimensions, madcap alien takeovers that revolve around making our adipose tissue – that’s our fat rolls – into sentient beings, a faux rock star with an electric guitar riding a tank in Medieval Times, Hitler being punched in the face multiple times, Agatha Christie stalked by a giant hornet, the Doctor fighting off the Devil in a lava planet, Sir. Winston Churchill hunting down dinosaurs in modern-day London, and thousands of other bizarre and imaginative scenes the re-defined Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

What you will really find in Doctor Who, simply put, is a space adventurer with solemnness, grit, lunacy and a bizarre way of always crashing headlong into trouble. You will cry, you will cheer, you will laugh, and, above all, you will be entertained.

In the Doctor’s words:

“Ill be a story in your head. That’s okay. Were all stories in the end. Just make it a good one… The daft old man who stole a magic box and ran away.”

Spectrum Internet Self Installation During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Spectrum LogoIn the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the world has temporarily pressed the pause button.  The number one recommendation of the World Health Organization is to practice social distancing. This has been implemented worldwide as a precautionary measure. It is done in the hopes of breaking the transmission chain of the coronavirus as it is highly contagious and has so far infected around one million people around the globe, as of today.  The rapid spread of the virus combined with its unpredictable nature has resulted in creating a massive panic. This has compelled many businesses and companies to work from home and Spectrum Internet is one company helping people at home during this crisis. Spectrum Internet prices are very affordable and Spectrum provides download speeds from 100Mbps up to 940 Mbps to customers in select areas.

What is Spectrum?

Charter Spectrum the second-largest cable TV and internet provider in the United States and offers its services in about 42 states. In 2016, Charter Communications merged with two companies, Bright House Networks, and Time Warner Cable. The mode of delivery of its services is through Hybrid-Fiber-Coaxial-Infrastructure. This has the added benefit of transferring the data using fiber lines for long distances to the users and for shorter distances within the locality, less-expensive coaxial cable lines are put to use. This makes it efficient and affordable for Spectrum to offer attractive pricing for their internet plans. Hence, it has become a top choice for Americans to connect to the internet.

Spectrum Internet Self Installation

How is Spectrum helping in the fight against coronavirus?

As social distancing has become very important and lockdowns have become inevitable. Certain situations compel people to step outside and or have people enter their homes. One situation is installing cable television and high-speed internet during the current lockdown. Many jobs have now shifted to working from home and a reliable high-speed internet service provider has become a dire necessity. Spectrum understands the delicacy of the current situation has come to the rescue.  Charter Communications is encouraging their customers to do self-installation of Spectrum Internet in their homes, without the help of any technicians.   This effort promotes social distancing and ensures that both, the workers and the users are protected from exposure to the novel coronavirus. Without the self-installation of the Spectrum Internet service, a technician would be required to visit your home. This increases the risk of contact as well as transmissibility of the virus from potential carriers.  A complete step-by-step guide is provided by the company, making the self-installation process easier and removing costs that are incurred by hiring a technician.

Spectrum Internet WiFi Router

Self-Installation of Spectrum Internet

With the added advantage of protection from potential carriers of the virus, self-installation of Spectrum Internet proves more convenient. It can be done at the preferred time of the user.  If you are stuck at any step of the way, Spectrum customer service just a phone call away, ready to assist.

The installation kit contains the following:

  • Instruction manual
  • Modem
  • Wi-Fi router
  • Ethernet Cable
  • Two power cables
  • Co-axial cable

Steps of Spectrum Internet Installation

  1. Examine the self-installation internet kit
    In the first step of the process, it is necessary to make a check-list of the required materials and to tick off the available supplies. This will prevent any problems during the installation process. If by chance, anything is missing, you can contact Spectrum and notify them before you go too far.
  1. Connecting the Modem
    First, one side of the coaxial cable should be connected to the modem and the other side to the cable outlet.  Then take one of the power cables, connect one end to the modem and put the other end in the electrical socket. This will take 3-5 minutes to establish a network connection. Once connected, the light on the front of the modem will light up.
  1. Link the modem to the router
    Once the connection light is on, it is time to connect the modem to the Wi-Fi router. Take the Ethernet cable and insert one end of the cable to the modem and the other end to the ‘internet port’ of the Wi-Fi router.  Then make sure that the router is powered by using the second power cable; connect one end with the router and the other to the electrical output. The Wi-Fi-status light seen on the router will turn a solid green color after a while (i.e. 10 minutes.)
  1. Internet activation
    When all that has been done, it is time to connect to the Wi-Fi with any device like mobile, laptop or PC and finally start the internet service activation process. Details like the IP address, login ID and password are all written on the back of the router.

    Connect to the new Wi-Fi network, then by clicking on a web browser, you will be automatically be directed to the Spectrum Internet activation page. Enter the login details that are written on the back of the router. Once logged in, it is now time to choose your required network settings and follow through with all of the activation procedures on the page. At this point, you can also access the Wi-Fi router settings and you can change the name and the password as preferred.

  1. Router Location
    Spectrum Internet has now been activated. You need to find the best place, usually centrally located, to keep your Wi-Fi router so that the signals are at maximum for the router as well as for the devices connected to the router. Now sit back and enjoy your Spectrum Internet.

Season Two Of ‘YOU’ Finds Continued Success After Moving To Netflix

Odds are, someone you know is watching ‘YOU’. The season two release of Netflix’s acclaimed psycho-sexual thriller has captured the attention of critics and audiences alike, with viewership numbers skyrocketing since the series found a new home on the streaming platform.

You Season 2 CastBased on the Caroline Kepnes novel of the same name, ‘YOU’ serves as a cautionary tale about relationships in the information age. The series follows Joe Greenberg (Penn Badgley), an introspective but charming bookseller with a hidden penchant for stalking women. His bumbling romantic gestures seem at once sweet but misguided as he courts Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), a young writer and graduate student who frequents his shop. But what seems like harmless pining soon morphs into endless fixation as he tries to control Beck’s life and the people around her in a quest to retain her love.

A HIDDEN GEM FOR NETFLIX

‘YOU’ was a series poised for success from inception. Developed by legendary show creator Greg Berlanti (Dawson’s Creek, Riverdale) and experienced showrunner Sera Gamble (Supernatural, The Magicians), solid execution and audience viewership for its first season on Lifetime caught the attention of Netflix. The streaming giant later acquired the series where it garnered enough critical acclaim to warrant the release of a second season in December 2019. This most recent season marks a slight departure from the source material. Though according to creator Gamble, it’s loosely based on Hidden Bodies, the sequel to Kepnes’ first novel. Kepnes also penned an episode for the season one series.

NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE

Victoria Pedretti As Love Quinn You Season 2Despite his manipulative, selfish, and even violent nature, Joe’s character has become a favorite among viewers — to the dismay of Badgley, who took to social media during the show’s release to denounce the fan favoritism. Badgley’s character isn’t a person to cheer for. He’s a predator with a pattern: find a target, collect intel, then infiltrate their life. Rooting through social media profiles to aid in his manipulative tactics, he culls enough information about his targets to orchestrate a run-in and seem effortlessly charming in their presence. Yet he denounces those who use social media and displays a strong elitist streak. He’s so convinced of his own good intentions that he’s willing to do anything to keep the romance alive.

If anything, it’s indicative of the unsettling amount of charisma Badgley packs into the role. And admittedly, watching Joe’s fervor is compelling. He’s persistent and clever. Aided by a healthy dose of charm, and he’s a character compelling enough to last several seasons. Like most predators, Joe will strike again. He’s driven by a rampant desire to have love at all costs.

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

SEASON TWO UPS THE ANTE

At the top of season one, Joe’s initial attempts to woo Beck are thwarted by her on-again-off-again boyfriend. Joe makes quick work of him, capturing and killing the boyfriend to position himself as the best available suitor. His plan works. Convinced her boyfriend has run off, Beck begins falling for Joe. But Joe must sustain an exhausting web of lies as Beck’s friends begin to question the disappearance. Beck discovers evidence of his past victims, and their idyllic romance turns to a terrifying cat-and-mouse game ending in her death at Joe’s hands.

Penn Badgley as Joe GoldbergSeason two begins as Joe skips town for Los Angeles and adopts the pseudonym Will Bettleheim, hoping to outrun any potential trouble back in New York. But true to his elitist stance, he finds life in Hollywood to be vapid and insufferable. “Will” has convinced himself he won’t make the same relationship mistakes this time. Yet he quickly backslides into the same routine, finding himself infatuated with a local chef named Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti). At the same time, Love’s twin brother has grown wise to his schemes and threatens to out his crimes, including the murder of Guinevere Beck. Will recalibrates as he tries to keep his past at bay and lay the groundwork for a new life with Love.

Though he’s vowed to remain good, Will soon zeroes in on another target worthy of punishment: the notorious comedian and female predator known as Henderson. Will accumulates an impressive body count by season’s end, though he isn’t the only one to commit a crime of passion. Love reveals she’s just as relationship obsessed as Will, killing an ex-girlfriend on his behalf. As they move into a new suburban home to pursue wedded bliss with a baby on the way, we garner hints that this won’t be the end of Will’s obsessive streak when it comes to women. 

RIVETING RELATIONSHIP DRAMA

This is a relationship drama heightened to the highest possible degree, where breakups end in spilled blood. ‘YOU’ keeps the audience guessing at every turn with unexpected deaths, but also plays with our perspective. We are forced to sympathize with someone sociopathic because he’s convinced himself all his actions are in the name of love. Creators Gamble and Berlanti have wrestled continuously with their choice to frame the story from the stalker’s point of view. Though both Beck and Love have their own resourceful ways of uncovering Joe’s unsavory past, they don’t always come out on top. Season two presents a marked shift in the character dynamics where Joe is not always the smartest person in the room.

You Star Penn Badgley Season 2The unpredictability of the series remains an impressive feat as the story continues into its third season. It begs the question: how long can we watch Joe/Will outrun his bad deeds? And would we rather watch him get his comeuppance, or walk away scot-free? The one certainty audiences can count on is a season three, as Netflix announced in January of this year that the series would continue. Meanwhile, Kepnes is finishing a third novel that will follow Hidden Bodies, meaning this new season will mark a solid departure from the source material.

Production on the third season of the Netflix series has already begun and is expected for release sometime in 2021.

Disney’s Frozen 2 Continues an Epic Saga

Originally inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s short story “The Snow Queen,” Disney’s Frozen film franchise has quickly blossomed into a saga of its own, with its own mythology and backstory. With every film, animated short, and live action adaptation, fans get to learn a little bit more about Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, Kristoff, Sven the reindeer, and everyone’s favorite snowman Olaf.

With Frozen 2 finally streaming on Disney+, now’s a great time to take a look back at all the animated and live action stories parents and children can enjoy about the Kingdom of Arendelle. Read closely! Odds are, we may have found a few Frozen tales you haven’t seen!

Frozen (2013)

Frozen 2013 Film PosterBy now, practically everyone knows the story of the original Frozen movie (or at least listened to their kids sing multiple versions of “Let It Go”). As children, Princess Elsa’s magical ice powers accidentally injure her little sister Anna, creating a rift between the two girls. Years later, an adult Elsa loses control of her powers and freezes her kingdom in an eternal winter. To save their people, Anna teams up with mountain man Kristoff and happy snowman Olaf to show Elsa she still loves her and that they can fix her mistake together.

Where other Disney movies featured classic romances between princes and princesses, Frozen broke new ground by focusing on the family love between Anna and Elsa. Audiences loved the movie’s empowering theme of self-acceptance, the catchy songs, and its fairy tale inversions (Anna’s charming boyfriend Prince Hans turns out to be the movie’s unexpected villain).

Frozen has since been adapted into two live musical plays, not to mention a Disney on Ice skating show. The original movie, however, was only the beginning of a much bigger story the filmmakers wove through later animated shorts, featurettes, and feature films.   

Frozen Fever (2015)

While the success of Frozen practically guaranteed a sequel, Disney chose not to rush things – instead teasing audiences with a couple animated shorts. Frozen Fever was the first of these, playing in theaters before Disney’s live action Cinderella (2015).

Disney Frozen Fever 2015The seven-minute-short brings back all the voices from the original American cast, including Idina Menzel as Elsa, Kristen Bell as Anna, Jonathan Groff as Kristoff, and Josh Gadd as Olaf. On its surface, it plays like an irreverent comedy with Elsa throwing Anna a surprise birthday party to make up for the ones they couldn’t spend together as children. Unfortunately, Elsa catches a cold which makes her magically sneeze mini snowmen (or as Olaf calls them, “little brothers!”). Anna finally coaxes her sister to bed – but not before Elsa sneezes a giant snowball that travels across countries to knock Anna’s treacherous ex-boyfriend Prince Hans into a cart of manure.

Frozen fans love this short because it shows the normally serious Elsa acting hilariously goofy as her cold worsens. The two sisters also continue bonding, with Anna assuring Elsa that taking care of her big sister is “the best birthday present ever.” Elsa’s mini snowmen also proved popular and appear in later Frozen stories. Fans can find Frozen Fever streaming on Amazon.       

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017)

Olafs Frozen Adventure 2017The Frozen family reunites again in Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, a 21-minute featurette that had a 3D theatrical release in front of the Pixar movie Coco and is currently streaming on Disney+. This animated story is pure holiday fun as Olaf the snowman goes in search of family traditions after learning Anna and Elsa never had the chance to develop any as children. As Olaf makes his own comic observations on the holidays (“Breaking and entering… okay on Christmas,” he notes after learning about Santa coming down the chimney), Elsa and Anna re-explore their past and discover they do have a special tradition – thanks to Olaf.

A fun movie to watch during the holidays (or Frozen movie marathons), Olaf’s Frozen Adventure also features four original songs, including the stand-out “When We’re Together” sung by Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, and Josh Gadd.        

Frozen 2 (2019)

Frozen 2 OnlineThe latest film in the Frozen franchise, Frozen 2 debuted six years after the original movie. The film embraces this by letting time, growth, and maturity be this film’s major themes. Elsa and Anna uncover their heritage by learning Elsa’s ice magic came from their mother, a Northuldran woman from the Enchanted Forest. The sisters attempt to right a major wrong committed by Arendelle’s king toward the Northuldra tribe, but learn it may require them to separate. Meanwhile, Kristoff struggles with finding a way to propose to Anna and even Olaf has to deal with the new feelings that come with growing up.    

Celebrated for offering a darker tone, gorgeous animation, and stirring new songs (Elsa’s new showstopper “Into the Unknown” has become almost as popular as her breakout hit “Let It Go”), Frozen 2 proved a satisfying new chapter for its fans. And having earned over $1.4 billion dollars at the box office, there’s every chance fans will get to see Frozen 3 down the line.    

Once Upon a Time: Season 4 (2014-2015)

Once Upon A Time Season 4Frozen 2 may provide the “official” continuation of the Frozen saga, but audiences also got to enjoy an alternate look at Anna and Elsa’s story much earlier in season 4 of ABC’s Once Upon a Time live action television series. The fourth season had Elsa (Georgina Haig) and Anna (Elizabeth Lail) travel to modern times where they interact with alternate versions of Snow White, Captain Hook – and a new Snow Queen who turns out to be their aunt.

Although considered non-canon, the dark story is definitely one for older Frozen fans as it takes place shortly after the first movie with Anna about to marry Kristoff. The show also offers a different take on the sisters’ family history (and frequent nods to Anderson’s “The Snow Queen” short story). Audiences can find Once Upon a Time on Netflix, Hulu, Google Play, Vudu, iTunes, FandangoNOW, and Amazon.  

LEGO Frozen Northern Lights

Lego Disney Frozen Northern LightsAlthough Frozen hasn’t received a full-blown animated series like Disney’s Hercules or Aladdin, fans can still see Disney’s LEGO Frozen Northern Lights miniseries currently streaming on Disney+. The miniseries is (very) loosely based on a Frozen book series published by Random House and follows LEGO versions of Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf on their journey to restore the Northern Lights.     

More comedic and tongue-and-cheek than the movies (at one point, Elsa loses control of her magic and starts creating ice sculptures of Mickey Mouse), the miniseries nonetheless reunites the original American voice cast and offers a charm of its own. It’s mostly irreverent fun, but for Frozen fans hungry to see more of their favorite characters, it’s a definite win.

Spectrum Mobile Available To Spectrum Internet Subscribers

For those of you looking to save large amounts of money on your monthly phone bills, Spectrum Mobile has the perfect opportunity for you! Charter Spectrum is now offering mobile phone service at lower costs than its competitors for those already receiving their Spectrum Internet Service.

Spectrum Coverage Map USAWhy should I purchase Charter’s Spectrum Mobile phone service?

  • You have the opportunity to save up to 40% of your typical phone service while still receiving the best available networks and the best devices.
  • Spectrum Mobile partners with Verizon, providing its customers with unlimited access to the nation’s largest LTE network.
  • Users have access to more than 500,000 WiFi hotspots nationwide, reducing your potential use of cellular data.
  • Spectrum Mobile’s single line prices beat out the competition by a significant price gap.

Spectrum Mobile services have been noted as being equally reliable as major networks such as Verizon, which lends even more to the reason why you should be considering switching over to Spectrum Mobile. With amazing coverage and its unbeatable low prices, Spectrum mobile is definitely an option everybody should be looking into.

Spectrum Mobile Plans

Introducing Spectrum MobileSpectrum Mobile offers two different plans to choose from in order to best fit your personal phone service needs. The plans are split into two variations to cover customers looking to pay based on the number of lines they are currently occupying and to cover those looking to pay based on the number of gigabytes they are currently using.

These two plans include:

  • The Unlimited Plan – $45.00/month payment per single line or $180.00/month payment per four lines
  • By the Gig Plan – $14.00/month per gigabyte or $70.00/month per 5 gigabytes (Additional costs for talk and text included in pricing)

The Unlimited plan, for a single line, beats out competitors by a very notable and convincing margin. Charging only $45.00/month Spectrum Mobile is a clear choice over alternative phone services like T-Mobile who charges $60.00/month, Sprint who charges $60.00/month, Verizon who charges $75.00/month and AT&T who charges $70.00/month. Spectrum Mobile is the obvious choice to save you large sums of money on phone services.

Cancellation

Charter Spectrum is so sure that you will be more than pleased with your phone service, that they allow customers the opportunity to cancel their Spectrum Mobile phone service within 30 days of their next billing cycle date. You can avoid next month’s billing and you won’t have to worry about acquiring any penalties as a result of your cancelation. As long as you have covered any outstanding payments on your devices, you are free to cancel at any time just by making a single simple phone call.

Additional Features

Spectrum Mobile PricingAside from Spectrum Mobile’s clear financial benefits and reliable network, it has plenty more to offer to its customers than just good deals. With additional features, at no extra cost to you, every customer with Spectrum Mobile phone services will find that there is more than enough provided to exceed anyone’s expectations.

Spectrum Mobile provides thousands of WiFi hotspots across the country in order to deliver incomparable services to their customers wherever they may need it. Also, with the inclusion of so many WiFi hotspots, your monthly data usage is sure to decrease exponentially!

Maybe you have an old device that you wish to keep active and you have been eagerly trying to make the switch over to Spectrum Mobile phone service. This is no issue, as Spectrum Mobile already allows you to bring in your own device, with certain select devices having the ability to be transferred to the service.

If your current device is not able to be transferred over to their phone service and you find yourself needing to purchase a new phone, Spectrum Mobile provides the option to buy a device from a large selection of the latest smartphones, such as:

  • Galaxy Note 9
  • Galaxy S9
  • Galaxy S9+
  • Galaxy S8
  • Galaxy S8+
  • LG K30
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus

Spectrum Mobile offers an array of Apple devices to choose from for around $349.00 a device while they provide select Samsung devices for around $150.00 less than their newer models.

Requirements

Spectrum Mobile is a great deal but it is a deal that only a select group of people can take part in, as it isn’t available to just anyone. In order to purchase a Spectrum Mobile phone service, you must have already purchased and still be an active customer of the Spectrum Internet service. After doing so you must sign up for their auto-pay feature and be able to meet their listed credit requirements.

Once you sign up to receive both Spectrum Mobile as well as Spectrum Internet, you can be expecting to receive:

  • Internet speeds starting at 100 Mbps (20x faster than standard DSL)
  • Free online protection with Security Suite
  • A free internet modem
  • Unlimited local and long-distance calling limited to the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands
  • Free 411 calls

All these internet services are provided to you for a $59.99/month for 12 months payment along with a $9.99/month for 12-month payment. This serves to save Spectrum customers large amounts of money as their Spectrum Internet service separately is just $10.00/month cheaper at $49.99/month for the first 12 months, for internet service alone.

Takeaways

The obvious benefit of Spectrum Internet is the fact that you pay significantly less for your Spectrum Mobile service when you pair the two together. You get to turn two of your costly bills into one affordable bill. Spectrum Mobile is perfect for those looking for a reliable cell network, more affordable pricing then big-name phone service providers, and thousands of easy to access WiFi hotspots across the country. If you are already a Spectrum Internet customer it just makes sense to make the switch!

Better Call Saul: A Staple of Television Entertainment

If you are a fan of popular crime dramas and dark comedies, then chances are that you have already binge-watched AMC’s “Better Call Saul” and maybe even rewatched the whole series another time over! Over its five-season run, “Better Call Saul” has proved to be a series worthy of a large audience’s attention.

Better Call SaulWhat makes “Better Call Saul” a staple of television? Debuting on February 8, 2015, “Better Call Saul”, captured the attention of many, as it was announced to be a prequel to AMC’s critically acclaimed, fan-favorite show “Breaking Bad.” The show, being referred to by some critics as a prequel measuring up to its predecessor, has also received critical acclaim, known for exceptional cinematography, phenomenal character development, and superb acting.

With episodes running just around an hour each, “Better Call Saul” is a show determined to capture and hold onto the attention of its viewers, exploring the constantly evolving question, who is Saul Goodman?

The Appeal Of Saul Goodman

“Better Call Saul” follows lead protagonist Saul Goodman, portrayed by Bob Odenkirk in a prequel series to that of “Breaking Bad,” in which he enters the criminal underworld, more specifically drug trafficking. The show explores his slow transformation into the persona known as Saul Goodman. The audience follows his journey as he lives by his ideals that nice guys finish last and both the positive and negative side effects he faces as a direct result of this mindset.

Better Call Saul Season 2It is apparent from early on in the shows running that our lead protagonist and anti-hero Saul Goodman is not heading to a very pleasant end, however, the show seems more concerned with developing why this is. In many ways, the show highlights exactly why our protagonist deserves less than the usual amount of empathy, a clever creative choice for the protagonist of a show which tends to lend itself to a quite unique tone and point of view for audiences.

Adding to the character’s appeal, Saul Goodman does not accept this title willingly until the near end of season 4! His true identity of Jimmy McGill truly steps out of the limelight at this point as we are formally introduced to the new permanent persona of Saul Goodman. From this point on the show opens the floodgates to endless attention-grabbing opportunities that are sure to hook people in for many episodes to come.

“It’s Jimmy’s thorny relationships… that made up the most involving elements of Better Call Saul’s sorrowful, emotionally knotty, fantastic follow-up season,” MTV’s Inkoo Kang expressed when speaking about season two.

Exceptional Reception

Deemed by many as an exceptional and in the eyes of some, one of the best prequel series to date, “Better Call Saul” was a smash hit to many audiences since its initial debut in 2015. Receiving an impressive rating of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, season one was definitely off to an amazingly well-received first season.

Contrary to many other shows, “Better Call Saul” has only improved these, already impressive ratings as the next two seasons saw the same score on Rotten Tomatoes, followed by 99% for its fourth season and a stunning 100% perfect score, based on 24 reviews, for its fifth season. Audiences were and still are raving about this revolutionary show and its masterful execution of creative, riveting concepts.

“The new season proves Better Call Saul remains one of the finest shows on television” NPR’s Eric Deggans explained, “with visually ambitious storytelling used to depict complex characters headed for a tragic end.”

Better Call Saul Season 4The show’s astonishingly developed characters create an immersive experience, unlike any other show, with lead Bob Odenkirk giving an indescribable depth to his portrayal of a character who can be described as quite unorthodox at times. The show is known for taking audiences on an emotional rollercoaster as, more often than not, the audience will receive a painful loss for every victory Saul Goodman receives.

As Ben Travers from indieWire perfectly puts it, “All of these consistently astonishing formal touches combine to create a value that outweighs the pain,” later referring to the show as “a double-edged sword of reward and loss.” 

Some critics have even expressed their preference of “Better Call Saul” over its predecessor “Breaking Bad!” As stated by Tim Surette of TV Guide Magazine, “It’s time that we really consider that Better Call Saul is equaling the quality of Breaking Bad, and in some ways doing even better”

Better Call Saul Awards And Nominations

2015

  • 2015 American Film Institute Awards – Televisions Programs of the Year
  • 5th Critics’ Choice Television Awards – Best Actor in a Drama Series
  • 5th Critics’ Choice Television Awards – Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
  • 31st TCA Awards – Outstanding New Program

2016

  • 68th Writers Guild of America Awards – Episodic Drama
  • 20th Satellite Awards – Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries, or TV Film
  • 7th Critics’ Choice Television Awards – Best Actor in a Drama Series
  • 2016 American Film Institute Awards – Television Programs of the Year

2017

  • 21st Satellite Awards – Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries, or TV Film

2018

2019

  • 35th TCA Awards – Outstanding Achievement in Drama
  • 45th Saturn Awards – Best Action-Thriller Television Series

Takeaway

The amount of recognition this show has received is a direct result of the creators’ abilities to craft a uniquely compelling story and deliver it to audiences in an interesting way. There is not a reasonable doubt in anyone’s mind that this show is clearly beloved by many and there is definitely no question as to how it has received the success it has achieved in its five-season run thus far. “Better Call Saul” has left an impression on American television and is sure to remain as a staple for what amazing, well-delivered storytelling is and always should be.

Categories TV