It’s Not All That Bad
Hulu does have its pluses. One major bonus of this test is that I did love seeing all those old SNL clips again. It took me back to the glory days of the show, you know, when it was fresh, exciting, and funny. The selection is very spotty though, especially in the Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal, Dana Carvey, Mike Myers, Phil Hartman, Adam Sandler, and Will Ferrell years. How could they not have the clip of Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze auditioning for Chippendales? Or not including the infamous “More cowbell!” cry during the mock Behind The Music for Blue Oyster Cult? However, the site gets huge bonus points from me for including my all time favorite sketch, Eddie Murphy’s brilliant profile of Buckwheat’s assassin, John David Stutts. Damn you, Hulu, for making me laugh so hard again that I nearly suffered intense physical peril!
I was also impressed by the video quality in recent shows I came across on the site. These shows were displayed in widescreen HD (or at least high quality digital), and the picture was almost as good as if I watched on my widescreen TV. Hulu also did a great job in accomplishing one of its main purposes, providing easy-to-use buttons allowing users to link videos via email, social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook or Digg, and embedding links to personal websites or blogs. Of course the clips link back to Hulu, which then plays ads before each one. I do wonder if YouTube would have been as successful if their links played ads before each clip. I also question if that will force some users to think twice about linking clips to Hulu. Of course, they will likely put up with the ads if that’s the only place the content can be found, and the advertisers know that.
I liked how movies with an R rating weren’t allowed to be played unless the user created an account and logged in. From my understanding, some films had the bad parts edited anyway, but at least they were aware of streaming content to sensitive eyes.
I found the site most useful though when I discovered a recent Simpsons episode on my TiVo didn’t record because NASCAR ran late (a recurring problem for FOX on Sundays with football, too). It was nice to go to Hulu and easily play the show. The picture was still jumpy here and there, but the bright colors and sharp video from this animated program did stand out nicely on the site.