And you thought solitaire was addictive?
One of my closest friends from college emailed me a link to Hulu.com, and now I'm considering breaking off our 20-year friendship. After all, he knows that I'm a recovering TV-holic. What is he trying to do to me? Wreck my career? After all, like many people, most of my work is done at my computer, and Hulu is an online web site that provides TV shows and movies for free -- good TV shows and movies. This is bad.
I mean, it's good, but that's why it's bad.
There are limited commercials, and I can't tell you what that means because had I watched an entire episode of Fantasy Island, the first show I clicked on, or an entire movie of Ice Age, I would not be writing this right now. In any case, the TV shows and movies that Hulu has to offer is impressive. They have something for everyone (I swear, Hulu is not paying me to write this... I'll bet they paid my friend to send me their link, though, knowing I'd be weak and gush about the web site).In the movie section, you can watch The Usual Suspects (but because it's rated R, you have to log in and promise you're over 17 and all of that), or you can see family fare like All Dogs Go to Heaven (actually, the family fare seems pretty sparse). But there are a lot of impressive titles to see here like Sideways and Jim Carrey's Man on the Moon where he plays (some would say channels) comedian Andy Kaufman.
But I have to admit, I fell for the TV section. I love revisiting shows I watched as a kid in the 1970s, and right away I saw the aforementioned Fantasy Island, not to mention The Incredible Hulk and Bionic Woman. Oh... just checked... it's the new one. And, yes, there are quite a few new shows like Chuck, where four full episodes can be watched and lots of excerpts.
Sure, it's not exactly free--I mentioned the limited advertising, and you know, they just want you to get sucked into Chuck, so you'll watch it on network TV and help the advertising even more. But honestly, it does seem like a pretty comprehensive site. If you miss Tom Brokaw, you can see some of his classic reports. If you miss Benson, this is where you should come. They also have every episode of Arrested Development, all 46 episodes of USA's 1990s underrated sitcom Weird Science and six episodes of Monk...
Oh, boy, am I in trouble.
Geoff Williams is a business journalist and the author of C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America (Rodale). And he apparently watches way too much TV.