The other day, I sat down to enjoy an episode of “Modern Family” on Hulu instead of doing my homework, only to discover (five tantalizing minutes into the show) that I would have to purchase something called “Hulu Plus” in order to continue watching. Apparently, it now costs $7.99 a month for me to watch Gloria engage in her signature shenanigans (“Ay, Jay!” Ha!), because whoever runs Hulu decided to go from being that cool dude who gives you awesome free stuff to being an evil corporate overlord.
Okay, I’m exaggerating … slightly. In reality, Hulu Plus does give you a little more bang for your buck. For example, you get access to more TV shows and movies than were ever available on the original site. You can also stream Hulu on “mobile devices” like an iPad or Roku (whatever that is), and — in what is perhaps the most pragmatic perk — you can send feedback about the stuff you’re watching with a contact form available only to paid users.
Still, none of this seems all that different from what you would get if you subscribed to Netflix or the (rumored) soon-to-launch catalogue of streamable shows and movies on Amazon Prime. And the worst part is that even with all the money you pay for VIP status, you still have to sit through those annoying 30-second commercial breaks. So thanks, Hulu, but I think I’ll save my $7.99/month for the chicken wonton dish at York St. Noodle. At least until Sidereel shuts down.