Three Months of Free Trials
Written by Eric Seitz
We dive deep into the nitty-gritty of what you could do if you were to hop from one streaming service free trial to another for three months straight.
Solidifying itself as a pillar in the cultural zeitgeist of the 2010’s and onward, streaming services are a beast that continues to grow and morph at an alarming rate. With newcomers like Disney+ and Apple TV+ finding respective spots at the table and proving that they are worthy contenders in this often brutal market, the future of streaming is uncertain — and companies seem to be going to great lengths in vying for the attention of consumers. Nothing makes that more apparent than the concept of the free trial. With dozens of video platforms in circulation, we’ve assembled a lineup of what streaming services offer free trials, how long each trial is, and what the must-see titles are on each.
With a cheaper entry point and the unique proposition of near-immediate arrival of episodes that originally air on cable giving it a hook compared to streaming giant Netflix, Hulu has chugged along, scoring some awesome titles along the way. You’ve got 30 days to tackle all that Hulu has to offer, so once you click that button to begin your free trial, it’s in your best interest to get to work.
Starring Sandra Oh as an MI5 agent engaging in a never-ending cat-and-mouse game with an international assassin, this spy thriller is our highest recommendation for those who love intensity. With three eight-episode seasons, you can watch this entire series in one week if you’re dedicated.
The gold-standard for comedy, this series follows the often heartwarming shenanigans of Brooklyn’s 99th police precinct. Drawing inspiration from its network predecessors “The Office” and” Parks & Recreation,” this sitcom hits all the right notes when it comes to workplace comedy. Its episode lineup is daunting, however, with a whopping 143 30-minute episodes.
It’s almost criminal to leave off legends like “Twin Peaks,” “Community,” and “Friday Night Lights,” but Lost is a must-watch. Exploring themes of survival, fate, and the impact of decisions on reality, this six-season mystery series unravels a narrative that snowballs into one of the most complex stories ever told on television.
Amazon Prime Video
As Amazon Prime’s streaming option grows in reach, so does its library — from network classics to brilliant originals. Amazon is generous enough to give you a full month to watch through its library, and we’ve got just the right suggestions.
A satire on the oversaturated superhero genre of movie and TV show (we’re looking at you, The CW — nobody needs six superhero shows) “The Boys” explores what superheroes would be like if they weren’t the idealized paragons we make them out to be. Creating a bleak world in which heroes are privatized and prone to misdeeds ranging from capitalist ploys to psychopathic murder.
Warning: though this show gets our highest recommendation, avoid it if you’re sensitive to extreme amounts of gore.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Chronicling the story of how a Jewish housewife in New York in the 1950s gets divorced and begins a career in stand-up comedy, this series is a refreshingly modern take on the mostly stale sub-genre of 50’s-set entertainment. Follow the enchanting Midge Maisel and her total opposite newfound friend and talent manager, the rough-and-tumble Susie Myerson. If you didn’t appreciate stand-up before, you will after watching this show.
If you don’t know about this series, get ready because the premise is awesome: Based on the widely adored New York Times column of the same name and featuring a star-studded cast (Anne Hathaway and Tina Fey, to name a few), this is an anthology series (meaning each episode follows a separate storyline) that chronicles the real-life tales of finding love. From budding friendships to gut-wrenching romances to newfound familial bonds, this series pulls at all the right strings. And with just eight episodes, it’ll be a breeze to speed through.
Apple TV+ is just over a year old at this point, but it’s swinging for the fences with a wide gamut of originals. From rich dramas that shoot for the stars (“The Morning Show”) to reimaginings of history (“Dickinson” and “For All Mankind”) to adorably heartwarming comedies (“Ted Lasso”), this streaming platform is proving it can do it all — at this point, it’s just a matter of whether it can keep producing to get more people to subscribe.
The Morning Show
To leave the masterfully crafted “Ted Lasso” off this list is heartbreaking, but Apple doesn’t give you a chance to fool around — you only have seven days with the streaming platform, so that leaves room for only the highest caliber: The Morning Show. Starring Hollywood darlings Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell, this drama follows the lives of hosts of the biggest morning talk show in the country. Painting characters that you’re not even sure you like very much until (maybe) the very end, this show expertly addresses topics relevant today, such as mass shootings, wildfires, the Me Too movement, and the importance of truth in journalism. If you don’t watch anything else on this list, watch The Morning Show.
As the pandemic buckles down on the country, Disney has also been buckling down on its plans for the year-old streaming service. With (almost) the entirety of the MCU on the platform (sorry, Spider-Man), the Disney princess series, and a slew of Disney Channel favorites, Disney+ is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with.
The Star Wars saga
To clarify, this is the nine mainline films: “A New Hope,” “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Return of Jedi,” The Phantom Menace, “Attack of the Clones,” “Revenge of the Sith,” “The Force Awakens,” “The Last Jedi,” and “The Rise of Skywalker.” Feel what you may about Star Wars, this series has been defining popular culture since its debut in the 70’s. A milestone in the long line of stories about the battle between good and evil, this is a series that everyone should see.
A powerhouse of original content, HBO effervesces with the utmost of quality. Choosing only one of their offerings is probably the hardest task out of curating this entire list.
This show has more Emmy nominations than it does episodes (and it’s got 66 episodes). Albeit, it only has one more nomination, but still, that’s nuts! The nominations (14 of which it won) are well-deserved, as this lightning-fast comedy is witty, satirical, and hilarious at the same time. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine from Seinfeld) plays the titular veep (of the United States) in a hilarious commentary on the inconsequential nature of the position.