HBO wants you to stay the hell home during the coronavirus, and to better encourage you to do so, they’re offering a whole bunch of stuff for free. Nine full original series, 10 documentaries and docuseries, and 20 Warner Bros. theatrical films will all be available to stream on HBO for free – as in, you don’t need an HBO subscription to watch them. Plus: Amazon is breaking with tradition, and making in-app purchases, including renting and buying films and TV shows, possible.
Hey, have you always wanted to catch up on HBO originals, but haven’t wanted to sign up for an HBO subscription? Well, your time is now. Starting this Friday, April 3, HBO is launching something they call the #StayHomeBoxOffice, which will make a plethora of content available for free – no HBO subscription required. Here’s what you get:
9 Full Series
Ballers 5 Seasons
Barry 2 Seasons
Silicon Valley 6 Seasons
Six Feet Under 5 Seasons
The Sopranos 7 Seasons
Succession 2 Seasons
True Blood 7 Seasons
Veep 7 Seasons
The Wire 5 Seasons
10 Docuseries and Documentaries
The Case Against Adnan Syed
Elvis Presley: The Searcher
I Love You, Now Die: The Commonweh v. Michelle Carter
The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley
Jane Fonda in Five Acts
True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality
We Are the Dream: The Kids of the MLK Oakland Oratorical Fest
20 Warner Bros. Theatricals
Arthur 2: On the Rocks
Blinded By the Light
The Bridges of Madison County
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Empire of the Sun
Happy Feet Two
Isn’t It Romantic?
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
My Dog Skip
Nancy Drew And The Hidden Staircase
Pokémon Detective Pikachu
Red Riding Hood
The programming will be available to stream without a subscription starting Friday by downloading the HBO NOW or HBO GO apps or by visiting HBONOW.com or HBOGO.com. The content will also be made available for free via participating distribution partners’ platforms in the coming days.
Meanwhile, in news that doesn’t involve free stuff, but is still pretty cool, Amazon is changing things up regarding their in-app purchases. In the old, pre-coronavirus days, Amazon would not allower users to rent or buy content on the Prime Video app. Instead, you had to use a web browser. Now, Amazon has reversed course, and is allowing in-app purchases on Apple products. Before, Amazon was against this because it required paying a fee to Apple. But Apple has set up a program for the time being:
Apple says it has had an “established” program for “premium” video apps subscriptions, now including Amazon Prime, to let them use their own payment methods instead of in-app-purchase, which gives Apple a 30% cut. This program has been in use already with Altice One and Canal+
— Mark Gurman @markgurman April 1, 2020
There’s no word on how long this will be in place, but you should probably take advantage of it now.
Although “The L Word: Generation Q” may have tried desperately to speak to a “new generation” of queer women and non-binary folks, fresher creative voices quickly rose to the top in its place. Though people still watched. Showtime’s “Work in Progress” was the best queer comedy of the year, Netflix’s “Feel Good” was an unexpected delight, and “Vida” is returning just in time for queer audiences to catch up on the best show about queer women of color on TV. Yet another contender released a promising first trailer today: “Betty” is a stylish and youthful portrait of Brooklyn teen skaters that already appears extremely queer.
The six-part half-hour arrives on HBO from filmmaker Crystal Moselle, who quickly made waves in 2015 with her her riveting documentary hybrid “The Wolfpack.” “Betty” is adapted from her second feature, the similarly hybridized “Skate Kitchen,” which followed a group of teenage girl skaters in New York City. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews and was released by Magnolia Pictures that year.
In his B+ review of “Skate Kitchen” out of Sundance, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote: “The streetwise alternative to ‘Girls,’ the movie weaves together such a complete vision of its subjects that the rest of the world barely exists. Of course, there's a long-standing precedent to capturing this subculture — ‘Kids’ did it, with more adventurous storytelling twists, more than 20 years ago — but Moselle's subjects hold their own with the surprising ability to clarify their emotions through the cathartic process of hanging out.”
“Betty” features many of the film’s original stars, most of whom had not acted before, including Kabrina Adams, Dede Lovelace, Nina Moran, Rachelle Vinberg, and Ajani Russell. All accomplished skaters in their own right, the first trailer shows the charismatic crew navigating various crushes and friendship trials with compelling panache and humor.
“Betty” is directed, co-written, and executive produced by Moselle. Lesley Arfin and Patricia Breen are also co-writers. Arfin, who also EPs, is a comedy writer best known for co-creating the Netflix series “Love” with Judd Apatow and Paul Rust.
HBO will release “Betty” beginning May 1 at 11 pm ET. Check out the exciting first trailer below: