After a relatively slow summer, the major streaming services are back in gear in September, with a slew of new series and movies with some very big names.
That includes “Mulan,” which may be the toughest choice for consumers this month: is it really worth paying $ 30 for a movie? (More on this below.)
As noted in this column, consumers can take full advantage of cable cutting by taking advantage of the ability to add and delete streaming services every month. All that is required is good planning and timing. Remember that a billing cycle starts when you sign up, not necessarily at the beginning of each month.
Consumers can also take advantage of free streaming trial offers, as Disney + and Apple TV + are particularly focused on building subscriber bases rather than increasing sales (at least for now). You will never get a better deal than free, and the deals won't last forever.
Note that some offers have expired while new ones have popped up (e.g., an amazing bundle of Apple TV +, CBS All Access, and Showtime for $ 9.99 per month, and a free Verizon bundle of Disney +, Hulu, and ESPN + for some cell phone customers). .
Aside from free and bundled options, when the time comes to decide where to go with your subscription dollars, What's Worth Streaming helps. We rate each major streaming service as a "game," "pause," or "stop" each month, much like investment analysts' ratings of buy, hold, and sell, and select the best content to help you make monthly decisions to support.
Here's what's coming on the various streaming services in September 2020 and what the monthly subscription fee is really worth
Disney + ($ 6.99 per month)
OK, let's get this out of the way first.
Disney + September deals pretty much start and end with "Mulan" (September 4th), the bold move for one of the most anticipated films of the year that could pave a new avenue for major movie release. With the coronavirus pandemic forcing theaters to close (some are only now starting to reopen, with greatly reduced seating capacity), Walt Disney Co.
has decided to bring the film direct to subscribers for $ 30.
"Mulan," of course, is the live-action remake of Disney's 1998 animated hit about a young Chinese girl who dresses up as a male warrior to save her father and becomes a hero fighting invaders. The new version seems to be quite a spectacular action drama.
Remember, this is not a rental or a purchase. For $ 30 on top of the monthly subscription price of $ 6.99, the "unlocked" movie can be viewed for as long as you have a Disney + subscription. However, this is a major limitation. If you drop Disney + for a month to save money, you will also lose access to Mulan.
See:$ 30 to see "Mulan" on Disney + is either outrageous or an incredible deal, depending on who you ask
Conclusion: is it worth paying for "Mulan"? Maybe. While many people gasped at the advertised price of $ 30, this could still be cheaper (and safer) than getting multiple kids to the multiplex. Of course there are people out there who have no problem seeing a new Disney movie, and that's fine. But for the rest of us there are a couple of things to keep in mind – IF you are okay with subscribing to Disney + in the long term, and IF you have multiple kids (or multiple roommates) who would see it, and IF "Mulan" gets decent reviews then pay $ 30 without regret as you can probably justify the cost. However, if the answer to any of these questions is no, consider skipping it safe – after all, $ 30 is significantly more expensive than buying a DVD or typical digital download. One more thing, don't rely on "Mulan" getting added to Disney + for free too quickly. While it will likely be added to the service's regular lineup at some point (maybe six to nine months?), Keep in mind that Disney has been the master for decades at keeping films in its vault and making their limited availability a selling point .
Who is Disney + for? Families with children and die-hard “Star Wars” and Marvel fans. There is no library for those who do not belong to this group.
Play, pause or stop? Pause and think about it. "Mulan" aside, it's a breeze if you have kids – Disney + is well worth a subscription. If not, you are not missing much.
Netflix ($ 8.99 or $ 12.99 per month)
the big names starts in September, starting with "Path" (September 4), a space / family drama series starring Oscar winner Hilary Swank as the astronaut leading the first manned flight to Mars, overcoming both the challenges of her mission and the pain of leaving her family on Earth. Jason Katims ("Friday Night Lights", "Parenthood") is executive producer. So expect serious heart pulling.
Another Oscar winner – writer / director Charlie Kaufman ("Being John Malkovich") – will debut his latest psychological thriller film on the same day "I'm thinking of ending things" (September 4th) with Jessie Buckley as a young woman who meets her boyfriend's parents for the first time. Safe to say it's not going well as she ends up questioning her sanity and the nature of reality. Based on the trailer, it looks typically Kaufmanesque – very strange and probably very good. Staying in the psychological thriller genre, producer Ryan Murphy will bring out his latest drama series "Ratched" (September 18), with Emmy winner Sarah Paulson in the Technicolor and Campy genesis story of one of Hollywood's greatest villains: Nurse Ratched from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest".
There are also "Enola Holmes" (September 23), a boisterous mystery film starring Millie Bobby Brown ("Stranger Things") as Sherlock's younger sister; Rachael Leigh Cook and Damon Wayans Jr. in the rom-com film "Love, guaranteed" (September 3rd) that looks juicy and predictable but slightly charming; and "Sing on!" (September 16), a karaoke competition series by Tituss Burgess ("The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt").
See: Here's everything that's coming to Netflix in September 2020 – and what's left
And after a popular string of novels and at least two TV adaptations, troubled but brilliant Swedish detective Kurt Wallander is back, this time in an English-language prequel series examining how the young cop became a super-truth. Adam Palsson plays the rookie investigating a hate crime "Young Wallander" (September 3rd). Fans of Nordic shows will also appreciate the addition of all three seasons of the acclaimed political drama 2010-13 "Borrow" (September 1st), which was hailed by critics as the Danish "west wing".
September also brings the children's animated adventure series "Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous" (September 18); "Sneakerheads" (September 25), a new comedy series about a man and his obsession with sneakers; and a lot of delicious food documentaries including "Chef & # 39; s Table: BBQ" (September 2nd), "Taco Chronicles Volume 2" (September 15) and Season 2 of Jon Favreau "The Chef Show" (September 24th).
And under older supplements, check out "Midnight Special" (Sep 7), a clever 2016 indie sci-fi chase that may satisfy your itch for "Stranger Things" until a new season comes out; all three "Back to the Future" Films (every September 1st); and the final season of the hit NBC comedy After Death "The good place" (September 26th).
Who is Netflix for? Fans of Buzz-worthy original shows and films.
Play, pause or stop? Play. Netflix is still the king of streaming, and September seems like a tough month for new releases.
Hulu ($ 5.99 per month or $ 11.99 without ads)
As stacked as the September lineup of Netflix is, Hulu's is as impressive. This is mainly thanks to the streaming partnership with FX – arguably the highest quality cable network.
A couple of FX favorites will return for new seasons and be streamed on Hulu the next day. It has been three years since the last season of Noah Hawley's brilliant crime anthology "Fargo" But season four will finally fall on Hulu on September 28 (it was originally due in April but has been pushed back due to the pandemic). The series will step down during this time and focus on a mob war in Kansas City in 1950. Chris Rock and Jason Schwartzman are listed as capos in rival crime syndicates. If it has anything to do with the previous three episodes, "Fargo" is going to be one of the best shows of the year and well worth watching. Another FX hit (technically FXX) also returns with the 11th season of "Archer" (September 17th), the animated but extremely adult spy comedy. After three seasons of meandering tales from the comatose archer's head, he's awake again and back in the espionage business – which has apparently changed a bit in his absence. Perhaps the magic that made "Archer" one of the funniest and most insane shows of its time is being brought back to basics.
Hulu will also be releasing a pair of original comedies, with the second season of Pen15 (September 18) and the debut of “Woke” (September 9). "Pen15" is the terrifying comedy from the minds of Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle who play seventh grade versions of themselves. Not only is it incredibly awkward, it's also very fun. "Woke up" It's now a fascinating series about a protected black cartoonist who is harassed by the police and suddenly sees the world in a whole new, more paranoid light. The trippy looking series mixes live action and animation and seems very timely.
See: Here's what's coming to Hulu in September 2020 and what's not
There is also the FX documentation "A wildness of error" (Sept. 26) covering the infamous Jeffrey MacDonald murder case and streaming Fox & # 39; fall shows the next day, including "Bob's Burger" and "The simpsons" (September 28th).
Who is Hulu for? TV lover. There is an extensive library for those who want older TV series and next day streaming for many recent network and cable shows
Play, pause or stop? Play. Hulu is the best value for streaming and with FX the top spot for high quality series.
Amazon Prime Video ($ 12.99 per month)
Streaming service has a new season of fan favorite in September, along with an intriguing conspiracy thriller.
"The young" returns for season two on September 4th with the eponymous gang of superhero haters on the run from the police and the corporate-backed superhero group The Seven. It's a cynical, violent, and very adult series that has a strong cult following, but its relentless inconvenience isn't for everyone.
On September 25th, the release of "Utopia," adapted by Gillian Flynn ("Gone Girl") and with Sasha Lane, Rainn Wilson and John Cusack, among others. It's about a group of fanboys and girls who discover that a comic strip conspiracy is indeed real, and only they can prevent a coming pandemic from wiping out humanity. The concept of a group of good guys avoiding a pandemic seems like a nice wish fulfillment at this point in 2020, and the trailer looks at least solidly entertaining.
Also: Here's everything coming to Amazon Prime Video in September 2020
Prime Video will also debut the political documentary "All In: The Fight for Democracy" (September 18) about the suppression of voters in the US and the soccer documentaries "All or nothing: Tottenham Hotspur" (August 31) and a handful of classic films like "Close encounters of the third kind", "The Graduate" and "The last house on the left" (every September 1st).
Who is Amazon Prime Video for? Film lovers, fans of TV series who value quality over quantity.
Play, pause or stop? Pause and think about it. Is this a necessary month to sign up? Probably not. Is there still enough interesting content there to make it worthwhile? Probably.
HBO Max ($ 14.99 per month)
It's not just Netflix with the big names in September – HBO Max has a lot going for it.
This includes the original Max science fiction series by director Ridley Scott "Raised by Wolves" (September 3) about a pair of androids raising human children on a mysterious planet; as well as the socially distant HBO comedy film"Coastal elites" (September 12) with Bette Midler, Issa Rae and Sarah Paulson; and "The third day," a miniseries starring Jude Law and Naomie Harris as visitors to a mysterious island. At least the trailer looks intriguingly unsettling.
There is also the original Max film "Not pregnant" (September 10), a road trip comedy about two former best friends pondering important life choices; "We are who we are" (September 14), a coming-of-age drama series about two American children on a military base in Italy; the real crime story "The White House Farm Murders" (September 24); and the dog grooming competition series "Haute Dog" (TBA).
There are also new episodes of the terrific and fantastic horror series "Lovecraft Country" and John Oliver is always excellent "Last Week Tonight" on tap.
Who is HBO Max for? HBO fans and movie lovers. Though oddly enough, it's still NOT for Roku or Amazon Fire users as HBO Max owner AT&T Inc.
has not yet signed a contract with the two largest manufacturers of streaming TV sets.
Play, pause or stop? Stop. If you're already on HBO, be sure to explore Max. However, the lack of compatibility with Roku and Amazon makes it difficult to recommend Max for most consumers.
Peacock (Free Basic Level, $ 4.99 per month with ads or $ 9.99 per month without ads)
After an overwhelming number of originals launching, September should finally offer a reason or two to consider upgrading to the premium paid tier from Peacock, Comcast Corp.'s streaming arm
NBCUniversal, with the arrival of NBC Sports, Premier League Soccer and a new season of the underrated sitcom "A.P. Bio ”(September 3rd).
Peacock announced a deal in early July to become the US streaming home for the English Premier League. From September 12th, more than 175 games will be offered in the 2020/21 season. That's roughly half the Premier League, the rest is shown on NBC's broadcast and cable channels. Peacock will also feature live NBC sports coverage of US Open Golf September 17-20.
Most people missed it "A.P. Bio" during his two seasons on NBC, which was a shame. The high school comedy is moving to Peacock for the third time, and it's well worth watching. With Glenn Howerton as the worst teacher ever and with one of the best cast on television (including Patton Oswalt, Paula Pell and Lyric Lewis), it's a show that has twisted humor and just enough in tune brings heart.
Also in September: "Departure" (September 17), a new drama starring Archie Panjabi and Christopher Plummer as investigators investigating the mysterious disappearance of an airplane; "The public" (15 September) a film, written and directed by Emilio Estevez, about a police operation after a public library was taken over by homeless people in winter; the documentation "A very nice thing" (September 3) via the nation's first black rowing club; "Anthony" (September 4) about a murdered black teenager in Liverpool; the documentary film "The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte moderates the Tonight Show" (September 10); the documentation "Black Boys" (Sept. 10) by writer and director Sonia Lowman and executive producer and NFL veteran Malcom Jenkins; and new weekly late night talk shows from comedians Amber Ruffin and Larry Wilmore (TBA dates).
Who is Peacock for? If you're a cable cutter who misses network television, the free version from Peacock is great. If you're eligible for Premium through a Comcast or Cox cable subscription, this is a free addition too.
Play, pause or stop? Stop. The free version is nice, but the paid tier will be unnecessary for most people, although the offering is improving.
Apple TV + ($ 4.99 per month)
Looks like another month from Apple Inc.
Streaming service with a couple of perfectly adequate series.
It will be "Tehran" (September 25), a spy thriller about an Israeli agent (Niv Sultan) undercover for a dangerous mission in Iran, and "Long way up" (September 18), a documentary about another epic motorcycle journey by actor Ewan McGregor and TV presenter / travel writer Charley Boorman. Both look nice, but on their own aren't convincing enough to sign up for a subscription. There are also new episodes of "Ted Lasso" a surprisingly charming comedy that debuted in August.
Who is Apple TV + for? That's the big question – it has something for everyone, but actually not enough for everyone.
Play, pause or stop? Stop. With the flattest library of any other streaming service and only one or two originals per month, it's still not worth the admittedly low price, though the new bundle offering with CBS All Access / Showtime is fascinating.
CBS All Access ($ 5.99 per month or $ 9.99 without ads)
Live sports will be the draw for CBS All Access in September, with the NFL returning on September 13 (if everything goes according to schedule) and the new season of UEFA Champions League football. The third qualifying round of the Champions League begins on September 15th and the qualifying playoffs begin on September 22nd.
However, All Access is expanding its offering to include a variety of shows from across ViacomCBS Inc.
Network family (Comedy Central, BET, MTV etc.) and is expected to officially restart in 2021.
Who is CBS All Access for? Cable cutters who miss network TV and sports.
Play, pause or stop? Stop. There is still not enough to justify the price. However, that could change between the upcoming reboot and the bundling deal with Showtime and Apple TV +.
Quibi ($ 4.99 per month with ads, $ 7.99 per month without ads)
Quibi also had at least one well-known publication in September with the new drama series Steven Soderbergh ("Ocean & # 39; s Eleven") "Wireless" (September 14th). It shows Tye Sheridan ("Ready Player One") as a student who got lost in the wilderness without a cell phone.
Who is Quibi for? Unknown. Maybe people who like YouTube videos but would rather pay for them?
Play, pause or stop? Stop. Save your money. Just not nearly enough quality for the price.