Television programs exclusive to streaming websites gain popularity

Easy to access, little to no charge to watch, and entire seasons for TV fans’ viewing pleasure: the way audiences watch TV shows is now changing. These shows, exclusive to Hulu or Netflix, allow viewers the luxury of not waiting for the next episode to air on TV.


courtesy of Netflix

Cult favorite “Arrested Development” is returning to viewers but through a less traditional medium.

Arrested Development 
Exclusive to Netflix
The much-anticipated fourth season of “Arrested Development” is set to air on Netflix in May 2013. After being canceled on Fox in 2006, the revival of “Arrested De- velopment” is a major excitement for TV watchers.

The show follows the formerly wealthy and dysfunctional Bluth family, who lost their money when the main character’s father is taken to prison for embezzling money. This comedy is shot in a continu- ous format incorporating hand-held cam- era work, narration, and archival photos presenting a more unconventional way of television filming. The show’s format for this season has been reported to be different from the previous three seasons. Each of the fourteen episodes will centers in on one of the character, following their lives since the conclusion of the last season. Comedy stars Seth Rogen and Kristen Wiig will be among the other guest stars on the TV show this season. (jaqueline bieter)

The Booth at the End
Exclusive to Hulu
How far will everyday people go to get what they want? This is the question posed by Hulu’s Exclusive Series, “The Booth at the End.” The show tells the story of a man who sits in a booth, giving counsel to people and offering to grant their deepest desires–– in return for an agreement to complete a difficult and sometimes criminal task.

Xander Berkeley, known for his roles in the shows “Nikita” and “24,” stars as the mysterious man in the booth, the only real main character of the show. All the other characters on the show are recurring, popping in and out of the episodes as their plot lines become relevant. Other stars include Sarah Clarke of “24” and Timothy Omundson of “Psych.” The show proves itself as a drama that can compete with popular drama series such as “Breaking Bad” and “Homeland.” With its intriguing plotline and thought-out characters, “The Booth at the End” is instantly addicting and demands recognition. (hannah scherer)

courtesy of Media Rights Capital
courtesy of Media Rights Capital

House of Cards
Exclusive to Netflix
Political drama “House of Cards” became an instant success for Netflix upon its release on February 1, 2013. With an all-star cast of Kevin Spacey, Kate Mara, and Robin Wright, the show’s diabolical plot takes viewers through the twists and turns of executing political revenge.

Frank Underwood is a South Carolina Democrat whose deal to become Secretary of State is not honored by the President. After this rejection, Underwood and his wife work to make the President pay for his offense. In the meantime, Underwood pursues his ultimate goal to become President.

Despite being based on a British series from the 1990’s, House of Cards was specifically designed based on data Netflix collected from its viewers ensuring the popularity and success of the praised series. By combining the sometimes comical, yet realistic details of politics House of Cards enthralls to viewers and critics alike. (anna mccloskey)

Exclusive to Hulu
A Hulu exclusive, “The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers,” provides visually captivating experience that must be seen to believe. Split into episodes around ten minutes long, The LXD combines both a comic-inspired superhero saga and a display of amazing dancing skill. The web series is about two groups of rival dancers: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers and The Alliance of the Dark. The dancers derive their powers from their dancing abilities and come from a variety of backgrounds fromsoldiers to high school nerds.

Choreographed by Christopher Scott, whose work can be seen on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and Harry Shum Jr., who plays Mike Chang on “Glee,” the dancing ranges from b-boy to crump and includes a wide variety of other types of street dancing. The music is fantastically chosen and the storyline, although somewhat put on the backburner, is just as entertaining as the dancing. (michelle sauer)

courtesy of Bwark Productions
courtesy of Bwark Productions

The Inbetweeners
Exclusive to both Hulu and Netflix
The laugh-out-loud British sitcom, “The Inbetweeners,” exclusive only to Hulu and Netflix, is as clever as it is crude––but that doesn’t stop audiences from falling in love with this show. The show follows the life of teenager Will McKenzie and his three best mate, Neil, Jay and Simon through their various experiences at Rudge Park Comprehensive School. Whether the four are getting into trouble, or going on a roadtrip in Simon’s new car, this show is die-hard funny and easy to watch.

“The Inbetweeners” stars Simon Bird, who plays the, a witty and clumsy Will, who always has bad luck. Bird brings a cleverness to his character that makes the show as hilarious as it is, while he still embodies the brains of the group. Joe Thomas plays Simon, a lovesick teen, crushing on his long-time neighbor. As the opportunity to win over his crush arrives, things don’t go as planned, as Thomas’ character hilariously fails at any attempt at love.

Each character’s personality brings something fresh to the show. Although MTV did recreate this show for the United States, with an entirely different cast and a painfully similar plot, the British version always trumps the American, with better acting and jokes. (megan pohle)

Exclusive to Hulu
Using comedy, relatable characters, and new stories in each episode, British comedy “Rev.” is easy to get hooked on. Exclusive to Hulu, all episodes through season two are available for free viewing. The plot of “Rev.” follows Adam Smallbone (Tom Hollander), the Reverend at St. Savior’s, a run-down church in London with a congregation of about four people.

The tagline, “It’s hell being a vicar…” says it all––Adam and his wife Alex (Ol- ivia Colman) face challenges of overeager church-goers, the rude and insensitive Archdeacon Roberts (Simon McBurney), and the competitive Reverends around London, all while still trying to maintain strong faith and a sizeable congregation. Though Adam faces common problems in human life, the role these problems play in his spiritual life are more challenging.

Bringing comedy and heartwarming scenes together, it’s hard not to fall in love with the character of Adam––he is an average man with big responsibilities, who is both socially awkward and witty, making the character relatable. Main actor and co-creator Tom Hollander’s “Rev.” proves to be a must see; with well-written script and humorous characters, “Rev.” is a perfect sitcom. ( jenny krane)