Bengals coach Zac Taylor said quarterback Joe Burrow, taken with the No. 1 overall pick Thursday in the NFL draft, will be expected to compete for the team’s starting job, which is how Burrow said he expected it to be. www.espn.com – NFL
Quibi, or “Quick Bites,” is the newest challenger to enter the great streaming war against rivals Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, Hulu, Apple TV+, and the upcoming HBO Max and NBCUniversal Peacock services. But where those aforementioned companies offer more traditional TV and movie viewing experiences, Quibi charts its own course with a mobile-only streaming platform that features videos with runtimes of ten minutes or less.
Co-founded by former DreamWorks Animation boss Jeffrey Katzenberg and tech executive Meg Whitman, Quibi will be home to 175 original programs in its first year of operation. Katzenberg told the Los Angeles Times that he hopes Quibi will be “the third generation of film narrative,” by combining the strengths of movies and episodic television into one cohesive force. The service was initially intended to provide entertainment for subscribers who commute to work via public transportation or want to watch something quick during a lunch break. However, with the current state of our world forcing many people to stay at home with ample amounts of time to binge, Quibi’s original plan could be in jeopardy.
So, with an already crowded market of streaming services vying for your attention (and money), does Quibi offer enough at launch to stand apart?
Check out the gallery below to see what we thought of Quibi’s movies and TV shows at launch:
Quibi’s video streaming platform is split into three categories: “Movies in Chapters,” long-form narratives split into 10-minute episodes; “Unscripted and Docs,” reality TV shows and docuseries; and “Daily Essentials,” news shows from outlets like NBC, ESPN, and the BBC. While the streamer has a long way to go before it catches up with Netflix and Disney+ in terms of the size of its library, Quibi launched with over 25 titles that each offered three episodes, with new installments released daily. Compared to Apple TV+’s meager debut, which included just a handful of shows, Quibi gets a gold star here for offering a variety of content to new subscribers.
Starting with Quibi’s “Movies in Chapters,” the initial titles appear impressive at first, especially with star-studded casts that include Sophie Turner, Liam Hemsworth, and Christoph Waltz, among other recognizable Hollywood names. However, although Quibi excels in its ability to acquire star power, the stories in which they are featured lack the creative punch needed to stand out.
Take Most Dangerous Game, for example, where Waltz and Hemsworth go head-to-head in an action-thriller where humans hunt other humans for sport. It’s a by-the-numbers story that’s light on the action for the first few episodes. If anything, Quibi’s short-form approach to storytelling doesn’t allow the viewer to really get into the narrative because, after seven or eight minutes, the episode (sorry, chapter) is over.
While other titles like When the Streetlights Go On and Flipped are worth checking out if you decide to sign up, Quibi’s “shorter is better” model still doesn’t make sense if you look at the streaming landscape as a whole. If the recent release of Netflix’s popular Tiger King documentary has taught us anything, it’s that viewers are game to sit through several hours of content if they deem it to be entertaining… shorter isn’t always sweeter.
Then there’s the way the shows and movies are formatted for mobile viewing. One of the most baffling aspects of Quibi is its choice to opt for a mobile-only streaming service. Amazon, Netflix, and Disney+ (among others) offer mobile streaming options as well, but also allow their content to be watched on your desktop or TV, if you don’t want to squint at your phone. Quibi also films its content in both vertical and horizontal formats, which is a purposeful departure from its rivals. So, if you’re watching Most Dangerous Game in vertical mode on your phone, the image fills the screen, offering you a different aspect ratio. In horizontal mode, you get a more cinematic look, with a widescreen perspective that shows you more detail (and characters) in each frame. The Movies in Chapters definitely look better this way, since most prestigious TV shows these days are shot more like films. Maybe it’s just me, but the vertical option makes many of the productions look cheap.
Where Quibi excels is in its docuseries and daily news shows. One of the standouts is LeBron James’ I Promise, which centers on a school in Akron, Ohio founded by James where at-risk youths are given a chance to flourish in a nourishing academic environment. It’s a heartwarming look at how the public school system in America could change for the better. Generally, the quality of the docuseries is due to the subject matter and not the shortened running time. And there are still some duds in the bunch, like Will Arnett’s Memory Hole and the underwhelming revival of MTV’s iconic prank show, Punk’d.
Quibi’s User Interface
While we do have gripes with the fact that Quibi is only offered via a mobile app, its UI is butter smooth, with no noticeable lag while switching between horizontal and vertical viewing modes. The Quibi app is currently available to download on both Android and Apple devices. And like many of its streaming counterparts, the service allows subscribers to download movies and shows for offline viewing. Depending on your phone’s specifications (and Wifi connection), many of the shows are presented in 4K with crisp video and audio quality.
Quibi also comes fully equipped with a handy “continue watching” option so you can pick up a show where you left off. This might sound like a resounding “duh,” but Disney+ launched with a bug-filled version that caused the company to remove this particular feature in order to work out the kinks. Another convenient (if not expected) feature lets you follow shows if you click the bookmark icon, which notifies you when a new episode is available to stream.
If you find yourself unable to decide what to watch, Quibi offers “More to Explore” buckets, which highlight programs that will make you “Laugh out Loud” or “Be Inspired.” There’s also a “Coming Soon” section that gives you a sneak peek of upcoming series like Dummy, starring Anna Kendrick. As far as the “streaming functionality basics” go, Quibi checks all of the boxes so the UI doesn’t get in the way of your viewing experience.
Quibi currently offers a 90-day free trial for new subscribers, which is a pretty good deal considering the platform launches with over 25 titles. At $ 4.99 per month (with ads) Quibi is on the cheaper end compared to Netflix and Amazon’s $ 12.99 price plan. But unlike Netflix, Quibi doesn’t charge extra for 4K content, which is a plus. It’s just a shame there’s no smart TV or set-top box app you can download to enjoy all of that 4K beauty on a big screen.
Quibi offers a better value than Apple TV+ (also $ 4.99), promising to deliver 175 new shows in its first year. Apple, on the other hand, is still lagging behind most of the competition in terms of its library. Disney+, at $ 6.99 with a digital catalog of over 500 titles, is hard to ignore at this price point if you’re looking to just add one new service, but it’s important to keep in mind that (so far), Disney+ isn’t offering TV-MA content. So if you’re looking for more R-rated fare, Quibi might be worth a try, especially with that 90-day free trial. IGN All
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The Duplass brothers may be the bane of Mindy Lahiri's existence, but this week, even the good doctor herself couldn't deny how fierce and progressive they're being. The Duplass brothers are championing the first transgender-actor…
“We gladly accept @juleshough #thanksgivingdancewars challenge,” Kate wrote on her Instagram account. “Let’s make this happen @caradelevingne #oliverhudson #wyattrussell #bostonrussell #pa #dancebattle #UptownFunk And that’s my Mom counting us in in the background.”
Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 5, Episode 10 of FOXs “MasterChef,” titled “Top 12 Compete.”
Hey, guys? Can someone tell my future mate to not propose to me on an episode of ‘MasterChef’ with scary Joe Bastianich lording over it all? Cool, thanks.
So tonight was all about romance and two teams — with Ahran and Elizabeth at the helms — had to cook for a bunch of couples. And Gordon Ramsey’s wife, who was wearing delectable yellow heels that made even Courtney gape in awe.
One team makes a lobster risotto. The other makes a sexy, yet undercooked, filet mignon. For dessert, they sort of look the same. Strangely, Leslie and Ahran make amends. Elizabeth keeps her cool plating goofy bowls of strawberries. Everything sort of goes smoothly. The Blue Team — with Elizabeth and Courtney and other front runners win. Christine, Cutter, Ahran, Leslie, Willie, and Christian have to make a bunch of truffles for a pressure test. Uh-oh.
Willie and Christian have no idea what they’re doing. Leslie’s rambling about throwing sexy truffles into his wife’s mouth. Yes, throwing. Cutter doesn’t even know what a truffle is. It’s not going to be easy.
Strangely, at the end of the test, they all look sort of OK. I would have no idea where to start (or I would just start licking the chocolate whipping bowl). Cutter actually comes through with dainty looking truffles. Gordon and the other chefs bust on him, but he’s officially rebounded. Christian has some tasty sounding truffles. Willie uses too many sprinkles. Ahran gets a grunt from Joe and that’s it. Leslie’s look like they would give his wife a concussion if he threw ’em at her. Christine goes classic on flavors. Sea salt and dark chocolate? Yes, please! But they’re also fugly.
The case of reality show producers calling the shots won in the end. Leslie is good drama. Christine just busts her butt and wants to win. I’m sort of bummed because I was hoping she was the underdog in this competition.
What were your favorite moments this week? Who’s next? Let me know @karenfratti or in the comments.