Plus: a doubleheader assigned!
I think that all three of you miss the point. TCM's principal value is the rare films they show, many of which are not available on any streaming platform I've found, and many others of which are only available as rentals. Unless you're already aware of films like "A New Leaf" or "The Kennel Murder Case" or "A Ticklish Affair", you're unlikely to shell out cash to rent them, and potentially not finish them. Or the silent films they show. Or the precode ones. Blockbusters are available on all platforms, but even then, the preservation, unaltered, of films like "Blazing Saddles" or even "E.T." in the wake of a society apparently offended by everything rests, for now at least, only with TCM.
I currently (still) pay a lot of money for cable. I do so only because of TCM--it, and the local news, are the only broadcast programming I still watch. The loss of TCM would be a tremendous loss. You three minimize its value.
I absolutely adore The Raid 2. Glad to see it got a mention.
I love - but get overwhelmed - but criterion. I love TCM and it's 'watch this' dictate - but I forget to go there w/ streaming. Need a streaming TCM for sure.
Human curation and comment is key for anything arts related. It's also educational. FXM has some older films that play in the late night/early mornings but you don't get the commentary you would on TCM. I don't see why not the spirit of TCM can't run on MAX.
I look forward to Oscars month on TCM. I enjoy the introduction and the short explanations after the film and will watch or DVR films I have on DVD just to hear those parts. I do hope that a way is found to continue the platform.
My experience as an employee of the Smithsonian Institution is that many people want their experiences to be curated. I was in charge of an exhibition called X Ray Fish, which had downloads for free in the public domain, and we were shocked that a website had downloaded the images, framed them and were selling them at an elevated price as part of a modern decor. Apparently, the images sold well, and there was nothing we could do, being part of the federal government. Thus, most people need a guide.
I don’t really see how it would be technical, logistical, or financial problem to just have an option on MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAX where you essential just livestream what is on the actual cable version of TCM. At the very least have an option to essentially to a shuffle-like feature where the app just shows you whatever TCM movie it wants.
The best thing about TMC was that it's curated, other people watched it at the same time you did, and that the films were put into context. I feel like if there wherever a streaming channel that could have social media incorporated into it, TMC should be it. I would love to discuss classic movies with other people who love classic movies. I'm 33 and I have no one to discuss my love of Westerns or Billy Wilder movies with or pre-Hayes code screwball comedies with!
During COVID, I pitched the idea to my husband of going down an AFI top 100 list, but it would actually be really hard to do without "buying" a lot of movies that weren't streaming anywhere. Also, I scrapped the idea when he described Lawrence of Arabia as a "three hour movie about how the desert sucks". (Noooooooo! The soundtrack alone! Okay see I'm getting sidetracked). But this feeds into my point about how it would be nice to see a curated movie collection where viewers could discuss the movies with other people who have good taste in movies!
Some things just cannot be improved upon, and Ted Turner's brainchild is one of those things. TCM is as close to perfect as human endeavors get.
When I was a poor college student, the only commercial-free channel I had was TCM, so I spent many an evening watching whatever movie they were showing. I loved the experience. It is one of my fondest memories from college. Unfortunately, with the general press of life and the decision to cord-cut, I don't have the ability to just tune into TCM and watch random classic movies anymore. And because of that, my movie watching has become much more homogenous, which makes me sad.
I no longer own a TV, so I get most of my old movies from the Internet Archive, which is available to anyone with internet access.
One thing they have that TCM didn't when I last checked, is scores of excellent English movies from the 1920s-1950s.
Also a ton of Turkish ones, for some reason.
And if you're into Goebbels-era productions from the Golden Age of Nazi cinema , well, have at it, I guess.
The only problem is that, as in social media, IA makes no effort to discourage Nazi viewers from ranting on the site.
In fact, they've been repeatedly accused (including by European governments) of enabling extremists of all stripes, by accumulating boatloads of video and also written propaganda and incitement, allegedly including bomb-making recipes, for indiscriminate dissemination to literally anyone who happens happens to sign in.
They've also been successfully sued by publishers and authors for copyright infringement after they lent out multiple photocopies of books that had not passed into the public domain. (They were just San Francisco anarcho-libertarians doing their modest part for the house bound victims of COVID.)
Anyway, if you just like classic schlock like "The Wild Women of Wongo" or "Devil Girl From Mars," Internet Archive is the place for you.
I watch streaming TCM when I'm away from my actual home TV and they have a "watch live" format as well as the option to choose from films in their library, so, in my mind, you could stream the channel the same way.
One thing TCM does is that it introduces you to films that you may never have known about or considered viewing: silent movies, which require some attention on the part of the viewer, and those interesting early 30s film made before the Production Code went into effect in 1934. This feature has become more interesting as they have expanded their portfolio.
The live TCM should be playing in the background of their page in the MAX app while you are scrolling through their movies. Maybe The Apartment is on and you decide to watch the last half of the movie. Or you can start it from the beginning. I think Disney+ should have a classics page where they have curated classic Disney and Fox movies playing in the background.
The one thing streaming gives me, that cable cannot, is choice. People wanted a la carte cable, where you get to decide what you pay for, and for the many years I paid for cable that was something I wanted but never got. Now, with streaming, I am paying only for what I actually watch - no cable "news" channels, no ESPN, etc. If cable had allowed more choice, they might not be in the situation they now find themselves in.
Great article. I hadn't really thought it out, but I do indeed often just choose to watch whatever is on TCM instead of going through my mental checklist of things I want to watch on streaming, etc. Won't be the same if/when that option is no longer available.