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The Primetimer Guide to Streaming TV: This Year, Give the Gift of Great TV

Gift your loved ones with our comprehensive guide to getting what you want in an age of endless entertainment.
  • The Primetimer Guide to Streaming TV is the one book to keep by your remote.
    The Primetimer Guide to Streaming TV is the one book to keep by your remote.

    This holiday season, millions of new TVs are making their way alongside, if not exactly under, the Christmas tree. With screen sizes once thought gargantuan — 65, 75, 85 inches! — the new generation of affordable TVs boast incredibly vivid pictures and surprisingly great sound.

    All of these TVs will be optimized for streaming services, because that’s how we TV these days. We’ve learned to expect an endless buffet of viewing entertainment, with thousands of shows and movies being added every year. And yet, with all the change one question has remained stubbornly the same: What to watch?

    The days of “57 channels and nothing’s on” are long gone, but now many viewers feel overwhelmed by all the enticing choices. There’s more well-done television being produced than ever... so much, in fact, that many of us seem to spend hours scrolling for something to watch.

    That’s why I led a team of Primetimer writers and editors in creating The Primetimer Guide to Streaming TV. It is the only book of its kind: a complete handbook to getting what you want in an age of endless entertainment.

    The Primetimer Guide was built to help viewers get to their next great watch with as little friction as possible.

    If you have a favorite show or genre, we’ve got pages of curated lists for you. And if you’ve been hesitant to “cut the cord,” to ditch your overpriced cable or satellite subscription and go all-in with Streaming TV, we’ll walk you through step-by-step.

    Humans, not algorithms

    If you remember the satisfaction of finding something to watch in Leonard Maltin’s or Roger Ebert’s annual movie guides, you’ll love sifting through our succinct reviews of more than 1,000 recommended shows. One of the most frequent comments we hear from people who use The Primetimer Guide to Streaming TV is, “I opened it to some random page and found something I wanted to watch.”

    Netflix’s algorithm won’t tell you what’s good on Hulu, and Amazon’s app won’t suggest that long-forgotten series on Peacock. But this book is put together by humans, not computers.

    Computers love assigning five-star ratings to things, but won’t tell you why. At Primetimer, thousands of our readers participate in TV show forums, commenting on episodes and telling us what they liked and didn’t like. We’ve pulled hundreds of their best insights for our reviews, because no one knows the kind of viewer that will love a show better than someone who already does.


    The most fun we had with this guide was creating the section with all the lists. Most of the shows in our guide are curated into lists with names that make it easy to locate your kind of show: Play-Nice Reality Competitions, Female-Driven Slice-of-Life Comedies, Excellent Use of Musical Numbers, Landmark Performances in Drama, True-Crime WTF... you get the idea. Looking for a quick watch? Then turn right to our section “One Night Only,” for more than 200 streaming suggestions sorted by genre. And then there’s the section titled “If You Liked That, You’ll Like This.” Were you a huge fan of the NBC show The Blacklist? Want six more obsessions like The Blacklist? We’ve got them, along with similar lists for dozens of other popular shows including Ozark, Mare of Easttown and Schitt’s Creek.

    How to cut the cord

    Tens of millions of us have cancelled our cable and satellite subscriptions, but there are millions more sitting on the fence, either because of FOMO or “change is hard.” We’ve been there, and we get it.

    That’s why we’ve included a comprehensive chapter on cutting the cord in our guide. We’ll walk you through the process step by step. Going all-in with Streaming TV can save you a lot of money, and if you do it right you'll actually have a better viewing experience than with traditional Pay TV.

    But don’t take my word for it. There’s an extra-long preview of The Primetimer Guide to Streaming TV on the book’s official website, including the cord-cutting guide. I invite you to download and read it. There are also links on the site that make it easy to purchase the guide at the most popular book retailers. Of course, you can also order it through your local bookseller.

    Aaron Barnhart has written about television since 1994, including 15 years as TV critic for the Kansas City Star.

    TOPICS: TV Books