Terry Gardner: Can Too Much CBS Be A Good Thing? [review]

Written by Terry Gardner

If you snag CBS All Access at its deal price right now, it’s actually cheaper than Hulu. But can so much CBS be a good thing? Terry Gardner dives in. [review]

terry-gardner-anewdomain-geniuspack-backpack-review-geniuspack-intelligent-backpackaNewDomain — If you ever loved Lucy, Perry Mason or Captain Kirk, you should check out The CBS App. The free app is available for Apple iOS, Android, Amazon Kindle and Windows 10 devices at each of those associated app stores.

But, you know. You get what you pay for. For free, you get a taste. If you join CBS All Access for $5.99 per month, you get a smorgasbord with more than 7,500 episodes on demand, ranging from fresh episodes of “The Good Wife” and “Madam Secretary to classic episodes of “I Love Lucy,” “Perry Mason,” Star Trek”  and more. The thing is, CBS All Access is cheaper than Hulu or Netflix. And from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, November 30, you can snag one month for free. You have nothing to lose in sampling the CBS feast. (And if you’re thrifty like me, calendar when the free trial is over, so you can cancel if you don’t want it to automatically renew.)

You can also go straight to CBS.com to snag the deal. Just sign up, give them your credit card info and type: THANKS in the Promo card box and the $5.99 will be subtracted.

Although the deal is intended for new members only, former members can get in, too. I found a workaround that makes the deal work for former members.  I rejoined using my cat’s name with my credit card info. (So shoot me.)



What Rocks:

So now you have CBS in your pocket. Is this a good thing?

Well, think about all the classic shows the network either created or now owns, from the original “Hawaii Five-O” with Jack Lord to “Frasier” and “JAG.”

All Access adds more programming and Live TV in more than 90 U.S. markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Orlando and Atlanta. “Frasier,” so you know, ran 11 seasons on NBC, but CBS apparently gained rights to the series after CBS DVD partnered with Paramount to release the series on DVD.

If you don’t finish an episode, The CBS App will remember where you stopped and ask you if you want to resume playing an episode or start over. Since the app is tied to your free or All Access account, you can start watching a show on one device like your laptop and finish it on your iPad or iPhone. The same features apply to Android and Windows devices.


Guilty Pleasures:

The greatest thing about The CBS App is that you can catch up on shows while traveling around the country. I am addicted to watching Alicia fight for what’s right then wind down with a cabernet on “The Good Wife.” And then I help Tea Leoni save the world on “Madam Secretary” or watch Brian explore more recesses of his brain on “Limitless.”


App Basics

After installation, you create a free account with CBS using your email address, Twitter, Facebook or Google+. A credit card is required to sign up for All Access, and through Monday, you can snag a free month by typing in “THANKS” as described above.

What Blows:

Similar to Hulu, the CBS App only works in the U.S., so if you travel abroad, it won’t keep you company. It also can’t download content like Amazon Prime Video.

I suspect one of the app creators at CBS is in a 12-step program, because unlike Hulu and Netflix, the CBS App does not begin playing the next episode automatically. A source at CBS indicated this feature may at some point be added, but in the meantime, the CBS App is not inclined to encourage addictive behavior. Of course, that didn’t keep me from getting hooked on “Zoo” last summer.

Despite these drawbacks, it’s a great app overall. So the only reason to hesitate could be that you never loved Lucy. And if so, you may need therapy, a humor check or medicinal weed.

But yes, too much CBS actually can be a good thing.

For aNewDomain, I’m Terry Gardner.

CBS app logo: Courtesy of CBS Interactive.

All screenshots: By Terry Gardner. All rights reserved.