We surveyed our readers. Here are their favorite streaming services

Illustration of a seated woman with remote control in hand, surrounded by a cake, a planet, a movie camera, popcorn and more
(Jiaqi Wang / For The Times)

Welcome to Screen Gab, the newsletter for everyone curious about what their neighbors are watching.

Well, digital neighbors, at least. We recently asked Screen Gab subscribers to complete an informal survey about their viewing and media consumption habits, and we report the (admittedly unscientific) results in this week’s Break Down.

Also in Screen Gab No. 95, we offer recommendations for the return of “Only Murders in the Building” and “My Dad the Bounty Hunter,” and ask if “Heartstopper” Season 2 lives up to its first season.



Must-read stories you might have missed

Two yacht crew members talk on ship.
Aesha Scott and Captain Jason Chambers in “Below Deck Down Under.”
(Mark Rogers/Bravo)

‘It was about safety’: Why the leaders on ‘Below Deck Down Under’ fired two castmates for misconduct: Nadine Rajabi, an executive producer on the series, and the yacht’s leaders, Aesha Scott and Jason Chambers, explain the events that led to Luke Jones and Laura Bileskalne being fired.

‘Reinventing Elvis: The ’68 Comeback’: A closer look at the King’s evolution: The Paramount+ doc, timed to the anniversary of Elvis’ death, looks at the 1968 TV special that reinvigorated Presley’s career.

Scandal left ‘Vanderpump Rules’ ‘shattered.’ Its bosses reveal what to expect next: Star Lisa Vanderpump and executive producer Alex Baskin discuss #Scandoval, the Bravo series’ first Emmy nominations, reality TV unions and more on “The Envelope” podcast.


American talk shows are mostly fluff. British TV titan Michael Parkinson reached higher: Parkinson, who died Wednesday at 88, once said, “You can’t rehearse an interview” — and that commitment to a life of real talk made him a national treasure.

Turn on

Recommendations from the film and TV experts at The Times

A woman in a black shirt with a patterned shawl over it.
Meryl Streep in Season 3 of “Only Murders in the Building.”
(Patrick Harbron / Hulu)

“Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu)

To make one of TV’s great pleasures even more delightful, in the third season of Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building,” stars Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez are joined by Paul Rudd (the body, as established at the end of Season 2, but sticking around for flashbacks and magical realism), and Meryl Streep, whose very Merylstreepness brings the series to a deeper place. The current season finds Short’s not completely untalented director, Oliver, back on Broadway, with a part for Martin’s hack actor Charles — that is, before leading man Rudd turns up dead. Gomez’s Mabel, meanwhile, just wants to get back to podcasting with her septuagenarian BFFs. By her mere presence, Streep, playing an actress who, despite being as good as Meryl Streep, has not had her success — her third episode ballad, “Look for the Light,” is a showstopper — would seem a possible suspect. But who knows? There’s no mystery without misdirection. —Robert Lloyd

A animated muscular man in a large ceremonial neckpiece holding two brightly colored paddles.
Laz Alonso as Sabo in Season 2 of “My Dad the Bounty Hunter.”

My Dad the Bounty Hunter” (Netflix)

In the first season of Netflix’s animated series, Lisa and Sean discover that dad Terry’s real job is much more exciting than they had ever imagined. Stowing away in his car after he’s unexpectedly called in to work leads to a grand bring-your-kids-to-work-day adventure, because it turns out Terry is an intergalactic bounty hunter. The fun and funny series features plenty of exciting action, unique alien planets and heartwarming themes. And did I mention that the villain is a giant evil space corporation? The series also engages with very real systemic issues such as corporate greed, forced labor and the exploitation of natural resources in a kid-friendly way. The second season shifts the focus to Lisa and Sean’s mom, Tess, who has her own secrets that I won’t spoil here. But after a series of shows featuring badass dads, it is great to see an equally badass mom get the spotlight. —Tracy Brown


Catch up

Everything you need to know about the film or TV series everyone’s talking about

A group of friends sitting around a coffee table filled with snacks.
The cast of “Heartstopper” Season 2.
(Samuel Dore / Netflix)

In Season 1, “Heartstopper” set the internet alight with its central romance. Think electricity through fingertips. Feet on tiptoe. Kisses in rain. But in Season 2, which recently premiered on Netflix, the series confronts the same challenge as any number of its beloved predecessors: With rock drummer Charlie (Joe Locke) and rugby star Nick (Kit Connor) officially an item, can “Heartstopper” discover a new narrative drive?

It certainly puts heart and soul into trying. There’s a new will they / won’t they storyline, with longtime friends Elle (Yasmin Finney) and Tao (William Gao) discovering their mutual attraction, and, for the first time, sustained attention to the teen characters’ straight parents (intrusive) and queer teachers (understanding).

Most of all, there’s the season’s focus on Nick’s struggle to come out as bisexual. Often enough, the storyline is handled winsomely, as when Nick’s friend Imogen (Rhea Norwood) steps all over his announcement to say she knew all along. (Reader, it happened to me. More than once.) On occasion, as when Nick holds back from outing the series’ closeted villain (Sebastian Croft), it might even be called ingenious. But ultimately its introduction, at once laudable and, at least in the case of one homophobic sibling, very clumsily handled, reflects a tonal shift, not just a narrative one: from fantasy to reality. The romance of Paris aside, “Heartstopper” is no longer as effortlessly transporting as it once was, preferring to acknowledge the truth that love is easy; it’s relationships that are hard.

There will surely be viewers who see this as a disappointing contraction of the series’ possibilities rather than a successful expansion of its world, but if the arrival of Season 2 spurs anyone to catch up on the swoon-worthy moments that give “Heartstopper” its name, it will have been worth it. Trust me. —Matt Brennan


Break down

Times staffers chew on the pop culture of the moment — love it, hate it or somewhere in between

Illustration showing television screen, remote control, an eye, a phone with social media app and reaction emojis
(Patrick Hruby / Los Angeles Times)

Last month, we asked Screen Gab readers to participate in a brief survey about the newsletter — and also included several questions about their viewing and media consumption habits. Thanks to all who participated!

We thought that you all might be curious about what your fellow readers had to say, so we compiled the answers to two questions from the survey below: one focused on streaming service subscriptions and the other on the source of viewing recommendations. Although the survey isn’t scientific, it’s a fascinating sample of where Screen Gab subscribers are tuning in — and finding out what to watch next. —Matt Brennan

READ MORE: What’s the best streaming service right now? Here’s our ultimate power ranking

Which of the following streaming services do you subscribe to (check all that apply):

1. Netflix: 81.2%
2. Amazon Prime Video: 79.7%
3. Max (formerly HBO Max): 67.8%
4. Apple TV+: 56.3%
5. Hulu: 55.8%
6. Paramount+/Paramount+ with Showtime: 48.8%
7. Disney+: 44%
8. Peacock: 42.2%
9. PBS Passport: 27.4%
10. Britbox: 21.05%

Honorable mentions: Acorn TV (18.42%), Discovery+ (8.50%), AMC+ (6.00%)


Which of the following do you use to find new TV shows and movies to watch/stream (check all that apply)?

1. Media/news organizations (L.A. Times, New York Times, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, etc.): 87.9%
2. Friends and family: 65.2%
3. Recommendations from streaming services: 43.5%
4. Review sites (Metacritic, Rotten Tomatoes): 27.9%
5. Social media: 23.6%
6. Podcasts: 11.1%