I always joke that if you ever hear me say, “Eh, I’m not really all that into Star Wars anymore,” then you know that I’ve either A) Been kidnapped and need help or B) Been taken over by some sort of alien entity.
However, I promise there is no cause for alarm as I make the confession that I just paused my Disney+ subscription for a while. I know that a highly-anticipated Star Wars show, Ahsoka, JUST premiered. I know my decision to cancel Disney+ means I won’t be able to watch this show as it’s released or participate in all the weekly conversations surrounding it.
Believe me, I do intend to watch Ahsoka eventually … just not now.
There are a variety of factors that contributed to my motivation to take a Disney+ break, tying into some of my recent reflections on pop culture media and my consumption of it.
In August, Disney+ informed me that my annual subscription option was no longer available. I’m now being charged monthly for a more expensive plan that comes with ads.
I know I grew up watching cartoons on broadcast TV and those came with ads, but I’ll admit, I’ve gotten really used to watching a narrative without that annoying interruption of a really loud ad for a product I’ll never use.
Maybe I’m being picky, but I find it annoying/frustrating that Disney+ raised my rate AND is showing me ads. I do understand that these original shows produced for Disney+ aren’t cheap, and I want creators to receive credit and compensation for their work.
Which brings me to my second point: I’m getting a little tired of Disney’s corporate greediness. Now, you know how much I love Disney as a brand. Disney World is one of my favorite places on the planet, but it’s getting sooo expensive. I’m worried that they’re pricing out the average family, when Disney magic is supposed to be for everyone.
I know that canceling my Disney+ subscription for a few months isn’t much of an act of protest, but it’s the only way I know to let Disney know that even though I’m a loyal fan, I have some concerns.
Also, and it hurts me to say this, I feel like Disney has been over-producing content lately and a lot of it has been rather mediocre. I was initially super excited about Marvel’s new phases after Shang-Chi, WandaVision, No Way Home, etc. But a lot of the recent movies and even the Secret Invasion miniseries have left me feeling “meh.” I felt the same way about Book of Boba Fett, Mandalorian Season 3, and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.
Maybe it’s just me. I’m personally experiencing some franchise burnout, and I’m feeling the need to quietly take a break. Watching Secret Invasion every week became a chore I had to keep up with, and that made me feel sad. I’m in a season in life where I don’t have a lot of free time, and I’m trying to be mindful about how I spend it.
I’ve been taking refuge in a certain other “Star” franchise, and I have been really enjoying some Trek storytelling. It has felt fresh and exciting, and even though it’s not new content, it’s new to me. It’s nice to just focus on that for a while.
I also think I’ve figured out my favorite way to watch a TV series. I’m not really a binge-watcher; I don’t prefer to watch all the new episodes of say, a new Netflix release, in a day or weekend. I like the one new episode a week format better.
However, what I really like is when all episodes of a TV season are released, and then I can watch them uninterrupted in order, but at my own pace. When I watched Picard Season 3 earlier this summer, I’d watch one new episode each night. The story flowed well this way, and I had something to look forward to each day after work.
I think this is how I’ll watch Ahsoka. I’m planning to wait until all the episodes are out, and then watch them in a batch.
In the meantime, I’m hoping to spend time exploring other stuff and more mindfully engage with stories. Also, after a period of not purchasing much content on physical media, I’m back at it again. Just because a movie or TV show is on a streaming service currently doesn’t mean it will always be there. And who knows how streaming services will change or evolve in the future.
What are your thoughts? How do you prefer to watch TV series? Binge-watching in one go? One new episode a week? Or wait until they’re all out and watch at your own pace?
How do you feel about streaming services charging a fee and still showing ads?
Do you feel the streaming bubble will eventually burst? If so, how close are we?