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April 21, 2020
Need Something New to Watch or Read? How to Find New Releases

Need Something New to Watch or Read? How to Find New Releases

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are looking for something to do as we stay at home. Some are learning how to play a new instrument, others are sewing face masks, and a select few are opting to howl at the moon at 8pm. Yes, that's a real thing – join the Facebook group "Go Outside and Howl at 8 p.m." to be a part of the nightly howl.

We'd reckon that most of us are turning to the television or our e-readers to provide some entertainment, but it can be hard to know where to begin.

Looking for some entertainment as you shelter in place? Consider downloading an e-book or an online streaming app like Netflix or Amazon Prime Videos.

As with everything else, there are options; you just have to know where to look. From Netflix to Hulu to FandangoNow, there are more online entertainment options than ever before.

The same goes for books. Whether you are an avid reader or are just looking for something good to read during your shelter-at-home time, Kindle books from Amazon and Apple Books are great choices.

We have the low-down on seven different ways to watch or read the new releases of today. These avenues will up your entertainment game so that staying home isn't quite so, well, boring.

Need Medicare or retirement planning help? The Medicare Allies team specializes in Medicare health insurance as well as retirement planning. Call us today at 833-801-7999 for personalized help.

5 Ways to Watch New Movies and TV Series

If you're used to going to the movies, then quarantine is probably a hard time for you. You may have been waiting on the release of some good flicks before all of this started. Here are a few online options that can help out for the time being.

Netflix

Netflix is a streaming service that offers TV shows, movies, documentaries, and a line of Netflix Originals. There are no commercials, and you can watch as many shows for as long as you want – there are no time limits.

Netflix is a great way to enjoy new movies and shows or find an old series to watch again. They have endless titles, making them a great choice for everyone.

They offer a 30-day free trial, and plans start at $8.99 once that trial period is over. Watching your favorite shows is easy because you can add as many of the following devices as you want:

  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
  • Smart TV
  • Laptop
  • Streaming device
  • Game consoles

You can also download your favorites with the iOS, Android, or Windows 10 app.

If you subscribe to Netflix, you might enjoy series like:

  • Call the Midwife, an addicting and moving drama that focuses on midwifery and families in East End London from the 1950’s through the 1960’s
  • Mindhunter, a drama that follows two FBI agents as they hunt serial killers by delving into their minds
  • The Crown, a Netflix original drama that chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II from the 1940’s to present day.

You might also enjoy movies such as Molly’s Game, the true story of Molly Bloom, Olympic-class skier and operator of the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game for 10 years, and Lost Girls, a Netflix original mystery based on the novel by Robert Kolker.

HULU

Hulu is another streaming device that offers access to a variety of shows, movies, and even live TV, depending on the plan you choose. 

From live TV to original movies, to current or past seasons, HULU has much to offer. Find a show you love and get started watching. 

They have two plans:

1. Hulu - which starts at $5.95 a month (free 30-day trial). This plan offers:

  • Unlimited access to Hulu's streaming library
  • Available on your favorite devices
  • Switch plans or cancel at any time
  • Many add-ons (at additional charges) such as commercial-free streaming, HBO, Cinemax. Showtime, and Starz

2. Hulu + Live TV - which starts at $54.99 a month (7-day free trial). This plan offers:

  • Unlimited access to Hulu's streaming library
  • Stream 60+ top Live and On Demand TV channels including sports, news, and entertainment
  • Record Live TV with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage
  • Watch Live TV online and on supported devices
  • Switch plans or cancel anytime
  • Entertainment package
  • Español Package

Hulu offers many original movies and series including The Accident, which focuses on the unfolding of a horrible tragedy that takes the lives of several children in one town, and how the citizens handle the situation both personally and politically. 

Castle Rock is another Hulu original series based on the young Annie Wilkes from Stephen King’s MISERY, and yes, you guessed it – this is a psychological thriller.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video's streaming service is part of your Amazon Prime membership. If you're a Prime member, you can watch tons of movies and shows for free. They offer shows for everyone in the family, including action/adventure, mystery, romance, horror, documentaries, kid's shows, and even Amazon Prime originals.

An Amazon Prime membership is currently $119 per year (paid in one installment), or $12.99 a month.

Prime Movies is a great perk that is part of Amazon Prime. You will have access to thousands of titles at your fingertips.

This price might seem a little high compared to the other streaming services, but remember that you also receive additional benefits such as free two-day shipping and Kindle Prime, which we'll look at in a little bit.

With Amazon Prime Videos, you can rent or buy movies and TV shows not included in the free package. 

There is also an option to subscribe to over 100 premium channels such as HBO, Cinemax, Starz, UP, PBS Masterpiece, and many more. Keep in mind that each of these will have an additional fee.

A couple of choices you might like to watch on Amazon Prime are the historical romance series Outlander, and the 2020 movie Call of the Wild, an adventure movie based on the 1903 novel by Jack London.

VUDU

VUDU is a TV and movie service that offers new movies to watch from the comfort of your couch. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this service is a way to bring the movie theater home.

You can watch movies and TV series with VUDU on any device, including:

  • Smart TVs
  • Connected Blu-ray players
  • Game consoles like Xbox and PlayStation
  • Streaming devices like Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast
  • Nvidia Shield
  • Android and iOS devices
  • Windows 10 devices

Just download or navigate to the VUDU app, create an account or sign in, and start watching free movies and TV with no subscription and no contract.

While you do have access to thousands of movies and shows for free, you can purchase other movies and shows not included in the free service. Being instructed to stay at home, you might even opt to choose a new release that would regularly be in theaters! These movies are tagged "Theater at Home" and are available for rent.

You can rent or buy new releases from VUDU, including movies that would regularly be at the movie theater. For example, Trolls World Tour is available to rent for $19.99.

VUDU also has an exciting InstaWatch feature that allows you to buy physical copies of movies at Walmart and get a digital copy from VUDU for free.

If you're interested in getting access to newer releases, which you can't find on other platforms like Hulu or Netflix, you might enjoy VUDU. We recommend checking out the "Theater at Home" movies to get started.

FandangoNow

FandangoNow offers streaming of over 100,000 movies and TV shows, including movies straight from the studios. 

There are no subscription fees; you rent or buy the titles you want to watch. 

If you want to watch movies that should be out in theaters right now, then FandangoNow is a perfect choice.

By typing in an access code you receive upon purchase, you can watch your shows on any of the following devices:

  • Smart TVs
  • Streaming Devices
  • Laptops
  • Phones
  • Tablets

To get started, go to Join Fandango VIP and fill out the short application.  All you need is your email and a password. You pay for each movie or show as you go. 

A few 2020 new releases available on FandangoNow you might enjoy are The Invisible Man, Rated R, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, PG-13, and Trolls World Tour, PG. 

2 Ways to Download New Books

Sometimes, nothing is better than losing yourself in a good book. With the problems our world is facing right now, a good read can provide an escape, albeit temporary, from the stress and worries we are all experiencing. If you are running out of things to read, you still have options. Let's look at two of the most popular.

Kindle/Amazon Books

An active Amazon Prime account gives you access to thousands of movies and shows, and you also have access to over one million book titles in an electronic format. Many e-books are free just because you're a Prime member.

Kindle Books on Amazon Prime are a reader's dream. Many titles are free! Check it out now.

Again, an Amazon Prime membership is currently $119 per year (paid in one installment), or $12.99 a month.

You can buy a Kindle e-reader, and there are many styles to choose from, starting with the Kindle Fire, which costs about $50 to the All-New-Kindle-Oasis, which runs about $280. 

Each e-reader offers different features such as auto-adjusting light sensors, automatic page-rotating orientation, and page turn buttons. Depending on which features are essential to you, you can surely find one to fit your needs and budget.

You don't have to have a Kindle to take advantage of the Kindle Books offered through Amazon Prime.

You can download the Kindle app on your phone, tablet, or laptop and enjoy all the books, magazines, and newspapers that Amazon has to offer. 

A few good reads you might enjoy on Kindle are The Nightingale and The Great Alone, both by Kristin Hannan, How Dogs Love Us, by Gregory Burns, and Dream Big Step Small by Kristin Ostrander.

Apple Books

Apple Books is a great way to obtain books on your iOS and macOS devices. Apple Books, formerly iBooks, is an e-reading and store app that gives you access to thousands of titles, many of which are available in audio. 

Thousands of titles are available on your iOS devices through the Apple Books app.

The Apple Books app is free and comes installed on most iOS devices. 

Apple Books has thousands of free titles and limited-time offers. Once you open the app, click the Book Store icon and look under the Special Offers and Free tab.

As you scroll down, you will see the Free titles, Limited-Time offers for under $5, and offers for $3.99 or less, which includes their picks and Bestsellers. There's even a kids section with books under $2!

Apple Books is a great way to grow your library and keep everyone in the house reading.

Apple Books offers some stunning reads such as Little Fires Everywhere (also a Hulu original series), a psychological mystery based on what seems to be the “picture-perfect” family unit, The Last House Guest, a tense thriller by Megan Miranda, and the international best-seller Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate, based on the the horrific events that took place at the hands of Georgia Tann at the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in the 1920s-1950.

Staying Entertained In Stressful Times Is Important

Finding ways to retreat from the worry is good for the soul.

Watching movies or reading a good book is a pleasant way to escape, even if just for a while.

Something is comforting about a cozy spot, your favorite snack, and a book or movie – it's just hard to beat!

Thankfully, there are easy ways for you to be able to do just that. Grab a drink and a snack, settle into your personal space, and spend some time watching a great movie or delving into a beautiful read!

Medicare and the CDC also share some advice on managing stress during COVID-19:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and social media.
  • Connect with others. Talk with friends and loved ones over the phone or via video chat about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • Take care of yourself. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep.

If you are dealing with this by yourself and just need someone to talk to, our Medicare experts are happy to help. They routinely call clients who live alone to check in and lend a friendly voice. Give us a call at 833-801-7999.

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