Author Archives: Alex Grant
Author Archives: Alex Grant
Nothing hits the spot like an epic, gorey swords-and-shields saga, and few are more brutal and authentic-feeling than The History Channel’s Vikings. Vikings centers on the rise of young Ragnar Lothbrok from farmer and family man to chieftain of his tribe through successful raids on England and by challenging the tactics and authority of the reigning leadership.
Based on the nordic sagas of the legendary Ragnar Lothbrok, Vikings looks and feels as true-to-life as any historical drama on air in its depiction of medieval combat as well as in the more peaceful pastoral life of the norsemen in between the raids. Five seasons in, Vikings has had its share of power struggles and unexpected plot twists and turns, but has remain engaging throughout its run. Definitely a must-watch for fans of bloody historical epics and gripping television drama, in general.
So which streaming services have Vikings in their library? You have two choices: all four seasons and the first half of the fifth season of the epic drama are available on both Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. Prime and Hulu are each good choices, with their share of original programming, films and series that aired on other networks in their library. If you only have room of one of the two in your life, it depends on what you’re looking for: Amazon probably has the edge in terms of original programming, while Hulu has a broader library of titles to choose from, overall.
Whichever service you choose, both will satisfy your desire to binge watch Vikings in all of its nordic, sword-slashing goodness, but that there’s one problem that will affect many: neither Amazon Prime Video, nor Hulu are available outside of the United States.
Pesky regional restrictions can ruin anyone’s viewing party, but there’s one key tool that will allow hopeful viewers of Vikings to overcome this obstacle. A VPN (virtual private network) routes your internet connection through servers around the world, hence making it seem to services like Hulu or Amazon Prime as if you actually logging on from within that country. For example, a subscription to a top-of-the-line VPN like ExpressVPN will allow you to watch Vikings on either service by connecting to one of their servers located in 20 United States locations.
VPNs also make your internet use much more secure, both on your computer and phone, by using data encryption to mask your browsing and file transfers from hackers and other bad actors. Most VPNs also come equipped with an automatic kill switch, which is a fail safe that cuts your internet connection if the VPN happens to drop out. All in all, the benefits of a VPN make it a worthwhile purchase for both people outside the US hoping to stream Vikings, and internet users, in general.
If you decide that Hulu is the right streaming service for you, there’s one more obstacle to overcome in the subscription process: it only takes U.S. credit and debit cards as forms of payment.
Live outside the US and don’t have one? Never fear, there’s an easy workaround: you can buy a $25 or $50 Hulu gift card from the Walmart website, and afterwards they email you a code that use as a payment option while subscribing to Hulu. A $50 gift card will cover six months of Hulu use, and don’t forget the 30-day free trial that covers your first month.
Widely considered one of the best television series of all time, David Lynch and Mark Frost’s surreal, offbeat murder mystery Twin Peaks has been a favorite of camp-loving aesthetes since making waves withs its 1990 debut on the ABC. Nearly thirty years later, the Twin Peaks saga now comprises the two original ABC seasons, the 1992 prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and the heralded 2017 return, Twin Peaks: The Return.
Initially centered around the investigation of the murder of teenager Laura Palmer by FBI special Agent Dale Cooper (played by Kyle MacLachlan) in the town that gives the series its name, Twin Peaks broadens its scope to include storylines revolving around the town’s quirky, occasionally sinister inhabitants, mysterious supernatural elements, and so much more.
Twin Peaks is so compelling that once you begin the saga, you won’t want to stop watching. However you might be wondering where you can stream all of it, considering that Twin Peaks was released in different formats and networks, sometimes decades apart. Well, here we have you covered.
Owing to its cult popularity, the original two seasons of Twin Peaks are available to stream through many outlets, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, while the 18-part 2017 miniseries Twin Peaks: The Return can be found on Hulu and Showtime. Unfortunately, the third major component of the saga, the 1992 feature-length prequel, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, is not currently available through any major streaming service, but you can rent it from Youtube, Amazon Prime or Google Play for $2.99.
If you’d prefer to limit yourself to one streaming service in the quest to conquer all of Twin Peaks, Hulu is your best bet, as it offers both the original series and The Return, something none of the other services can say. Along with both the 1990 and 2017 versions of Twin Peaks, a Hulu subscription will grant you access to the entire Hulu library streaming library -- thousands of films and TV series -- and costs just $7.99 a month, or $11.99 a month with no ads.
There’s one more catch for Twin Peaks fanatics (or those totally new to the series) excited to stream the whole thing on Hulu: the service is only available within the US. Those in other countries like the UK or Canada are still not able to watch Hulu...unless you employ the services of a VPN.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a handy tool that makes it seem like you are logging on to the internet in a given country by routing your connection through servers within that country. A VPN also beefs up your internet security through state-of-the-art data encryption that dispels hackers and other bad actors.
Using a VPN to watch Twin Peaks on Hulu is simple: all you need to do is use the VPN client to log on to a US server when subscribing to and using the service.
One more roadblock in subscribing to and streaming media on Hulu is that the service only accepts U.S. credit and debit cards as payment options. If you are a U.S. citizen living abroad, this is likely not an issue, but citizens of other countries will need a workaround.
Never fear, there’s another way to pay for Hulu without the use of a U.S. credit card. Walmart sells $25 and $50 Hulu gift cards on its website that you can use to pay for the service. After you buy a card, Walmart emails you the code for use during the Hulu subscription process.
Outlander is a historical drama with a clever sci-fi twist. Based on Diana Gabaldon’s series of novels, Outlander tells the tale of World War 2 nurse Claire Randall (played by Caitriona Balfe) who while on holiday with her husband after the war’s end gets channeled back in time to 1743 Scotland. There, she falls in Highland warriors led by Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) and gets involved in their rebellion against the English crown. Ensuing seasons of Outlander move the action to France, England, and the United States while going forward, and then back again in time through a series of rousing adventures.
Since it was was recently renewed for a fifth and sixth season on the Starz network, now’s a great time to jump into the first four seasons of Outlander. The show has everything you could want in a historical time travel drama: cavalry battles, love triangles, political wheeling-and-dealing, paradoxes, and more. Fans of either science fiction or historical epics owe it to themselves to give the show a try. That begs the questions: where can the show be streamed?
Outlander airs on the Starz Network, the number three premium cable network behind HBO and Showtime, so while there are multiple options for streaming the show, they all involve subscribing to Starz in one form or another. Outlander is available to stream through Amazon Prime Video and Hulu through premium add-on packages. They both cost 8.99 a month, although Amazon offers the first three months of Starz for just $5.39 a month.
These choices are fine for folks who are already subscribing to Amazon Prime Video or Hulu, but if you don’t have either streaming service, are mainly interested in Outlander, and cost is a concern, then the best option is just to subscribe to Starz directly and watch the show through the Starz app. A subscription to Starz begins with a 7-day free trial and costs $5 a month for the first three months before reverting to $8.99 a month just like the premium add-on packages for the aforementioned streaming services.
To sum up: If you already subscribe to Amazon Prime Video or Hulu, adding the Starz premium add-on for either of those two is your best option, while if you don’t have either and just want to watch Outlander, you should subscribe to Starz direct. One thing that all of these services have in common is that they are available in the United States, only.
While it may seem like they are a lot of choices available to stream Outlander, they all require you to physically reside in the United States. “Outlanders” can easily work around this, however, by employing the services of a VPN (virtual private network).
A VPN allows you to bypass regional restrictions by routing your internet connection through servers around the world, thereby granting you local IP addresses in other countries. In order to watch Outlander through Amazon, Hulu or Starz, you simply need to connect through a US server of an excellent VPN like ExpressVPN, and it will appear to outside observers as if you are actually within the United States. You’ll be good to go!
VPNs also protect your internet connection from hackers, ISPs and other snoops through state-of-the-art data encryption and other security features. All in all, a worthy investment with a favorable cost-benefit ratio.
Bad news for home design reality shows fanatics everywhere: HGTV’s Fixer Upper closed out its fifth and last season last April. Fixer Upper starred married couple Chip and Joanna Gaines as they guided clients through the process of buying and remodeling homes in their trademark rustic, “shabby chic” style. After the prospective homeowner couple chose from one of three homes, Joanna was tasked with designing the renovations, while Chip was the lead contractor for the construction tasks.
While Fixer Upper has completed its run, it leaves behind five seasons and 79 episodes of addictive, home remodeling entertainment. The show generated interest in the “Farmhouse-chic” interior design style for homeowners and designers everywhere in the past several years, and remains mandatory viewing for anyone with an interest in the subject matter.
So where can home remodeling junkies stream Fixer Upper? Netflix is out: the streaming giant no longer carries HGTV series. Episodes are available for purchase from Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, and Youtube for about $3 each, but why throw down money for individual episodes if there’s a better, cheaper alternative?
Hulu is that alternative, which in addition to Fixer Upper, streams many other HGTV reality series with a similar vibe. Currently, only the first four seasons of Fixer Upper are streaming on the service, but that should hold viewers off until the fifth season becomes available. A subscription to Hulu costs $7.99 a month, or $11.99 a month for the ad-free option, and comes with a 30-day free trial. All in all, Hulu is a great streaming service with one main issue: its US-only status leaves a lot of potential subscribers around the world in the cold.
If you don’t live in the U.S., you are going to need a VPN to stream Fixer Upper on Hulu. A VPN allows you to bypass pesky geoblocking by channeling your internet connection through servers around the globe, making it appear from the outside as if you are actually connecting from that country. With a VPN, you can connect to a server located in the U.S. and use Hulu and other regionally restricted content on Youtube and elsewhere without issue.
In addition to allowing you to stream Fixer Upper and your other favorite shows on Hulu, an excellent VPN like ExpressVPN comes with a slew of other features such as high-end 256-bit data encryption, kill switch, leak protection and split tunneling that protect you from hackers and prying ISPs. These days, a VPN is nigh-essential if you spent considerable amount of time on the web, either for work or pleasure.
A VPN takes care of Hulu’s US-only regional restriction, but there’s one other concern for hopeful subscribers outside the United States: the service only takes US credit and debit cards as payment options.
If you are an American living abroad, this may not pose a problem, but others will have to use a workaround. You can also pay for Hulu with a $25 or $50 gift card bought from Walmart. Post purchase, a code will be sent via email that you can use to pay for Hulu without the need for a US credit card. It’s as simple as that.
Everyone’s favorite compulsively addictive fashion designer elimination-reality show, Project Runway, will be returning to its original network, Bravo, after eleven seasons on Lifetime. According to Bravo, hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn will not be returning for season 17, instead, the new hosts will be supermodel Karlie Kloss and designer Christian Siriano.
If the the long wait until the next season airs on Bravo is making you anxious, we suggest you go back and run through previous seasons of Runway to satisfy your craving. This show’s backlog of hundreds of hours of brilliantly designed pieces, train wreck meltdowns, heated verbal spars between contestants, and delightfully catty cutdowns from hosts and judges are just as good the second time around as the first. Though one must exercise caution: once you stream the first episode of a season of Project Runway, it’s easy to find yourself planted on the couch until the final two contestants are battling it out in the finale.
So where can one stream seasons of Project Runway? Unfortunately, the series’ first five seasons are not available on any major streaming platform, however there are a few options for catching Project Runway’s Lifetime run. Seasons 6 through 16 are available on the Lifetime website, but you’ll need to put in television provider info in order to unlock the streams. Depending on which region you are logging into Netflix from, you may be able to stream select seasons of Project Runway, but most countries don’t carry it. Amazon Prime Video allows you to buy episodes for $2.99 and seasons for $24.99, but does not offer Project Runway in its main streaming library.
Hulu is the streaming service that offers the most Project Runway all in one place: seasons 6-16 are all available as part of its main streaming library, which also includes thousands of some of the most acclaimed and popular films and television shows from all eras, as well as some of the trashiest. Hulu will run you $7.99 a month with ads or $11.99 for the No Ads plan, which are both great deals considering the wealth of content available. The main issue many will face is that Hulu is only available in the United States.
If you want to stream Project Runway on Hulu and you live outside of the US, you are going to need a VPN. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a tool that allows you to circumvent regional lockouts by channeling your internet connection through a local server, making it seem as if you are actually logging on in from that country. With a VPN, you can simply connect to a server inside the United States and subscribe to, and use Hulu without complications.
Other benefits of using a VPN include heightened security when surfing the web, added ease in file sharing, and total online anonymity. The advantages of using a VPN are totally worth the low monthly fee most VPNs charge.
Another U.S.-centric aspect of Hulu is the fact that they they only accept U.S. credit cards: foreign cards are not permitted. However, there’s a simple way to circumvent this: Walmart sells Hulu gift cards for $25 and $50 through their website that you may use as payment. Once you buy the card, Walmart will email you a code that you type in when signing up for Hulu. It’s almost as if they sell these cards specifically for non-Americans in mind.