Broke? Bored? We’ve Got You Covered.

Let’s face it: as college students, many of us are short on cash.  Nothing is better than free stuff. Here’s some places you ca get your TV/movie fix without Netflix, and without having to worry about all of those sexy singles near you or being picked up for piracy. All the following services are legitimate and are paid for either by ads, taxes, or a parent company. They have some excellent content and a lot of mediocre content. Let’s dive in.

Tubi TV was launched as an online alternative to Netflix. It makes its money through ad revenue, though you can rest assured that the ads are unobtrusive (and you could use an ad blocker). It is actually a legitimate platform. Its selection isn’t as good as Netflix, but it has a robust collection of anime, old cartoons, cult classics, and B-movies to make fun of with your friends. You may find yourself scrolling through a lot of B-movies.

Movies on this platform include: “Oldboy”, “Battle Royale”, “Akira”, “Night of the Living Dead”, “Gods and Monsters”, “Rango”, “Suspiria”, “Europa Report”, “Dial M for Murder”, “Elena”, “Tucker and Dale vs Evil”, “True Grit”, “Mulholland Drive” and “Ghost in the Shell”.

Shows on this platform include: “Merlin”, “Queer as Folk”, “Wilfred”, “The Inbetweeners”, Death Note, “3rd Rock from the Sun”, “Cowboy Bebop”, “Departures”, “Kitchen Nightmares”, “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure”, “Mushi-Shi”, “Eden of the East”, “Naruto” and “Attack on Titan”.

Hoopla is something you’re already paying for – if you pay American taxes, that is. It’s run by the public library system, and it’s like a streaming version of checking out a DVD. You need a library card to access the service, and library cards can be acquired easily and for free. You can borrow 10 titles a month, usually to be returned within a few days, and 10 more if you have access to another library card. At a library, you don’t have to scroll through many B-movies, but some of the selection is a bit dry. You can find plenty of fun modern classics, though, and the service offers comics as well.

Movies on this platform include: “Loving Vincent”, “Into the Woods”, “13 Going on 30”, “Kinky Boots”, “Legally Blonde”, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”, “Emma”, “I am Not Your Negro”, “Amelie”, “Fiddler on the Roof”, “The Flowers of War”, “No Country for Old Men”, “Chicago” and “Rent”.

Shows on this platform include: “Avatar: The Last Airbender”, “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries”, “The Great British Baking Show”, “The Legend of Korra”, “Chasing Shadows”, “Humans”, “The Fall”, “Luisa Spagnoli”, “Sanctuary” and “Guns, Germs and Steel”.

Sony Crackle is an ad-supported subsidiary of Sony. It requires an email address to sign up. The selection is good but somewhat limited, and a person could conceivably watch everything good on the platform in a couple weeks. It also hosts Sony’s own original content. Many of the TV shows only have selected episodes rather than full seasons. This website is mostly useful for catching up on media classics without running up any charges on.

Movies on this platform include: “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”,  “Men in Black”, “Jumanji”, “The Green Hornet”, “Aloha”, “Bewitched”, “Sleepless in Seattle”, “Steel Magnolias”, “Groundhog’s Day”, “Gattaca”, “Insidious” and “The X Files: Fight the Future”.

Shows on this platform include: “Seinfield”, “Community”, “Assassination Classroom”, “Charlie’s Angels”, “Psycho-Pass”, “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”, “Steins; Gate”, “Joey”.

Yahoo View – barely still clinging to relevancy, Yahoo tries to make up for being overtaken by Google by offering the last few aired episodes of a series. You could, for instance, watch “The Good Place” for free on Yahoo view, but only while the show was airing, or the last few episodes before it went on hiatus. There’s a solid selection of full-season international shows and movies, including anime. Shows and movies change all the time, so the best way to utilize the platform is to use it to watch a cable show while it’s airing. Yahoo View is advertisement-supported, and is heavier on the ads than some other services.

Open Culture has hundreds of free classic movies – if you’re a film buff or a history student, this archive could be very useful for getting into the mindset of the times. It includes films by Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin, and Andrei Tarkovsky. It links to over 100 Korean feature films, old kung-fu movies and westerns (John Wayne fans?), classic comedies, and more. These aren’t generally popcorn films, instead having film or historical significance.

There is a surprising amount of freely available, high-quality anime, both modern and classic. If you’re thinking about getting into anime or if you want to exhaust free options before forking out some money for a Crunchyroll subscription, there are a lot of options. Likewise, high quality classic films can often be found without a charge, though you may have to search further than YouTube. A wealth of B-movies to heckle with your friends can be found, all without worrying about computer viruses. But, if you want a reliable collection of modern films and shows, well, there’s a reason such services cost money. Happy watching!