Twitch… The New Pandemic Television of Our Future

Quick… name one thing that we have all been doing during lock down during this pandemic?  Did you say binge watching TV?  Now is more options than ever Netflix, Disney+, Amazon, Hulu and the variety of second-tier players, HBO Max, Peacock Tv, Paramount+ PlutoTV are all vying for our eyeballs. Here’s the problem… production on many of the television shows that we’ve come to love has come to a standstill. Stay at home orders, mask orders, social distancing orders make it pretty darn hard to produce a television show let alone do much of anything else. New content is not being created. Oh you can go back over older shows and re-watch ones that you haven’t seen in a while. Personally I’ve been trying to get through Star trek the Next Generation which I didn’t watch back when it originally came out some 30 years ago. So what is a TV viewer to do?

This is where Twitch comes in. This one was new to me. Prepandmic I might have heard of it only as a place to watch gamers game. Snore. Now it’s so much more. For those unacquainted with Twitch it is a platform, owned by Amazon, that gives anyone with the right hardware and software the ability to live stream from their computer. As mentioned, the vast majority of the millions of streamers that are currently on Twitch are streaming game content, but there are more and more quality streams of music and talk show content.

One of the delightful things about Twitch that I have found or is the large variety of non-game related streams that are out there. There are some extremely high quality streams being produced by amateurs across the world. Musicians like the Fantastic Plastics. Billed as “a New New Wave / CyberPunk / SciFi Rock band. They write and record original music and tour nationally. Their music is composed of infused analog synths, gritty guitar riffs, and dance beats. More info at www.thefantasticplastics.com“. The pandemic closed venues across the country and forced live touring acts such as the Fantastic Plastics off the touring road and into live streamed concerts. The Plastics’ have successfully transitioned to an energetic streaming band and from what they have said online they will never tour again. And why should they? No pay to play, no long hauls to wait several hours to play for 20 mins and more long waits to get paid only then to get little to cover gas food & lodging. Now without ever leaving the confines of their pandemic bunker they can play every Friday night on Twitch.

Taking the brand further than just a band the Fantastic Plastics have spun up a television show in the vein of Space Ghost Coast to Coast that airs every Wednesday night. Like most talk shows they have guests both live and animated as well as oddball banter. They have really put time & effort into the talk show as well as their live show. The animated Chicken Burger Disco shorts between segments alone would be worth watching for. Tune in to the Fantastic Plastics at https://www.twitch.tv/fantasticplastics The Plastics also make an effort to keep the stream at a rating of PG. They’re also the only stream which I haven’t heard the F bomb in the 1st 5 mins after tuning in. (looking at you Lisa Bad Cat)

Another Twitch gem is the Harry horror Show. Which features true crime paranoia paranormal and conspiracy theories. Harry, the host of the show, does an incredible amount of background research into the topics that he presents. He broadcasts live four days a week and some topics are spread over two or three nights. Typically one week of the night will be dedicated to smaller topics that don’t warrant a whole show and some which are just to weird for a whole show. Show run times are typically three and a half hours and Harry is able to keep lively. Check out the Harry Horror Show at https://www.twitch.tv/theharryhorrorshow Please note that this stream may not be suitable for all audiences therefore VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

Another stream of original content that I have found is a stream called Virtual Japan. This stream is a great relaxation stream. There’s no host only chill music in the background while someone walks around various spots in Japan with a 4K camera taking amazing video. Everything is very tranquil and peaceful. The best shows in my opinion are at night where he’s walking around large shopping districts or restaurant and bar districts. Chill out with Virtual Japan at https://www.twitch.tv/virtualjapan.

Finally my pick for great streams to watch on Twitch is the Old Timey Computer Show. https://www.twitch.tv/oldtimeycomputershow This is a curated stream of old retro video tapes and files on computers, video games and other great historical pieces of technology.

Featured shows on this stream are the Computer Chronicles, Game Masters from the UK, and lots of Japanese promotional videos from Sega, Nintendo and other big game houses.