Of all the streaming services I use – Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and Funimation – Discovery Plus is the one I use the most. And I don’t even get it for free through some kind of promotion – actually I do pay before.
At just $4.99 a month (or $6.99 with no ads), it’s one of the cheapest streaming options out there, and for me, those five bucks go a long way. Discovery Plus is a melting pot of all the unscripted reality shows from Discovery itself, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigate Discovery, The History Channel, and a handful of other networks I’ve never heard of, like “Scavenger Hunt.”
That means it has some of the most bizarre, disturbing, chilling, and downright disgusting TV shows I’ve ever seen. I mean, that’s kind of to be expected for a streaming service that covers all of TLC’s content, but mixing all that weird reality TV with cheesy true crime shows and Shark Week creates a hub full of junk – and i love it.
For the record, I’m not one of those goofballs who like to see people pop pimples: my TV taste is much more refined. 90 Day Fiancé is my drug of choice. It documents the lives of Americans who find love abroad and have only 90 days to spend together in the US before having to make the decision to marry their loved one or let them leave the country (all according to the US visa law).
Discovery Plus still has some glaring shortcomings that are hard to ignore
The show (and its various spin-offs) was the only reason I subscribed to Discovery Plus in the first place. I’ve already looked 90 Day Fiancé on Hulu (along with some of the Investigate Discovery shows the service had), but when the switched to Discovery PlusI had no choice but to take out a Discovery Plus subscription to feed my addiction.
This led me down the rabbit hole of all the other shows on Discovery Plus, inclusive Sister wives, Who did I (Bleep) marry, Hoarders, Intervention, Amish mafiaand a slew of other shows that – let’s face it – probably shouldn’t exist (eg. Dr. Pimple Popper). And while Discovery Plus has all the absurd content I love to watch, it still has some glaring flaws that are hard to ignore.
First, the user interface is absolutely terrible compared to other services like Netflix. I can’t click on the full list of episodes of a series of the show in my “Continue Watching” list. This means if I missed an episode or want to go back and flip through different seasons, I have to search first for the show and only then can I access the list of episodes. The UI, including the playback bar, is also incredibly laggy, which can make scrubbing through episodes (and navigating the app in general) a pain in the ass.
I even ran into a bug where everything I was watching completely crashed after an ad, forcing me to restart the entire app and restart what I was watching, sometimes just repeating the cycle . again. (I haven’t experienced this in a while, so fingers crossed it’s fixed).
The Max app could be great, or it could be the best of two of the most buggy worlds
Discovery Plus’ parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery says it has plans to make some UI improvements as it brings some of the Discovery Plus content to HBO Max to form “Max.” However, it made no mention of fixing this on Discovery Plus, which will remain as a standalone app for the same price while Max costs $9.99 a month with ads, $14.99 a month without, or $19.99 without ads and 4K content. So basically the Max app could be great, or it could be the best of two of the most buggy worlds.
Those potential UI improvements won’t be enough to convince me to drop Discovery Plus – even if HBO Max has The last of us And Succession. I’m too cheap to pay the extra money if my parents already have an HBO Max account that they can never remember the password for (asking them to change it is a whole thing™). If they could really give me the correct password for their account, then yes: I would throw out Discovery Plus after the content arrives on Max.
For now, though, I’m happy with Discovery Plus. It’s my go-to when I’m eating, going to bed, and even on the weekends when I have nothing better to do. I have access to almost every popular streaming service at my fingertips, and yet I wouldn’t choose Discovery Plus until my 90 days are up.