Free HBO but with a weird twist

first_img 0 Media Streamers TV and Movies 50 Photos Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice The Cheapskate 0:52 Post a comment HBO’s His Dark Materials teaser offers glimpse at epic… 2019 TV shows you can’t miss Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Tags CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. HBO’s Recommended by Humans is your gateway to free streaming content — but it’s one of the weirdest gateways ever. HBO Trying to decide what to watch next? Netflix has algorithms for that, but HBO is trying a different approach: wetware. The channel’s new Recommended by Humans page offers real opinions from real people — and the chance to stream some 50 HBO shows, movies and documentaries for free.It’s super weird. Accessible only in a browser, RBH is a huge scrollable grid of tweets and videos from people gushing about various HBO originals. Once you’ve read or played a recommendation, you can then view the movie — or, if it’s a show, the first episode. But there’s no way to search the listings (good luck trying to find, say, Chernobyl), and if you’re using a mobile device, the videos annoyingly autoplay once you land on one. On desktop, the experience is even worse, because there’s no rhyme or reason to which direction you should click and drag. You feel like you’re in an endless sea of recommendation tiles.What’s the point of all this? HBO would seem to believe that when you read or hear a recommendation from a real person, you’ll give it more weight than you would a computer-generated one. Maybe — but the annoyance factor of bad UI may have the opposite effect.Of course, this first-one’s-free approach is nothing new. HBO hopes you’ll watch the first episode of, say, Barry, Big Little Lies or Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, then decide to subscribe so you can watch more.Here’s the full list of what’s available, followed by a viewing tip:A Black Lady Sketch ShowAnimalsBallersBig Little LiesBored to DeathCarnivaleChernobylCrashingCurb Your EnthusiasmDeadwoodDivorceEastbound & DownEnlightenedEuphoriaFlight of the ConchordsGame of ThronesGentleman JackGirlsGoing Clear: Scientology and the Prison of BeliefLast Week Tonight with John OliverLos EspookysMommy Dead and DearestMy Brilliant FriendRandom Acts of FlynessSally4EverSex and the CitySharp ObjectsSilicon ValleySix Feet UnderSuccessionThe ComebackThe DeuceThe Jinx: The Life and Death of Robert DurstThe Larry Sanders ShowThe LeftoversThe Night OfThe Normal HeartThe SopranosThe WireThe Young PopeThere’s Something Wrong with Aunt DianeTrue BloodTrue DetectiveVeepVice PrincipalsWestworldFound something you like? If it’s an older show, like Deadwood, Flight of the Conchords, Girls or Curb Your Enthusiasm, you might be able to watch some or all of the series as part of your Amazon Prime subscription.I’m all for free stuff, and HBO definitely has some of my favorite shows. I just wish the UI for this thing wasn’t so terrible. This might be Recommended by Humans, but it wasn’t designed for them.  HBOlast_img

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