After The Mandalorian, I stopped watching Disney Plus

Commentary: I thought Disney Plus would become a regular part of my TV life, but I haven't turned to it since The Mandalorian finished in December.

Mark Serrels Editorial Director
Mark Serrels is an award-winning Senior Editorial Director focused on all things culture. He covers TV, movies, anime, video games and whatever weird things are happening on the internet. He especially likes to write about the hardships of being a parent in the age of memes, Minecraft and Fortnite. Definitely don't follow him on Twitter.
Mark Serrels
4 min read

Baby Yoda rules, sure, but Disney Plus needs more.

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In January, I lost my credit card because I'm an idiot. The only thing worse than losing a credit card is what comes afterward: the painful, time-consuming slog of adding your payment details to every single digital service you subscribe to. 

And, boy oh boy, do I subscribe to a lot of online services.


If you don't watch The Expanse, you should probably watch The Expanse.


First there's the video game stuff. 

I'm on Xbox Live, I'm on the PlayStation Network. I'm also on the new Nintendo one that lets you play all the old SNES and NES games for free. Extremely awesome. Highly recommended. 

Then there's everything else.

I'm on Spotify and I'm on Netflix . Those are defaults. I live in Australia so I subscribe to Stan (think Hulu for Aussies). I also use Prime Video on the regular. I'm a big UFC fan so I'm subscribed to UFC Fight Pass. I also occasionally borrow a friend's login to the WWE Network. (Apologies Vince McMahon, but I suspect you've got bigger fish to fry). 

Oh. And Disney Plus . I'm subscribed to Disney Plus I guess.

In the aftermath of my credit card loss came the slow, painful burn of updating every single service. I didn't do it in one wallop, instead I updated when I logged on next. Netflix and Spotify were first, because I use them almost every day. Then came Stan, and Amazon Prime , because The Expanse rules. Later, I reupped gaming subs like Xbox Live and PSN so I could play online.  Even Fight Pass was updated quickly -- Conor McGregor fought in January and I'd grown nostalgic for charismatic punchy Irishmen.

Hmmm … I reckon I'm forgetting something.

Despite losing my credit card in the first week of January, it wasn't until mid-March -- almost three months later -- that I even thought about Disney Plus, let alone logged in to the app on my television. News that Frozen 2 would be streaming three months early (as a result of the coronavirus) was literally the first moment in 2020 I remembered Disney Plus existed

I hadn't turned on Disney Plus since watching the last episode of The Mandalorian in December -- a show I didn't really even enjoy. 

It's all very strange. Given the promotional heft of Disney and its unparalleled back catalog, I expected Disney Plus to absolutely become a part of my regular watching habits. I love Disney movies, I love Star Wars , I even partake in the old MCU . I also have children 4 and 7, peak age to be introduced to a suite of classics like The Lion King and Aladdin. I thought my kids would watch Disney Plus endlessly. But they haven't. Why?

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Part of it is habit. My oldest already knows how to turn on the TV and navigate Netflix with zero assistance from me. Netflix also has an incredibly deep suite of content catered specifically for kids, including tremendous original programming like Hilda, She-Ra or Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts. That's in addition to an excessive library of shows from other partners. 

For my kids, logging on to Netflix first has been an impossible habit to break.

And for me too. Netflix never stops giving you reasons to log on. Prestige shows, like The Crown, and world-class documentary series, such as The Pharmacist and The Keepers, launch on a near weekly basis. That's when you somehow spot the next show on your to-watch list. When you jump on for event TV like Stranger Things, you're also alerted to the existence of Dark. If you check out the second season of Sex Education you're reminded you've been meaning to watch Derry Girls. 

Disney Plus just feels different. It's not tailored to daily watching. Its best content is its back catalog of movies -- the kind of thing you might watch on a whim, as opposed to mindlessly binging while folding laundry. Outside of The Mandalorian, Disney hasn't given me -- or my kids -- a decent reason to regularly boot up Disney Plus. 

So we haven't.

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I'll turn Disney Plus on at some point -- probably to watch Frozen 2, which rules. But after that? It'll be a while before I head back. What's next? The Falcon and the Winter Soldier? Maybe. But that comes out in August 2020. In that time I'll forget Disney Plus exists and continue watching shows regularly released on other streaming platforms. 

The best content on Disney Plus is undoubtedly its movie catalogue, which is top notch. But that library cannot hope to compete with the oceans of television content available on places like Netflix and Prime. Movies don't inspire repeat visits, they're a one-and-done endeavor.

Right now Disney Plus simply isn't conducive to regular, habitual viewing. That might change as Disney slowly adds quality shows to its back catalog. But, for now, it's the streaming service that I, my kids (and my credit card) forgot.

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