Five Friday freebies to kickstart your weekend

A free TV show to binge, a free movie to see in theaters, free magazines to read and free games to play!

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
4 min read

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Happy Friday, everyone! Put your wallets away and enjoy some free entertainment this weekend: A movie, a TV show, two great games and a virtually limitless supply of digital magazines.

Read 'Reader's Digest' (and other mags) for free

Enlarge Image

RBdigital is home to a wide selection of magazines, all free for library-card holders.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

If you're old enough to think of a library as that place you used to go to do research for school papers, you're probably also old enough to like reading magazines.

Good news: Your library has kept up with the times, meaning you may be able to check out digital magazines for free, right from your PC or tablet.

Start by hitting up your library's web site (or front desk) to see if it has partnered with a service like RBdigital. If so, all you need is your library card and an account with that service. Find the rest of the details in my story on how to get free digital magazines from your library.

I'll be the first to admit the RBdigital app is kind of terrible, but it gets the job done. I use it regularly to consume magazines like "Men's Health," "Reader's Digest" and "Family Handyman."

By the way, if you have an Amazon Prime subscription, you can also score a limited selection of digital magazines via the Kindle app. Current titles include "Popular Science," "Cooking Light" and "Consumer Reports."

Watch a winner


Binge this Golden Globe-winner for free this weekend.


Talk about "Marvelous" news: Amazon's original series, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," racked up two Golden Globes wins last weekend. To celebrate, Amazon is making all eight episodes available for free this weekend.

In other words, even if you don't have an Amazon Prime subscription, you can watch the show. It's available right now and through the end of the day on Monday, Jan. 15.

To get your binge on, you'll need the Amazon Prime app (on your TV, streaming device or phone/tablet), though you can also watch it in a browser.

The show tells the story of a 1950s housewife whose life takes an unexpected turn into stand-up comedy. I haven't seen it yet, but it's way high on my watch-list.

Honor a trailblazer


Free to see in AMC theaters this weekend.


Speaking of free entertainment for the weekend, do you live near an AMC theater? Right now, and through Monday, you can see the new movie "Marshall" for free.

Scroll down the page to make sure your theater is among those participating. Then just show up and claim your ticket (one per person).

What's it about? From AMC's summary: "Starring Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, Sterling K. Brown, and James Cromwell, 'Marshall' is based on an early trial in the career of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. It follows the young lawyer to conservative Connecticut to defend a black chauffeur charged with sexual assault and attempted murder of his white socialite employer."

Good for you, AMC, for letting everyone see this important movie about civil rights.

Take a trip to the Borderlands


Twitch is offering Prime members a free copy of Tales from the Borderlands.

Telltale Games

I think I've mentioned this before; one lesser-known Amazon Prime perk is a free subscription to game-streaming service Twitch Prime.

For a limited time, Twitch is offering Prime members a free copy of Telltale Games' Tales from the Borderlands (Win). Reg. price: $24.99. (Note: Although I was signed into my Twitch account, the product page still showed a $24.99 price tag. I had to click the "Prime Loot" icon -- the little crown in the upper-right corner of the screen -- and then click Claim Offer.)

Unlike other Borderlands games, which are action-packed first-person shooters, Tales is an episodic adventure similar to Telltale's other titles, most notably the Walking Dead series. It earned a 9 rating from GameSpot and received "overwhelmingly positive" reviews on Steam. The only catch, if you want to call it that, is the need to install the Twitch desktop client in order to play.

Plants: Is there anything they can't do?


Plants Vs. Zombies.


Speaking of "The Walking Dead," maybe Rick and the gang should have tried the ol' garden defense? Because if Plants Vs. Zombies is any indication, strategically placed sunflowers can keep the hordes at bay.

No idea what I'm talking about? Then it's high time you played this addictive classic. For a limited time, Origin is offering Plants Vs. Zombies Game of the Year Edition (Win/Mac) for free.

As with the previous game, you'll need a desktop client -- namely Origin's. It's free, as is an Origin account. Beyond that, no strings attached.

There's a reason PvZ is a classic: It's easy to learn, suitable for all ages and just ridiculously fun to play. There's no blood, no gore, just cute zombies and even cuter plants. Enjoy!